Grief is a natural state of sadness when we lose a loved one, or have any loss of that magnitude. What have authors and wise people through the ages said about grief?
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
I mourn in grey, grey as the sleeted wind the bled shades of twilight, gunmetal, battleships, industrial paint.
If you want to know love, let in everything. If you want to feel the presence of everything, stop counting the things that break along the way.
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with.
Something Beautiful Remains
The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land.
The music stops, yet echoes on in sweet, soulful refrains.
For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.
The Uses of Sorrow:
Someone I loved
once gave me
a box full of
It took me years
that this, too,
was a gift.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us, even in the leafless winter, … I am thinking now of grief and getting past it. I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.
I would never trust a man who didn’t cry; he wouldn’t be human.
Bitter are the tears of a child: Sweeten them.
Deep are the thoughts of a child: Quiet them.
Sharp is the grief of a child: Take it from him.
Soft is the heart of a child: Do not harden it.
Healing comes from letting there be room for all of “this” to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
We pass and leave you lying. No need for rhetoric, for funeral music, for melancholy bugle-calls. No need for tears now, no need for regret. We took our risk with you; you died and we live. We take your noble gift, salute for the last time those lines of pitiable crosses, those solitary mounds, those unknown graves, and turn to live our lives out as we may. Which of us were fortunate — who can tell? For you there is silence and cold twilight drooping in awful desolation over those motionless lands. For us sunlight and the sound of women’s voices, song and hope and laughter, despair, gaiety, love — life. Lost terrible silent comrades, we, who might have died, salute you.
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain
For promis’d joy.
Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — myth is more potent than history — dreams are more powerful than facts — hope always triumphs over experience — laughter is the cure for grief — love is stronger than death.
Grief can awaken us to new values and new and deeper appreciations. Grief can cause us to reprioritize things in our lives, to recognize what’s really important and put it first. Grief can heighten our gratitude as we cease taking the gifts life bestows on us for granted. Grief can give us the wisdom of being with death. Grief can make death the companion on our left who guides us and gives us advice. None of this growth makes the loss good and worthwhile, but it is the good that comes out of the bad.
Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates.
I bid you awake at dawn and discover I have gone my way and left you free.
Nothing on earth can make up for the loss of one who has loved you.
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 messengers of overwhelming grief … and unspeakable love.
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.
Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
Grief is itself a medicine.
When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.