Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas With Quotes

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those dealing with grief. If someone you know has recently lost someone, you might be looking for helpful things you can do to ease their suffering. Grief can be incredibly isolating, so it's helpful to know that other people understand your pain.

It's also common to encounter new emotions that might not make a lot of sense, and knowing that other people have experienced these emotions can go a long way in helping individuals to cope with grief. To help people feel less alone at Christmas, it can be helpful to share quotes about grief and loss. This will help to remind them that other people have been through what they are going through.

What to do with a quote

If you are struggling to express your emotions, using quotes to say what you cannot may be incredibly helpful. You could use these quotes on a Christmas card, on a condolence card, or write them a letter. If you struggle to express yourself, then finding quotes that say what you would like to say is a great place to start. You could also choose a quote from a favourite author, book or film.

Is it dishonest to use a quote?

As long as you don't try to claim the quote as your own, it's perfectly acceptable to use a quote to express how you feel. The person receiving the quote will appreciate the effort that has gone into finding the quote and choosing something that expresses how you feel. It doesn't matter if you didn't write the quote yourself, what matters is that you have made the effort to express your feelings in a heartfelt way.

Literary quotes about loss

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”

― Emily Jane Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

― Rumi

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

― Anne Lamott

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”

― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”

― Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”

― Edna St. Vincent Millay

“You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don’t get over it because “it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”

― Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”

― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

“When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”

― John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

"In times of grief and sorrow I will hold you and rock you and take your grief and make it my own. When you cry I cry and when you hurt I hurt. And together we will try to hold back the floods of tears and despair and make it through the potholed street of life."

― Nicholas Sparks 'The Notebook'

"No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear."

― C.S Lewis

"Nothing that grieves us can be called little; by the external laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size."

― Mark Twain, 'Which Was The Dream?'

"There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rule book that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass - if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it's okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays."

― Jodi Picoult

christmas decorations

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."

Helen Keller

"We do not have to rely on memories to recapture the spirit of those we have loved and lost – they live within our souls in some perfect sanctuary which even death cannot destroy."

Nan Witcomb

Celebrity quotes about loss

"If you've got to my age, you've probably had your heart broken many times. So it's not that difficult to unpack a bit of grief from some little corner of your heart and cry over it."

― Emma Thompson

"You don't go around grieving all the time, but the grief is still there and always will be."

― Nigella Lawson

"Grief is like a moving river, it's always changing. I would say in some ways it just gets worse. It's just that the more time that passes, the more you miss someone."

― Michelle Williams

"My greatest fear is dying with no one knowing of any contribution I'd ever made to creative music"

 — Amy Winehouse

"I think you should be serious about what you do because this is it. This is the only life you've got." 

— Philip Seymour Hoffman

"It's like anything in life, visualising the old man you're going to become: As long as you have a clear picture of that — the life you want to lead — eventually you'll probably get there"

 — Heath Ledger

 "Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times the difficult years end up being the greatest years of your whole entire life, if you survive them" 

— Brittany Murphy

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age" 

— Lucille Ball

"I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made." 

— Marilyn Monroe

"The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye. The story of love is hello and goodbye, until we meet again." 

— Jimi Hendrix

"I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to return."

— Frida Kahlo

"Life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." 

— Leonard Nimoy

Anonymous quotes about loss

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." 

― Author unknown

"If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again."

― Author unknown

"Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow."

― Author unknown

"No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye, you were gone before we knew it, and only God knows why."

― Author unknown

"Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?"

― Author unknown

"What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul."

― Jewish proverb

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."

― Eskimo legend

"Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow."

― Author unknown

"If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again."

― Author unknown

"We've shared our lives these many years. You've held my hand; you've held my heart. So many blessings, so few tears - yet for a moment, we must part."

― Author unknown

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die, so let us all be thankful."

― Buddhist quote

"Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world."

― Buddhist quote

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

― Buddhist quote

Poems about loss

“Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.”

― Mary Elizabeth Frye

“There is no night without a dawning

No winter without a spring

And beyond the dark horizon

Our hearts will once more sing…

For those who leave us for a while

Have only gone away

Out of a restless, care worn world

Into a brighter day.”

―Helen Steiner Rice

“If I should die and leave you here a while,

be not like others sore undone, who keep

long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.

For my sake – turn again to life and smile,

nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do

something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.

Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine

and I, perchance may therein comfort you.”

―Mary Lee Hall

“If I should die before the rest of you,

Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.

Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,

But be the usual selves that I have known.

Weep if you must,

Parting is hell.

But life goes on,

So sing as well.”

―Joyce Grenfell

“Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.

Let it not be a death but completeness.

Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.

Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.

Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.

Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.

I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light your way.”

―Rabindranath Tagore