I’m sharing these grief quotes not to make you or I feel better, but to remind us that it hurts because it mattered, and it will always matter.
“’Rest in peace’ is a blessing for the living, not the dead, because rest comes from waking, not from sleeping.” – A Course in Miracles
There are no right words for the grieving human. There are no words that can stop the tears from falling or keep the pain from coming. There’s no way to make the world around us stop when we’d like to go backwards, no matter how deeply our grief burrows.
Life doesn’t wait for us to catch up, this I know, but life will try its best to have us see that there is hope still.
There’s an invisible thread connecting our hearts to all life. This means that even when our minds refuse to accept any forward motion or deviation from what has been, we won’t be left behind.
Life doesn’t wait for us because it doesn’t have to: We remain tethered to what’s real and eternal whether we believe in it or not, whether we want to go on or not.
Grief’s internal sting is not to be remedied away, because grief itself is a messenger of love. Where we have loved, love has continued on. Our grief is not a sign that love is lost, but that there is love still. Love is the only portal in the mortal world through which we can access the immortal truth.
The truth is that grief is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide, and nothing to rush.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear,” C.S. Lewis once wrote. We fear grief because of the mortal pain, but perhaps we could see it from another point of view that focuses less on the fear (of physical loss, heartache, absence) and more on the love of what’s never lost.
There’s some comforting reassurance in the following grief quotes, not because they intend to make the reader feel better about what has happened, but because they highlight a recognition that transcends mortality. The heart recognizes there’s something more going on than what our eyes see and what our bodies feel.
These grief quotes are not about getting lost in our sorrow or feeling consumed by our loss (which will sometimes happen), but about honoring the grieving process that stems from and goes back to love.
Once it comes into the human experience, grief never ends (though it may lessen and be transformed into something else). Just the same, where love first existed in the spiritual realm, it has never ended, and it will not end now.
21 Grief Quotes That Highlight the Love You’ll Never Lose
1. “So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that’s not what I actually needed. What I needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered.” – John Green
2. “When we lose someone we love we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.” –Unknown
3. “Grief is not linear. It’s not a slow progression forward toward healing, it’s a zigzag, a terrible back-and-forth from devastated to okay until finally there are more okay patches and fewer devastated ones. The mind can’t handle emotions like grief and terror for any sustained period of time, so it takes some downtime.” – Lisa Unger, Beautiful Lies: A Novel
4. “You see, love and grief are two sides of the same precious coin. One does not—and cannot—exist without the other. They are the yin and yang of our lives… Grief is predicated on our capacity to give and receive love. Some people choose not to love and so never grieve. If we allow ourselves the grace that comes with love, however, we must allow ourselves the grace that is required to mourn.” – Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph. D.
6. “We need to grieve the ones we have loved and lost in this lifetime — not to sustain our connection to suffering, but to sustain our connection to love.” – J. W.
7. “Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving…the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” — Henri Nouwen
8. “But in all of the sadness, when you’re feeling that your heart is empty, and lacking, you’ve got to remember that grief isn’t the absence of love. Grief is the proof that love is still there.” – Tessa Shaffter, Heaven Has No Regrets
10. “Grief is a matter of the heart and soul. Grieve your loss, allow it in, and spend time with it. Suffering is the optional part. Love never dies, and spirit knows no loss. Keep in mind that a broken heart is an open heart.” – Louise Hay & David Kessler, You Can Heal Your Heart
11. “Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.” – Paulo Coelho, Aleph
12. “Grief opens a place in our hearts that we never knew could hurt so profoundly, but it also opens this same place to a love we never imagined possible” – Unknown
14. “Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity; the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Dr. Earl A. Grollman
15. “Grief is so human, and it hits everyone at one point or another, at least, in their lives. If you love, you will grieve, and that’s just given.” – Kay Redfield Jamison
16. “To mourn your loss is required if you are to befriend the love you have been granted. To honor your grief is not self-destructive or harmful, it is life-sustaining and life-giving, and it ultimately leads you back to love again. In this way, love is both the cause and the antidote.” – Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph. D.
18. “When you are sorrowful look again into your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran
19. “Love, where it ever existed before, does not cease to exist. To speak of love in the past tense is not to know love’s purpose at all. Love goes on, being always a continuation and an extension of love. Your grief is but the continuation of the love you once experienced, and will always experience. Grief is another name for Love.” – J. W.
20. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, a deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving
21. “Grief is no more necessary when we understand death than fear is necessary when we understand flying.” – Richard Bach
Please share your thoughts, any quotes that spoke to you, lessons in love and loss, healing insights, and any stories with me in the comments.
Share these grief quotes with someone who may appreciate the message.
If you’re ever feeling lost in loss, let the love guide you.