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Short Quotes

A collection of short quotes, popular in remembering loved ones. 


Please make sure that you attribute any quotes or extracts you use to their authors.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live. 

Mark Twain


As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death. 


Leonardo da Vinci


At the temple there is a poem called "Loss" carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha


Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality

Emily Dickinson


Because God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one.

Dean Koontz, The Darkest Evening of the Year


Death does not wait to see if things are done or not done.



Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident.

 It is as common as life. 


Henry David Thoreau


Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.

Helen Keller 


Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.


 Haruki Murakami


Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.

George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


Don't think of it as dying, said death. Just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush.


Terry Pratchett


Dying should come easy: 
like a freight train you don't hear when
your back is turned. 

Charles Bukowski                                                                                         

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.

Mahatma Gandhi


Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

Ernest Hemingway


For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Kahlil Gibran


Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.

René Francois Regnier


God made death so we'd know when to stop. 


Steven Stiles


He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.

Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain


He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.


Antoine de Saint-Exupery


I do not fear death. 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


I shall not die of a cold.  I shall die of having lived. 


Willa Cather


“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.

Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid


It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden


Let life be as beautiful as summer flowers
And death as beautiful as autumn leaves.

Rabindranath Tagore


Life and death are balanced on the edge of a razor. 


Homer, Iliad


Life is too short when you think of the length of death

 Sean Mangan


Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.

Mitch Albom


No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow. 



Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. 

Albert Einstein


The meaning of life is that it stops.

Franz Kafka


The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. 



The goal of all life is death. 


Sigmund Freud


There's nothing certain in a man's life except this:  That he must lose it.


Aeschylus, Agamemnon


There is love in holding and there is love in letting go.

Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures


Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas


We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves.

I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient


We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future.  It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance. 

Marcel Proust


When I think of ages past
That have floated down the stream
Of life and love and death,
I feel how free it makes us
To pass away.

Rabindranath Tagore


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.

William Shakespeare


When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.

John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany


Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs


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