The holidays are just not the same without your loved one.
I've gathered these quotes about grief with the intention of helping us identify what we feel when the holidays come around and our loved ones are not there to celebrate. In doing so, may we feel seen and held in our grief.
Within these words I've highlighted certain phrases and linked them to a hand lettered art print in my shop (which you can explore here) that resonates and reflects that sentiment.
As this year gets closer to the next, I want to say how deeply grateful I am for your company and your support. It's a beautiful thing after loss.
Together, it's easier to make space for grief and for the love and joy that it stems from, which is the same love it inevitably returns to, if we allow that spaciousness.
May these quotes about grief comfort you, validate what you feel, and bring a little more light to the holidays.
You belong in the light, too.
18 Quotes about Grief for the Holidays
The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;
The happy days unclouded to their close;
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are; — a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
2. We Remember Them
At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, We remember them.
— Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer
3. I will Light Candles this Christmas
I will light Candles this Christmas;
Candles of joy despite all sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles that will burn all the year long.”
— Howard Thurman
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry
but how you carry it —
books, bricks, grief —
it’s all in the way you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled —
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
to which there is no reply?
― Mary Oliver
“Bereavement is not the truncation of married love,” C. S. Lewis wrote, “but one of its regular phases—like the honeymoon.” ― Paul Kalanithi
Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. ― Joan Didion
When someone is in your heart, they’re never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times. — Mitch Albom
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down to day.
— Robert Frost
The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not "get over" the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to. — Elisabeth Kübler- Ross and David Kessler
What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. — Helen Keller
And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. "Here you are, alive. What would you like to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver
Do not bottle up anger inside. Instead, explore it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love. — Elisabeth Kübler- Ross and David Kessler
She wondered that hope was so much harder than despair. — Patricia Briggs
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. — Haruki Murakami
Hope is not logical. It always comes as a surprise, just when you think all hope is lost. Hope is the cousin to grief, and both take time: you can’t short-circuit grief, or emptiness, and you can’t patch it up... You have to take the next right action. — Anne Lamott
“Perhaps,” said the man, “You would like to be lost with us. I have found it much more agreeable to be lost in the company of others.” — Kate DiCamillo
When we lose people we love , we don’t mourn the past — we mourn un-lived tomorrows. We mourn the loss of people who knew us thoroughly and loved us anyway, and future memories that will never be made. — James Russell Lingerfelt
I discover that grief means living with someone who is not there. — Jeanette Winterson
. . .
Which of these quotes about grief struck a chord with you? How do you honor, remember, cherish your loved one during the holiday season?
Tell me in the comments.
What you share here means more than you know.
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