The Validating Power of Grief Quotes
Why are grief quotes so popular?
You don’t have to search very hard to find lots of emotive and meaningful quotes relating to the loss of a loved one. They’re something that have always gone down well on our bereavement support programmes, but what is it that makes quotes about grief such a tonic for those living with loss?
I think the reason is a simple one - we want our feelings validated and quotes do that for us. They prove to us that we’re not the only ones on this planet to have those precise set of feelings, dousing the fires of intense loneliness and uncertainty.
Quotes for all occasions
If you’re feeling it, there’s a quote for it, telling you that someone, somewhere ‘gets it’, even if those immediately around you do not. It’s common for family members to all grieve a loss differently, because everyone will have had a slightly different relationship with the deceased. There’s nothing wrong with this and, as long as differences are respected, it’s possible to still effectively support each other. Quotes are a useful addition to that support, helping us to feel truly understood.
What are my favourite grief quotes?
I have far too many to name, but my top 5 grief quotes for validation are (I’ve tried to find the authors, but if anyone knows the origins of any of the ‘unknown’ ones, please do let me know):
"Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson
I think this is a beautiful way to describe the intense physical aspects of grief that are often overlooked. We commonly focus on what we feel emotionally, rather than physically, but the two are indisputably connected.
“The irony of grief is that the person that you most need to talk to about how you feel is the person who is no longer there” – Unknown
I hear variations of this so often with the people I support through grief, the person they would usually talk to during their hardest times is no longer there to support them, resulting in deep feelings of loneliness.
“All deaths are sudden, no matter how gradual the dying may be.” – Michael McDowell
This is so important to talk about, often when someone is grieving after an expected death, it’s confusing that they still feel shocked or confused by it. As much as you feel you are prepared for the passing, there is nothing that can make someone being here one day and not the next, make sense.
“It’s hard to turn the page when you know someone won’t be in the next chapter, but the story must go on.” - Unknown
It’s not uncommon for people to feel conflicted on what to do after a loss. On one hand, they know they still have a life left to lead, on the other hand moving forward can feel disloyal to their loved one. This quote communicates how tricky it can be to feel motivated in rebuilding your life after a loss.
“When I’m sad, I don’t want someone to tell me about how it ‘gets better’, and that I need to ‘move on’. I need someone to tell me that it’s okay to be sad, and that my feelings are valid. I don’t need someone to tell me how much happier I could be, I need someone to hold me and tell me that I’ve been strong and that it’s okay to sometimes not be okay.” – Unknown
I like this one for being honest about the need to be authentic, to not have to put on a brave face and pretend to be hopeful all the time. Grief is one of the hardest things we have to face as human beings, sometimes it’s fine to not be full of hope and motivation, but to want to be met and accepted precisely where we are.
Are grief quotes something that you’ve found helpful?
What grief quotes jump out to you?
Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.