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20 Powerful Quotes About Grief, Loss, and Life

20 Powerful Quotes About Grief, Loss, and Life

Grief is perhaps one of the most complex and difficult emotions for people to deal with. For example, the pain of realizing you might never see a loving partner again can be devastating and even more challenging is putting on a brave face in helping the children cope with their own loss and grief. There are some, however, that have spent a lifetime looking into such losses and have gifted us with their wisdom. These 20 powerful quotes all help to convey the deeper nature of grief, loss and life itself.

  1. “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell
  2. “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” – William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
  3. “Do you know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” – Terry Pratchett (Going Postal)
  4. “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” – Mark Twain
  5. “What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us” – Helen Keller
  6. “I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” – J.R.R Tolkien (Return of the King)
  7. “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve” – Earl Grollman
  8. “All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain. Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don’t deny it, don’t be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever. One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there.” – Harold Kushner
  9. “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” – Jan Glidwell
  10. “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 Kubler-Ross
  11. “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” – Rumi
  12. “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.” – Anne Roiphe
  13. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains” – Pierre Auguste
  14. “It is foolish to tear one’s hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less by baldness.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
  15. “Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.” – Roland Barthes
  16. “In the dim light of today are the shadows of yesterday’s affliction and the hope of tomorrow’s gifts.” – Ariana Carruth
  17. “No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.” – Zora Neale  Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
  18. “So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” – E.A Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly)
  19. “There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  20. “Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Grief happens to everyone in time, but there is always hope. As these quotes suggest, life itself does go on, no matter how dark things may seem. Good and bad times are a part of life and it is normal to grieve. However, it is not normal to grieve forever  – cheer up, think of the beautiful memories and be merry. Remember, after the storm comes the sunshine!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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