Quotes about Death

Most popular death quotes

It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

famous

The only effort by any intelligent being in this world is to know something that can not be destroyed by death.
If you're afraid to die, you will not be able to live.
Even death is not to be feared by he who has lived wisely.

wisdom

How can they tell?
Death pays all debts.
Death is my neighbor now.
Death is on my mind every day.
Death cancels all engagements.
Death is the cure of all diseases.
Death persecutes before it executes.
Death and dice level all distinction.

equality gambling

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.

truth

Death is the ultimate disappearing act.
To die will be an awfully big adventure.
Death hath so many doors to let out life.
Death is just a distant rumor to the young.
People living deeply have no fear of death.

art of living

People sleep, and when they die, they awake.
Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.
If this is dying, then I don't think much of it.
Death comes along like a gas bill one can't pay.
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.

immortality

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
— The Bible—1 Corinthians 15:26

biblical

Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men.
Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic.
Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
— American proverb

American proverbs proverbs

We are born in simplicity but die of complications.

funny

Death is the greatest evil, because it cuts off hope.
The true tomb of the dead is the heart of the living.
Death is the supreme festival on the road to freedom.
Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
I have a rendezvous with Death At some disputed barricade.

war

There is but one way to be born but a hundred ways to die.
— Chinese proverb

Chinese proverbs proverbs

To die in the flower of age is a life offered in sacrifice.
— Madagascan saying

proverbs

We know the road to freedom has always been stalked by death.

freedom

After your death you will be what you were before your birth.
A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
It is a disturbing truth that even undertakers die sometimes.
Dust thou art, to dust returnest," Was not spoken of the soul.
May my last breath is draw through a pipe and exhale in a pun.
Some aspects of success seem rather silly as death approaches.

success

If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
I hope to see my Pilot face to face. When I have crost the bar.
His death was the first time that Ed Wynn ever made anyone sad.
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns.

afterlife

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

life

Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
The grave the last sleep?  No; it is the last and final awakening.

afterlife

If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death.
I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Death sits with his key in my lock.
Not one day is taken for granted.
Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure that life gives us.
The perpetual work of your life is but to lay the foundation of death.
I shall never act differently, even I'll have to die for it many times.
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

certainty taxes

We are all under sentence of death, but with a sort of indefinite reprieve.
It hath been often said, that it is not death, but dying which is terrible.
Death is just a low chemical trick played on everybody except sequoia trees.

science sciency

I cannot consider death as anything but a removing from one room to another.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Death but supplies the oil for the inextinguishable lamp of everlasting life.

afterlife

Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.
But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
— Job 14:10

biblical

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

old age

The general outlook is not that the person has died but that the person has lived.
Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the Horizon as the end of the ocean.

afterlife

We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.
Certainly God has promised you forgiveness—but he has not promised you the next day.
Everyman has his back to his death, like the talker leaning against the mantelpiece.
Love and memory last, and will so endure till the game is called because of darkness.

love memory

I have a very simple creed: that life and joy and beauty are better than dusty death.
Death—a passage outside the range of imagination, but within the range of experience.
The communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

communication

Our final experience, like our first, is conjectural.  We move between two darknesses.
This is the road we all must travel—over the Bridge of Sighs into the peace of eternity.
Death is the enemy.  Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because dawn has come.

afterlife

Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
— 1 Corinthians 15:54

biblical

The timing of death, like the ending of a story, gives a changed meaning to what preceded it.
Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk.  It is walking toward me, without hurrying.
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
I can't forgive my friends for dying; I don't find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.
There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.

parents

Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it. By living our lives, we nurture death.
I never wanted to see anybody die, but there are a few obituary notices I have read with pleasure.
Death is something we shouldn't fear because, while we are, death isn't, and when death is, we aren't.
It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infanct, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.

birth

All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.

equality

You've never seen death?  Look in the mirror every day and you will see it like bees working in a glass hive.
Death is only an horizon, and an horizon is only the limit of our sight. Open our eyes to see more clearly...
I believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow.

afterlife

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Death most resembles a prophet who is without honour in his own land or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.
Our civilization is founded on the shambles, and every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.
The grave is a crucible where memory is purified; we only remember a dead friend by those qualities which make him regretted.
For certain is death for the born. And certain is birth for the dead. 
Therefore over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve.
— Bhagavad Gita

sorrow

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
There is only one way to be prepared for death: to be sated. In the soul, in the heart, in the spirit, in the flesh. To the brim.
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.
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.
Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to "die before you die" — and find that there is no death.
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.
There is only one way to be prepared for death: to be sated.  In the soul, in the heart, in the spirit, in the flesh.  To the brim.
I can't forgive my friends for... I can't forgive my friends for dying; I don't find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.
To see life through the lens of death is to approach the condition of gratitude for the gift (or simply the fact) of our existence.

gratitude life

I began to recognize that death was indeed a part of life; that dying was merely the blowing out of the candle that was lit at birth.
Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod.
In the democracy of the dead, all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.

equality

I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman.

afterlife

Death lives in each one of us and begins its countdown on our birthdays and makes its rough entrance at the last hour and the perfect time.
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Death not merely ends life, it also bestows upon it a silent completeness, snatched from the hazardous flux to which all things human are subject.
Everyone we cherish will, someday, get sick and die. If we do not practice the meditation on emptiness, when those things happen, we will be overwhelmed.

buddhist

For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.
Curious, how each one of us secretly carries his private cemetery around with him and watches it filling up with ever new graves.  The last one to be our own.
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.
I imagine death to be a kind of release into the imagination in the sense that for characters in a book, what we experience is an unimaginable dimension of freedom.

profound

If you die you're completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I'm not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I've got.
Death is an endless night so awful to contemplate that it can make us love life and value it with such passion that it may be the ultimate cause of all joy and all art.
Death is the monster we all fear, yet with each day, we walk toward it, and can't help doing so; we can't help but walk toward the one thing we're most trying to avoid.
The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.
Many persons have died before they expire—died to all earthly longings, so that the last breath is only, as it were, the locking of the doors of the already deserted mansion.
Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.
Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light, but by reaching to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life.
When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something that lasts longer than we do.

artists thinking

Death is like a fisherman who has caught a fish in his net and leaves it for a time in the water: the fish still swims about, but the net surrounds it, and the fisherman will take it when he wishes.
No matter how much you've been warned, Death always comes without knocking. Why now? is the cry. Why so soon?  It's the cry of a child being called home at dusk, it's the universal protest against Time.
Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone.
I'm sorry, it's true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We're born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It's been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much—if at all.

children

Tears are sometimes an inappropriate response to death.  When a life has been lived completely honestly, completely successfully, or just completely, the correct response to death's perfect punctuation mark is a smile.
It will happen to all of us that at some point you'll get tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party is over, but slightly worse: the party's going on but you have to leave.  And it's going on without you.
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumour.

knowledge

Death, be not proud. By John Donne. Death, be not proud, though some have called thee. Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;. For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow. Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him?  Here every language is silent.
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.

destination

In any man who dies there dies with him
his first snow and kiss and fight.
It goes with him.
They are left books and bridges
 and painted canvas and machinery.
Whose fate is to survive.
But what has gone is also not nothing:
by the rule of the game something has gone.
Not people die but worlds die in them.
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.
In literature and in art, alike, this gloomy fashion of regarding Death has been characteristic of Christianity. Death has been painted as a skeleton grasping a scythe, a grinning skull, a threatening figure with terrible face and uplifted dart, a bony scarecrow shaking an hour-glass—all that could alarm and repel has been gathered round this rightly-named King of Terrors.
No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

mankind

Obituaries are like near-death experiences for cowards. Reading them is a way for me to think about death while also keeping it at arm's length. Obituaries aren't really about death; they're about life. . . . Reading about people who are dead now and did things with their lives makes me want to get up and do something decent with mine. Thinking about death every morning makes me want to live.
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. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything —all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

how to live life

[The loss of old companies is] inevitably what happens. That's why I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. I think that's one of Apple's challenges, really. When two young people walk in with the next thing, are we going to embrace it and say this is fantastic? Are we going to be willing to drop our models, or are we going to explain it away? I think we'll do better, because we're completely aware of it and we make it a priority.

business change

I always thought death would come on the freeway in a few horrifying moments, so you'd have no time to sort it out. Having months and months to look at it and think about it and talk to people and hear what they have to say, it's a kind of blessing. It's certainly an opportunity to grow up and get a grip and sort it all out. Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you're going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. ... It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity, à la William Blake, shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.