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Comforting Words for Coping With Losing a Parent

Though losing a parent is something most all of us will experience in our lifetime, the grief that can accompany this major life event is still very much unique to our particular relationships. Whether we were estranged from our parent or they were our closest confidante, the loss of such a central figure in our lives can cause us to question everything from our role in the family to our capacity for grief to our identity outside of our parent’s influence.

Losing a parent can feel isolating even as we’re surrounded by family, and can be especially difficult in the face of celebrations and holidays. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, for instance, can hold a sting of hurt for those who have lost parents or parental figures. At those difficult times, it can be a small comfort to know that none of us is completely alone in this experience. Words of wisdom and solidarity can help to ease the hurt over time, and assure us that a nonlinear grief journey is not only normal, but necessary. We need ample space and time to feel all the emotions associated with our parent’s passing, so that we might have a chance at healing, and even growth.

Here, we’ve rounded up 12 quotes that speak to the significance of this loss, and how — even when it feels impossible — we can move on and keep living the lives that our parents would have wanted for us.

What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.
Helen Keller

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Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.
Leo Tolstoy

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I chose not to lose my mom, and instead to gain an angel. In my mind, my heart, and my life, she is still completely present to this day — and as wise, compassionate, and stubborn as ever.
Kevin Hart

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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

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Unable are the Loved to die / For Love is Immortality
Emily Dickinson

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A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.
Maya Angelou

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Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Morrie Schwartz

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Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.
Jandy Nelson

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Life rushed at her after her father died, as if to remind her that there can be no less life, that there can be no deprivation of life, that life is an endless and eternal living, even if your father is dead.
Sheila Heti

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My mother is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.
Graycie Harmon

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Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.
Sarah Dessen

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Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.
Anne Roiphe

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Featured image credit: anna_ku/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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