“And when she at last came out, her eyes were dry. Her parents stared up from their silent breakfast at her. They both started to rise but she put a hand out, stopped them. ‘I can care for myself, please,’ and she set about getting some food. They watched her closely.
In point of fact, she had never looked as well. She had entered her room as just an impossibly lovely girl. The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, and an ocean sadder. This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering.
She was eighteen. She was the most beautiful woman in a hundred years. She didn’t seem to care.
‘You’re all right?’ her mother asked.
Buttercup sipped her cocoa. ‘Fine,’ she said.
‘You’re sure?’ her father wondered.
‘Yes,’ Buttercup replied. There was a very long pause. ‘But I must never love again.’
She never did.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride
“I waited for dawn, but only because I had forgotten how hard mornings were. For a second I'd be normal. Then came the dim awareness of something off, out of place. Then the truth came crashing down and that was it for the rest of the day. Sunlight was reproof. Shouldn't I feel better than I had in the dead of night.”
― Francine Prose, Goldengrove
“Finnick and I sit for a long time in silence, watching the knots bloom and vanish, before I can ask, 'How do you bear it?'
Finnick looks at me in disbelief. 'I don't, Katniss! Obviously, I don't. I drag myself out of nightmares each morning and find there's no relief in waking.'
Something in my expression stops him.
'Better not give in to it. It takes ten times as long to put yourself together as it does to fall apart.'
Well, he must know. I take a deep breath, forcing myself back into one piece.”
― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
“What happens when you let go, when your strength leaves you and you sink into darkness, when there's nothing that you or anyone else can do, no matter how desperate you are, no matter how you try? Perhaps it's then, when you have neither pride nor power, that you are saved, brought to an unimaginably great reward.”
― Mark Halperin
“And then it was, that grief and pain made themselves known to me as never before. Note this, because I knew the full absurdity of Fate and Fortune and Nature more truly than a human can bear to know it. And perhaps the description of this, brief as it is, may give consolation to another. The worst takes its time to come, and then to pass. The truth is, you cannot prepare anyone for this, nor convey an understanding of it through language. It must be known. And this I would wish on no one in the world.”
― Anne Rice, Pandora
“It's better to keep grief inside. Grief inside works like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won't get it.”
― Hilary Thayer Hamann, Anthropology of an American Girl
“I know how much you grieve over those who are under your care: those you try to help and fail, those you cannot help. Have faith in God and remember that He will is His own way and in His own time complete what we so poorly attempt. Often we do not achieve for others the good that we intend but achieve something, something that goes on from our effort. Good is an overflow. Where we generously and sincerely intend it, we are engaged in a work of creation which may be mysterious even to ourselves - and because it is mysterious we may be afraid of it. But this should not make us draw back. God can always show us, if we will, a higher and a better way; and we can only learn to love by loving. Remember that all our failures are ultimately failures in love. Imperfect love must not be condemned and rejected but made perfect. The way is always forward, never back.”
― Iris Murdoch, The Bell
“Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example, 'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.
Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.”
― Pablo Neruda
“There is an hour, a minute - you will remember it forever - when you know instinctively on the basis of the most inconsequential evidence, that something is wrong. You don't know - can't know - that it is the first of a series of "wrongful" events that will culminate in the utter devastation of your life as you have known it.”
― Joyce Carol Oates, A Widow's Story
“That was the hard thing about grief, and the grieving. They spoke another language, and the words we knew always fell short of what we wanted them to say.”
― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
“Sometimes, there was no getting over it. Sometimes, you lived with the empty place inside of you until you imploded on it, loss as singularity, or until the empty place expanded and hollowed out the rest of you so thoroughly you became the walking dead, a ghost in your own life.”
― Caitlin Kittredge, Bone Gods
“We are not strong enough to stand up against endless grief, And yet pain is the constant drone of life. So if we are to have any happiness at all, it is only in the passing instant.”
― Charles Frazier
“She’d felt more pain from Nico in their brief connection than she had from her entire legion during the battle against the giant Polybotes.”
― Rick Riordan, The Blood of Olympus
“Now I know that grief is a whetstone that sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within.”
― Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You
“Not only had my brother disappeared, but--and bear with me here--a part of my very being had gone with him. Stories about us could, from them on, be told from only one perspective. Memories could be told but not shared.”
― John Corey Whaley, Where Things Come Back
“All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road
“Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief.”
― Alison Bechdel
“We all practice self-deception to a degree; no man can handle complete honesty without being cut at each turn. There's not enough room in a man's head for sanity alongside each grief, each worry, each terror that he owns. I’m well used to burying such things in a dark cellar and moving on.”
― Mark Lawrence, Prince of Fools
“Sometimes it’s heartbreaking to see your siblings as the people they’ve become. Maybe that’s why we all stay away from each other as a matter of course.”
― Jonathan Tropper
“The thing about dead people... The thing is you sound like a bastard if you don't romanticize them, but the truth is... complicated, I guess.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
“Her grief still burdened her, and she knew she would bear it the rest of her days.”
― Dana Fuller Ross, Independence!
“There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.”
― Roland Barthes
“Hearing him talk about his mother, about his intact family, makes my chest hurt for a second, like someone pierced it with a needle.”
― Veronica Roth, Divergent
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“And you do come out of it, that’s true. After a year, after five. But you don’t come out of it like a train coming out of a tunnel, bursting through the downs into sunshine and that swift, rattling descent to the Channel; you come out of it as a gull comes out of an oil-slick. You are tarred and feathered for life.”
― Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot
“My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“I knew what it was like to lose someone you loved. You didn't get past something like that, you got through it.”
― Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
“My grief was cold. It was nothing to share. It was nothing to speak about, nothing to feel.”
― Alice Hoffman, Green Angel
"There is no place for grief in a house which serves the Muse.”