Loss is a fundamental, if often painful part of life. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the loss of wealth or material things, or the loss of a relationship or good health, losing what was once ours can feel downright devastating. Yet as poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, once wrote in an elegy to his late friend Arthur Henry Hallam, “’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” In other words, the pain of loss never quite outweighs the pleasure of having loved, in the end.
This is not, of course, to diminish the hurt of our loss, but rather to suggest that we shouldn’t allow the suffering we experience prevent us from opening our hearts again in the future. Take the time to grieve and process, but once enough time has passed, it is important not to let the past stymie our future decisions and relationships. Here, we’ve rounded up 13 quotes about the pain of loss, and how to find healing in the aftermath.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.A.A. Milne
Absence is a house so vast that inside you will pass through its walls and hang pictures on the air.Pablo Neruda, poet
Unable are the Loved to dieFor Love is ImmortalityEmily Dickinson
Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.Paulo Coelho, author and lyricist
The song is ended but the melody lingers on.Irving Berlin
You will not “get over” the loss of a loved one; you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, psychiatrist
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.Thomas Campbell, poet
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.Chuck Palahniuk, writer
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.Khalil Gibran, writer
You can’t truly heal from a loss until you allow yourself to really feel the loss.Mandy Hale, author
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.Rumi
Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That's the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what's left, that's the part you have to make up as you go.Katharine Weber, novelist
Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher
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