Funeral Chaplain

A collection of resources for funerals and memorial services

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Home > Other Readings > Quotations


Quotations like these remind us that death comes to all, even the famous and well-known.  These quotes could help punctuate a sermon or eulogy, serve as an inscription on a gravestone, or be included on a prayer card or expression of sympathy.  You might consider choosing a quote from a person who was influential in the life of the deceased.


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Saul Alinsky

“Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you're free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in.”

Woody Allen

“There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?”

Stewart Alsop

“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.”

Corazon Aquino

“I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.”


“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.”


“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

Robert Benchley

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

Joan Borysenko

“The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live.”

Lynn Caine

“Since every death diminishes us a little, we grieve - not so much for the death as for ourselves”

Cato the Censor

“He who fears death has already lost the life he covets”

Charlie Chan

“Death, the one appointment we all must keep, and for which no time is set”

Susan Cheever

“Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time.”

Winston Churchill

“Death came very easily to her. She had lived such an innocent and loving life of service to others and held such a simple faith, that she had no fears at all and did not seem to mind very much.”

Robert Cody

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” 

Norman Cousins

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

E. E. Cummings

“Unbeing dead isn't being alive.”

Leonardo da Vinci

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”

“As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”

“Our life is made by the death of others.”

Emily Dickinson

“Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves and immortality.”

Albert Einstein

“The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead.”

T. S. Eliot

“When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.”

Haverlock Ellis

“Pain and death are part of life. To reject them is to reject life itself.”

Robert Fulghum

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge - myth is more potent than history - dreams are more powerful than facts - hope always triumphs over experience - laughter is the cure for grief - love is stronger than death”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Christian Furchtegott Gellert

“Live as you would have wished to live when you are dying”

Dr. Burton Grebin

“The death of a child is the single most traumatic event in medicine. To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself.”

Daq Hammarskjold

“Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.”

“In the last analysis, it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions that life puts to us”

Ernest Hemingway

“Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.”

Helen Keller

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“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.”

Harold Kushner

“I am convinced that it is not the fear of death, of our lives ending that haunts our sleep so much as the fear... that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well never have lived.”

G. Gordon Liddy

“They were afraid, never having learned what I taught myself: Defeat the fear of death and welcome the death of fear.”

John Oxenham

“For death begins with life's first breath And life begins at touch of death”

Pope Paul VI

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“Absence and death are the same - only that in death there is no suffering.”

Jerry Seinfeld

“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

Henry David Thoreau

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”

Mark Twain

“All say, how hard it is that we have to die - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live”

“Let us endeavor to live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry”


“Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.

“Life lives, life dies. Life laughs, life cries. Life gives up and life tries. But life looks different through everyone's eyes.”

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

Henry Van Dyke

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.



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