Literary quotes that helped me grieve

When my beloved grandfather died last fall, I was angry, hurt, devastated, lonely, but ultimately hopeful. Since his passing, I have learned that everyone copes with loss in their own ways. Throughout the past year I have reached out to my favorite books, who have invited me into their pages and comforted me with their words. Here are some of the most comforting literary passages that have helped me to understand that I am not alone. Maybe they’ll help you too.

“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”
“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”

-Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“There are no happy endings.

Endings are the saddest part, 

So just give me a happy middle

And a very happy start.”

-Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“Just like the moons and suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.”

-Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”

“We have been happy together. Now it is over. You must not weep, dear children, I shall not be far away. I shall watch over you from where I am. You need only to look when night has fallen and you will see me smile.”

-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

[Image via Shutterstock]

Filed Under