Death Sayings and Quotes

Death is an inevitable part of life’s natural order. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Below you’ll find a collection of wise and insightful death quotes and sayings.


A person has learned much who has learned how to die.      

German (on death and dying)

Death never takes a wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go.      

Jean de la Fontaine

Six feet of earth makes us all equal.      

Italian (on death and dying)

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.     

Steve Jobs

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.     

Napoleon Bonaparte

I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.     

Corazon Aquino

The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead.     

Albert Einstein

I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.     

Woody Allen

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.     

Marcus Aurelius

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.      

J.K. Rowling

Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.      

Langston Hughes

When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.      

Laurie Halse Anderson

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

Mahatma Gandhi

I'm not afraid of death. It's the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.     

Jean Giraudoux

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.      

Samuel Butler

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.      

Mark Twain

A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies of being a man.     

Percival Arland Ussher

Death is a distant rumor to the young.      

Andrew A. Rooney

Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.      

Rossiter Worthington Raymond

To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?      

Socrates

Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.      

Martin Luther

Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all.      

Seneca

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.      

George Eliot

Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names.      

Proverb

Thank Heaven! the crisis --The danger, is past, and the lingering illness, is over at last --, and the fever called ''Living'' is conquered at last.      

Edgar Allan Poe

Death - the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.      

Walter Scott

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.     

Joseph Stalin

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.      

Harriet Beecher Stowe

The boundaries between life and death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends and where the other begins?      

Edgar Allen Poe

Death is the veil which those who live call life: They sleep, and it is lifted.      

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Dying is like getting audited by the IRS—something that only happens to other people ... until it happens to you.     

Jerome P. Crabb

We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases.     

Sir Thomas Browne

Dying is like coming to the end of a long novel—you only regret it if the ride was enjoyable and left you wanting more.     

Jerome P. Crabb

Death is a new office building filled with modern furniture, A wise thing, but which has no purpose for us.     

John Ashbery

For death is but a passing phase of Life; A change of dress, a disrobing; A birth into the unborn again; A commencing where we ended; A starting where we stopped to rest; A crossroad of Eternity; A giving up of something, to possess all things. The end of the unreal, the beginning of the real.     

Edwin Leibfreed

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.      

Andrew Sachs

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.      

George Bernard Shaw

As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth.      

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.      

Sogyal Rinpoche

We do not die because we have to die; we die because one day, and not so long ago, our consciousness was forced to deem it necessary.      

Antonin Artaud

For certain is death for the born, And certain is birth for the dead; Therefore over the inevitable, Thou shouldst not grieve.     

Bhagavad Gita

Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.      

Epicurus

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.      

Isaac Asimov

I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.     

Will Shriner

Death keeps no calendar.      

English (on death and dying)

Death pays all debts.      

William Shakespeare

Death takes no bribes.      

Benjamin Franklin

The first breath is the beginning of death.      

Thomas Fuller

The world's an inn, and death the journey's end.     

John Dryden

Death is a law, not a punishment.      

Jean Dubos

Death produced a state of gloom and emptiness in which life and hope were to be left behind.     

Herbert Lockyer

Death was looked upon as a bitter, inevitable separation, which must be faced with a manly separation.     

Herbert Lockyer

The deathbed was the great battlefield where man's enemy, the devil, staked his last throw and drew up all his strongest forces of one final and bitter assault.     

Burrell and Lucas

To sleep! perchance to dream; aye, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come.     

Tagore

Leaves have their time to fall / And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath / And starts to set—but all / Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh death!     

Felicia Hermans

Tell me, my soul, can this be death? / Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly! / O grave, where is thy victory? / O, death where is thy sting?     

Alexander Pope

Death moulded into calm completeness the status of his life.     

John Greenleaf Whittier

The mode of death is sadder than death itself.     

Latin Proverb

A thousand approaches lie to open death.     

Seneca

Oh sunderings short of body and breath. Oh battle, and murder, and sudden death.     

Empress Josephine

It is folly to die of the fear of death.     

Seneca

One person's illness or death will not indemnify others against death.     

Yoruba Proverb

If thou expect death as a friend, prepare to entertain him; if as an enemy, prepare to overcome him. Death has no advantage except when he comes as a stranger.     

Quarles

Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity     

Milton

Death expecteth thee everywhere; be wise. therefore, and expect death everywhere.     

Quarles

Be still prepared for death: and death or life shall thereby be the sweeter.     

William Shakespeare

Death opens the gate of fame, and shuts the gate of envy after it.—It unloosens the chain of the captive and puts the bondman's task in another's hands.     

Sterne

Death is the crown of life.—Where death denied, poor man would live in vain; to live would not be life; even fools would wish to die.     

Young

Death has nothing terrible which life has not made so. A faithful Christian life in this world is the best preparation for the next      

Tyron Edwards

It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.     

Swift

We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.     

Mad. Be Stael

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies, nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same divine principle.     

William Penn

Death hides, but it does not divide, they are but on Christ's other side. Thou art with Christ and Christ with me. In Him I am close to thee.     

Elizabeth Urch

Death is like thunder in two particulars: we are alarmed at the sound of it, and it is formidable only from that which preceded it.     

Colton

The Gods conceal from men the happiness of death, that they may endure life.     

Lucan

The darkness of death is like the evening twilight; it makes all objects appear more lovely to the dying.     

Richter

We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.     

Hawthorne

Death stamps the characters and conditions of men for eternity.— As death finds them in this world, so will they be in the next.     

Emmons

Although the testimony of my mother's life helped mold me and taught me how to live, the testimony of her last years and her death gave me insight into how to die.     

Billy Graham

Even in the darkest moment, before death snatches man's last breath. God is willing to save a lost soul.     

Billy Graham

Death be not proud thou some have called thee. Mighty and dreadful for thou art not so.     

John Donne

Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.     

Bertolt Brecht

Death is nothing at all; it does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room.     

Henry Scott Holland

Life is a great surprise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.     

Vladimir Nabokov

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

Dylan Thomas

Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death.     

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Death must be distinguished from dying, with which it is often confused.     

Sydney Smith

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.     

Francis Bacon

Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear, to be we know not what, we know not where.     

John Dryden

These are two ways of life ending with death have been declared: death with one's will and death against one's will. Death against one's will is that of ignorant men...death with one's will is that of wise men.     

Jaina Sutras

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

Haruki Murakami

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.      

Chuck Palahniuk

People living deeply have no fear of death.      

Anais Nin

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.      

Kahlil Gibran

He who is not busy being born is busy dying.      

Bob Dylan

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.      

William Shakespeare

If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.     

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.     

Maya Angelou

I intend to live forever, or die trying.     

Groucho Marx

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.     

Marcus Tullius Cicero

If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character… Would you slow down? Or speed up?     

Chuck Palahniuk

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.     

Buddha

It is difficult to accept death in this society because it is unfamiliar. In spite of the fact that it happens all the time, we never see it.     

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross