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Quotations about Death




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God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled.  ~Author Unknown


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.  ~Mark Twain


I'm not afraid of death.  It's the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.  ~Jean Giraudoux, Amphitryon, 1929


There is always death and taxes; however, death doesn't get worse every year.  ~Author Unknown


All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing.  ~Maurice Maeterlinck


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


Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.
~René Francois Regnier


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


We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears.  We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.  ~David Sarnoff


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, Essays


If you spend all your time worrying about dying, living isn't going to be much fun.  ~From the television show Roseanne


Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.  ~Henry Van Dyke


He who doesn't fear death dies only once.  ~Giovanni Falcone


People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.  It is as though they were traveling abroad.  ~Marcel Proust


Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality
~Emily Dickinson


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


The idea is to die young as late as possible.  ~Ashley Montagu


'Tis very certain the desire of life prolongs it.  ~Lord Byron


No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.  ~Euripides


Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up.  I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something.  Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery.  People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap.  Who wants flowers when you're dead?  Nobody.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1945


While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.  ~Leonardo Da Vinci


Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.  ~Alice Walker


I shall not die of a cold.  I shall die of having lived.  ~Willa Cather


Death is a distant rumor to the young.  ~Andrew A. Rooney


A man's dying is more the survivors' affair than his own.  ~Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain


There are so many little dyings that it doesn't matter which of them is death.  ~Kenneth Patchen


If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery.  He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does.  In place of this we have death.  ~Charles Sanders Peirce


Death, the sable smoke where vanishes the flame.  ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


God himself took a day to rest in, and a good man's grave is his Sabbath.  ~John Donne


The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.  ~Seneca


Years, following years, steal something every day;
At last they steal us from ourselves away.
~Horace


Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.  ~Albert Einstein


Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.  ~Socrates


In any man who dies there dies with him
his first snow and kiss and fight....
Not people die but worlds die in them.
~Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "People"


Death never takes the wise man by surprise; He is always ready to go.  ~Jean de La Fontaine


Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.  ~Attributed to George Carlin


Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death.  ~Erik H. Erikson


Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  ~Susan Ertz, Anger in the Sky


Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men.  ~Herodotus


We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future.  It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance.  ~Marcel Proust


Thou art not dead! Thou art the whole
Of life that quickens in the sod.
~Charles Hanson Towne


Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.  ~Tennessee Williams, "The Rose Tattoo"


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


From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.  ~Edvard Munch


There's nothing certain in a man's life except this:  That he must lose it.  ~Aeschylus, Agamemnon


Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.  ~Norman Cousins


The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive - perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Death is a debt we all must pay.  ~Euripides


They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice... that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.  ~Arthur Schopenhauer


He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


People living deeply have no fear of death.  ~Anaiïs Nin, Diary, 1967


To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.  Death of one's own free choice, death at the proper time, with a clear head and with joyfulness, consummated in the midst of children and witnesses:  so that an actual leave-taking is possible while he who is leaving is still there.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Expeditions of an Untimely Man


Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in.  ~George Bernard Shaw


I knew a man who once said, "death smiles at us all; all a man can do is smile back."  ~From the movie Gladiator


Our birth is nothing but our death begun.  ~Edward Young, Night Thoughts


I want a priest, a rabbi, and a Protestant clergyman.  I want to hedge my bets.  ~Wilson Mizner


No one knows whether death is really the greatest blessing a man can have, but they fear it is the greatest curse, as if they knew well.  ~Plato


For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?  ~Kahlil Gibran, from "The Prophet"  (Thanks, Roxalanne)


Life and death are balanced on the edge of a razor.  ~Homer, Iliad


Death is the surest calculation that can be made.  ~Ludwig Bchner, Force and Matter


Suicide is man's way of telling God, "You can't fire me - I quit."  ~Bill Maher, on Politically Incorrect, 1995


Suicide is... the sincerest form of criticism life gets.  ~Wilfred Sheed, The Good Word, 1978


After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.  ~J.K. Rowling


You will never find that life for which you are looking.  When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping.  ~The Epic of Gilgamesh


My soul is full of whispered song;
My blindness is my sight;
The shadows that I feared so long
Are all alive with light.
~Alice Cary, Dying Hymn


God is growing bitter, He envies man his mortality.  ~Jacques Rigaut, Pensées


Embalm, v.:  To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds.  By embalming their dead and thereby deranging the natural balance between animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made their once fertile and populous country barren and incapable of supporting more than a meagre crew.  The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbor's lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility.  We shall get him after awhile if we are spared, but in the meantime the violet and the rose are languishing for a nibble at his glutaeus maximus.  ~Ambrose Bierce


He first deceas'd; She for a little tri'd
To live without him: lik'd it not, and di'd.
~Henry Worton


The goal of all life is death.  ~Sigmund Freud


Death is a release from the impressions of sense, and from impulses that make us their puppets, from the vagaries of the mind, and the hard service of the flesh.  ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


For death,
Now I know, is that first breath
Which our souls draw when we enter
Life, which is of all life center.
~Edwin Arnold


When I die I shall be content to vanish into nothingness.... No show, however good, could conceivably be good forever.... I do not believe in immortality, and have no desire for it.  ~H.L. Mencken


Oh, for the time when I shall sleep
Without identity.
~Emily Bronte


The graveyards are full of indispensable men.  ~Charles de Gaulle


And they die an equal death - the idler and the man of mighty deeds.  ~Homer, Iliad


Name me no names for my disease,
With uninforming breath;
I tell you I am none of these,
But homesick unto death.
~Witter Bynner, "The Patient to the Doctors"


Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident - It is as common as life.  ~Henry David Thoreau, 11 March 1842, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson


Someday I'll be a weather-beaten skull resting on a grass pillow,
Serenaded by a stray bird or two.
Kings and commoners end up the same,
No more enduring than last night's dream.
~Ryokan


To the psychotherapist an old man who cannot bid farewell to life appears as feeble and sickly as a young man who is unable to embrace it.  ~C.G. Jung


Death a friend that alone can bring the peace his treasures cannot purchase, and remove the pain his physicians cannot cure.  ~Mortimer Collins


Death is patiently making my mask as I sleep.  Each morning I awake to discover in the corners of my eyes the small tears of his wax.  ~Philip Dow


For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.  ~William Penn


Paradise -
I see flowers
from the cottage where I lie.
~Yaitsu's death poem, 1807


Old persons are sometimes as unwilling to die as tired-out children are to say good night and go to bed.  ~Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu


As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death.  ~Leonardo da Vinci


On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.  ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club


God made death so we'd know when to stop.  ~Steven Stiles


Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.  That signifies nothing.  For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.  ~Albert Einstein


There is only one ultimate and effectual preventive for the maladies to which flesh is heir, and that is death.  ~Harvey Cushing


A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.  ~Stewart Alsop


I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death.  ~Thomas Browne, An Essay on Death


The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of it.  ~Doris Day


Death is a low chemical trick played on everybody except sequoia trees.  ~J.J. Furnas


Oh, may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again.
~George Eliot, The Choir Invisible


Die, v.:  To stop sinning suddenly.  ~Elbert Hubbard


I intend to live forever.  So far, so good.  ~Steven Wright


I wouldn't mind dying - it's the business of having to stay dead that scares the shit out of me.  ~R. Geis


You can be a king or a street sweeper,
but everybody dances with the Grim Reaper.
~Robert Alton Harris


Death is life's way of telling you you're fired.  ~Author Unknown


Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.  ~John Muir


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