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Quotes can help people process their most difficult emotions—like the grief of dealing with an unexpected death. Whether your seeking personal comfort or trying to ease another person’s burden, powerful words can be a huge source of strength in dark times. Below, we’ll walk you through the most meaningful quotes about unexpected death, which you can use for yourself, on social media, or in a condolence card to a friend.
1 1 of 26:“I am so sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for you.”
- Sometimes, simply expressing your sympathy can mean the world. There’s nothing you can say to take away another person's grief, but you can let them know that you understand. Even more, let them know that you wish they weren’t going through this experience.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
2 2 of 26:“We lost a special person far too soon.”
3 3 of 26:“I know how much he loved you.”
- Your friend will take comfort in knowing that their love was reciprocated. Even though they probably already know this, being reminded by another connection will feel touching. If you can, include a memory of this person showing your friend affection to make the message even more powerful.Advertisement
4 4 of 26:“I’m wishing you peace and comfort.”
- Simply let this person know that you wish they felt better. The truth is, they probably won’t feel better—not for a while. But knowing that you’re thinking of them and wishing them well can still mean the world to a person facing grief.XResearch source
5 5 of 26:“You are loved and you are not alone in this.”
- Grief can be an isolating, so offer your friend the comfort of connection. Remind this person that even in their darkest moments, they can always call you. Explain that they have a support system to lean on when they need it—because even in the face of grief, this can give them strength.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
6 6 of 26:“I’m sharing in your sadness.”
7 7 of 26:“The light remains.”
- Use this as a mantra to keep hope when things seem dark. Just a few simple words can offer so much peace and comfort to someone struggling through grief. Set your phone screen’s background so that it shows this empowering message every time you turn it on. Or, send this in a daily check-in text to a friend who’s struggling with grief.XResearch source
- Or, share the full quote: "There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains."
8 8 of 26:“Grief sucks.”
- Sometimes, it can be comforting to cut straight to the point. It may feel like there is no helpful way to spin it—grief is just a terrible experience. If hopeful words aren’t getting through to you or someone you know, try this phrase instead. It can feel cathartic to just acknowledge the situation for what it is.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
9 9 of 26:“Grief is as individual as you are.”
- There’s no right or wrong way to handle grief. Read this quote to a friend to remind them that whatever they’re feeling is normal. And if you’re facing grief, read this yourself—let it remind you to keep showing yourself empathy and understanding.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to sourceAdvertisement
10 10 of 26:“Your grief is love persevering.”
- Grief is a huge, painful emotion—it helps to tie it to something beautiful. This quote can offer huge amounts of comfort to someone struggling with unexpected loss—recite it to yourself or share it on a bouquet of flowers for a friend. This will remind them that even in their grief, they're still showing love to the person they've lost.XResearch source
11 11 of 26:“It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
- This famous quote can help honor and celebrate the life that was lost. When you or someone you know loses someone unexpectedly, it can be so painful to think about the time that was "lost." Remember that what’s most important isn’t the length of time—it’s the meaning of each day this person spent on earth.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
12 12 of 26:“It’s really not goodbye. It’s see you again soon.”
- The thought of never seeing a loved one again can be the hardest part. If you or your friend is religious, use this phrase as a reminder: this loved one isn't lost forever. This phrase can help turn attention toward that future promise, not the present pain.XResearch source
- The memory of a lost loved one can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be. Read this phrase, and know that you can honor the person you lost through their memory. After experiencing something fun, joyful, or hopeful that you would’ve shared with them—remember them fondly instead.
- This could also soothe a grieving friend in a check-in text a few months after their loss, when they may be beginning to make happy memories again.
14 14 of 26:“You may never get over it, but you will get through it.”
- Use this as a reminder that though grief is awful, it does pass. Even on the days that grief is especially difficult, this phrase can be empowering. Share this with a friend or use it as a personal mantra (just swap "I" with "you"). Let this be a reminder that even though it’s incredibly hard, you do have the strength to keep going.XResearch source
15 15 of 26:“You can’t heal from loss until you really feel the loss.”
16 16 of 26:“Winter to spring, darkness to light, sadness to peace.”
- Grief can feel endless, so focus on the fact that over time, things change. Even grief ebbs and flows with the changing of the seasons, and when you or a friend are struggling, this can be a huge source of peace. Read this phrase when you're in a need of a little hope.XResearch source
- This would also be the perfect comforting check-in message to send a close friend months after their loss.
17 17 of 26:“The hardest goodbyes are the ones we don't get to say.”
19 19 of 26:“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
- Grief can make people feel like the pain will never get better. But that’s not true—even in your darkest moments struggling with grief, there’s still hope, joy, and light at the end of the tunnel. Use this on social media, in a condolence card, or for your own personal comfort.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
20 20 of 26:“Nothing in life prepares us for losing someone we love—nothing.”
- With unexpected death, grievers may be left feeling at a loss. The shock and pain may cause them to wonder if they could’ve prepared or seen their grief coming. Use this phrase to soothe and comfort. No, there’s no way to prepare for grief of this magnitude.XResearch source This quote could be a great way to share your feelings on social media.
21 21 of 26:"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living."
- It can be comforting to know that a loved one’s life is never truly lost. In all of the memories that you or your friend have, that’s where this lost person now lives. Read this message when you’re missing someone you lost, or share this on a condolence card for a friend.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
22 22 of 26:“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”
- When someone dies, memories and love don’t die with them. When you or someone you know is struggling with the finality of loss, this reminder can be hugely comforting. Share this on a condolence card to remind your friend that the grief they hold in their heart is proof that their loved one still has a presence here on earth.XResearch source
23 23 of 26:“Even if all you did today was hold yourself together, I’m proud of you.”
- Grief can feel all-consuming, so every day is a huge accomplishment. When getting out of bed, eating a meal, and going to work feels like too much, read this quote or send it to someone who’s struggling. Every single action done in spite of a person's grief is worth celebrating, so let this quote be a reminder of that.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
24 24 of 26:“Everything changed one day, and yet nothing changed. Your love continues.”
25 25 of 26:"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
- Focus on the fact that nothing, not even grief, can take memories. When you’ve loved someone, you’ll always have them in your heart, no matter what. Let this phrase remind you or a friend of that fact, and take comfort.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
26 26 of 26:"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."
- It can help to celebrate the happy memories, not grieve the lost ones. Look back and recall all of the joyful, silly, or meaningful moments you shared with the person lost. Let this remind you that each of those memories was a blessing—a blessing to be thankful for.XResearch source
- Give your friend a memory bowl or box if they’re suffering from grief. Include scraps of paper where they can write down memories they’ll revisit when they miss their loved one. On the first scrap, include this quote.