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Beautiful Poetry and Quotes about Death and Dying

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Beautiful Poetry and Quotes about Death and Dying

Thinking about death doesn't need to be something we live our lives avoiding. There's such a great fear of dying, but if we talk about it, and listen, we'd hear the truth: that "mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

It's why I found solace in these quotes about death and dying, and hope you will too.

Loss humbles us, shows us how little time we have here, shows us the importance of how we love one another, and ourselves. It's true, that leaving is sometimes the best thing a person could ever teach us.

It hurts, though, to look at death. It's scary, heavy, awkward... but it doesn't have to be. Not always.

If we can move past our fear of death, we might move into a place of overwhelming gratitude. We'd understand that it's our turn to pay attention, to be there for the people who still need us, and to choose life whenever given the choice.

By opening our hearts to each other and to life, we can find a new level of understanding and connection.

By embracing our time here, loving each chance we're given at life, we can look at death through the lens of respect.

We can see that a lifetime of passion and careful attention is the most beautiful thing we can contribute.

By living fully we can leave in overwhelming gratitude, in wonder, curious about what's next.

I hope you find some sort of peace through reading these quotes about death, and in the knowledge that to experience the pain of loss means you had the chance to love, and you took it.

Thinking about death doesn't need to be something we live our lives avoiding. There's a great fear of dying, but if we talk about it, and listen, we'd hear the truth: that "mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things." It's why I find solace in these quotes about death and dying, and hope you will too.

Poetry and Quotes about Death, to Inspire How You Live

1. "Thinking and talking about death need not be morbid; they may be quite the opposite. Ignorance and fear of death overshadow life, while knowing and accepting death erases this shadow." — Lily Pincus

2. "It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more." — J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

3. “Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it. By living our lives we nurture death.” — Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

4. "I have come to know that it [death] is an important thing to keep in mind — not to complain or to make melancholy, but simply because only with the honest knowledge that one day I will die I can ever truly begin to live." — R. A. Salvatore, The Halfling's Gem

5. “To die will be an awfully big adventure.” — J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

6. “When death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness? And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, and I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility.” — Mary Oliver, When Death Comes

7. "The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and the other begins?" — Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial

8. "It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but retire a little from sight and afterwards return again." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: Second Series

9. “The dead never truly die. They simply change form.”— Suzy Kassem

10. “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

11. “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains.” — Unknown

12. “I shall not wholly die, and a great part of me will escape the grave.” — Horace

13. “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” — J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

14. “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time... It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.” — Leo Buscaglia

15. “When the body sinks into death, the essence of man is revealed. Man is a knot, a web, a mesh into which relationships are tied. Only those relationships matter.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

16. “Those we love never truly leave us… There are things that death cannot touch.” — Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

17. “Death is the dropping of the flower that the fruit may swell.”  Henry Ward Beecher

18. “I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” – Mark Twain (attributed)

19. “If we really believe what we say we believe - if we really think that home is elsewhere and that this life is a ‘wandering to find home’, why should we not look forward to the arrival. There are, aren't there, only three things we can do about death: to desire it, to fear it, or to ignore it. The third alternative, which is the one the modern world calls ‘healthy’ is surely the most uneasy and precarious of all.” – C. S. Lewis

20. “Dying is a wild night and a new road.” – Emily Dickinson

21. “When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” — Mary Oliver, When Death Comes

22. “Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

23. “Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.” – Martin Luther

. . .

Tell me:

Which of these quotes about death sparked hope, brought peace, or inspired you to think differently?

Tell me in the comments. I'd love to know what you think!

~ Jen

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” — Mary Oliver, When Death Comes

Comments on this post (4)

  • Jul 08, 2020

    Thank you for sharing with me, Elizabeth :)

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 08, 2020

    Jim, you are a light.

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 06, 2020

    I have the Gift of Curiousity …#3…#8…#13…and, I love adventures that take me into the unknown. Crossing the Rainbow Bridge has to be where I find the Pot of Gold, perhaps, since no one has personally come back to tell me about what is on the other side of Life. I just have to believe it’s worth the trip. Thanks Jennifer for posting these thoughts to share.

    — Elizabeth Ressler

  • Jun 15, 2020

    Fill your life with love and kindness, compassion and affection and everything good. Enjoy the wonder and magic of it all so when it’s your time to look back that is what you’ll see.

    — Jim

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