Quotes for Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

When we were confronted with the deaths of our mothers and fathers, we were overcome with emotion. Our friends offered such kind and inspiring words that really helped us gain control of our emotions.

Through the years, we’ve compiled loss of a loved one quotes, poems and prayers to offer others. We want to include many of those here for your use.

Whether you use this page to find the right words of condolences to others or read for your own peace of mind, we hope that it brings you comfort. You are not alone in your journey. At some point, we all face the loss of loved ones.

Loss of a Loved One Quotes

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”



“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

– Kahlil Gibran


“Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” 

– Emily Dickinson


“Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”



“He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”

 Kenji Miyazawa


“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.”

 The Crow, written by James O’Barr, David J. Schow, and John Shirley, 1994


“Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was,’Did you bring joy?’ The second was, ‘Did you find joy?’”

– Leo Buscaglia


“Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.”

– Unknown


“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” 

– Isaac Asimov

Loss of a Love One Poems

Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

– Rossiter Worthington Raymond

If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I’d walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again.

– Unknown

Our earthly loss is always a heavenly gain
Although our hearts hurt and mourn in humanly pain
The fact still remains the same
That Heaven Has Gained more Love
To sprinkle down from above

– Antonio Talbert

I Am Not Here

Don’t stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint of snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning, hush.
For I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circle flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.

– Hopi Grief Song/Prayer

The After Loss Credo

I need to talk about my loss.
I may often need to tell you what happened –
or to ask you why it happened.
Each time I discuss my loss, I am helping myself
face the reality of the death of my loved one.

I need to know that you care about me.
I need to feel your touch, your hugs.
I need you just to be “with” me.
(And I need to be with you.)
I need to know you believe in me and in my
ability to get through my grief in my own way.
(And in my own time.)

Please don’t judge me now –
or think that I’m behaving strangely.
Remember I’m grieving.
I may even be in shock.
I may feel afraid. I may feel deep rage.
I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt.
I’m experiencing a pain unlike any I’ve ever felt before.

Don’t worry if you think I’m getting better
and then suddenly I seem to slip backward.
Grief makes me behave this way at times.
And please don’t tell me you “know how I feel,”
or that it’s time for me to get on with my life.
(I am probably already saying this to myself.)
What I need now is time to grieve and to recover.

Most of all, thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for helping, for understanding.
Thank you for praying for me.
And remember, in the days or years ahead,
when you may have a loss – when you need me
as I have needed you – I will understand.
And then I will come and be with you.

– Barbara Hills LesStrang

How Long Will The Pain Last?

How long will the pain last?”
a broken hearted mourner asked me.
“All the rest of your Life.”
I have to answer truthfully.
We never quite forget.

No matter how many years pass, we remember.
The loss of a loved one is like a major operation.
Part of us is removed,
and we have a scar for the rest of our lives.
As years go by, we manage.
There are things to do, people to care for,
tasks that call for full attention. But the pain is still there,
not far below the surface.

We see a face that looks familiar,
hear a voice that echoes,
see a photograph in someone’s album,
see a landscape that once we saw together,
and it seems as though a knife were in the wound again.
But not so painfully.
And mixed with joy, too.
Because remembering a happy time is not all sorrow,
it brings back happiness with it.

How long will the pain last?
All the rest of your life.
But the things to remember is that not only the pain will last,
but the blessed memories as well.
Tears are proof of life.
The more love, the more tears.
If this be true,
then how could we ever ask that the pain cease altogether.
For then the memory of love would go with it.

The pain of grief is the price we pay for love.

– Martha White

The Hill

A travelling man sat down to rest from his journey by the side of the road. As he rested, another man passed by. This other man, the traveler observed, walked very slow and was bent forward, his expression was troubled and pain reflected in his eyes.

“What ails you fellow?” called up the wise, but simple man. “Come and join me and take a rest, for your form is such that I see a need in you to share the burden that you carry.”

The other man sat down, stared far into the distance for a while and then began.

“I have lost the very dearest person known to me.” Tears welled up in his eyes as he spoke, he then fell silent for a short time before continuing. “I feel that I am constantly walking up a hill and that the wind is always against me, my feet are as heavy as clay and in my stomach I carry hot coals. I say to myself now that I must turn back to ease this pain. If I walk back down the hill then maybe I will find that all of this is not true and that my loved one will be waiting to greet me.”

The traveler sat listening to the other man’s story, and replied. “You must not go back down the hill. You need to reach the top, for thereafter you will find the path will level, the wind will soften, your feet grow lighter and the hot coals will cool. To go back down the hill will prolong your pain, for the path to your healing is forward and up the hill.”

As the traveler got up to continue his journey, he said to the other man, “The one you have lost is not at the bottom of the hill but with you all the time, for you carry their spirit in your heart.”

– Anonymous

Your Compassionate Friend

I can tell from that look, friend that you need to talk
So come, take my hand and let’s go for a walk.
See, I’m not like the others, I won’t shy away,
Because I want to hear what you’ve got to say.

Your child has died and you need to be heard
But they don’t want to hear a single word.
They tell you your child’s “with God” and “be strong”…
They say all the “right” things that somehow sound wrong.

They’re just hurting for you and trying to say
They’d give anything to help take your pain away,
But they’re struggling with feelings they don’t understand
So forgive them for not offering a helping hand.

I’ll walk in your shoes for more than a mile…
I’ll wait while you cry…and be glad if you smile.
I won’t criticize you or judge you or scorn
I’ll just stay and listen ‘till your night turns to morn.

Yes, the journey is hard and unbearably long
And I know that you think that you’re not quite that strong
So just take my hand, ‘cause I’ve got time to spare…
And I know how it hurts friend…for I have been there.

See, I owe a debt you can help me repay,
For not long ago, I was helped the same way
As I stumbled and fell, thru a world so unreal…
So believe when I say that I know how you feel.

I don’t look for praise or financial gain,
And I’m sure not the kind who gets joy out of pain,
I’m just a strong shoulder who’ll be here till the end
I’ll be your Compassionate Friend

– Steve Channing

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