13 comforting loss of parents quotes to help with grief

Understand loss and love a little better with these comforting loss of parents quotes

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Let these loss of parents quotes be a comfort for those who are experiencing grief. The passing of a parent can be stressful, difficult, and strangely isolating, meaning family celebrations and special days such as Mother’s and Father’s Day can be tricky occasions to get through, especially if your parent has died recently.

Dealing with the loss of a parent can be difficult to cope with at any age, and prompt strong emotions including anxiety and depression, as well as conditions like sleep anxiety and insomnia. “Losing a parent has unparalleled effects on one’s sense of identity and mortality,” explains psychotherapist and grief expert, Comfort Shields of Doctify (opens in new tab). “The passing of a caregiver figure, can cause people feel like they don't quite know who they are anymore. 

"Throughout life, we commonly carry a sense of our parent's expectations and want to please them. When parents can no longer provide feedback and direction, it can leave you feeling confused about your role. However, the sense of responsibility that goes along with this newfound generational shift can also be positive and empowering if you take the time to work through the grieving process.” 

Support following the loss of a parent 

Grief can often feel debilitating when you're in the midst of it. Seeking support isn't always easy, but it's also necessary to lean on others when you're struggling. "Grief does not work to any time limits," says Shields. "Giving yourself time and space to grieve is important. During this period, you begin to rediscover who you are without your parent to lean on. It also makes you reexamine your priorities."

Sometimes, the most comforting thing you can do for yourself during the grieving process is to create rituals that remind you of your loved one. "You can honor the life lessons and memories of a parent by sharing stories with others or doing an activity in a parent’s honor such as planting a tree or cooking a favorite meal of theirs," suggests Shields. "This is a meaningful way to make sense of one’s loss and to pay tribute to a parent. Visiting childhood places, looking over photographs, and writing or painting are a few other methods that might be helpful for processing grief."  Self-help options, such as self-help books, podcasts, and online tools and communities can also help the healing process. 

Dealing with grief at Christmas time, on Mother's or Father's Day, and on birthdays or anniversaries can be particularly hard. But some people find comfort in knowing that grief is often a shared experience. Here are 13 comforting loss of parent quotes to get through the harder moments. 

13 comforting loss of parents quotes 

 1. 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

comforting loss of parents quote from Jandy Nelson

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American author Jandy Nelson is well known for her unique writing style and colorful characters. This quote originates from her novel The Sky Is Everywhere, which follows the story of 17-year-old Lennie Walker as she deals with the loss of her older sister.

2. Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality—Emily Dickinson

comforting loss of parents quote from Emily Dickenson

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Considered as one of the literary greats, American poet Emily Dickinson wrote often of death and grief. Her poem Unable are the Loved to die is a homage to how a loved one's death does not have to mean the end of their existence. 

3. Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy—Eskimo Proverb

comforting loss of parents quote from Eskimo Proverb

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4. The sun can break through the darkest cloud; love can brighten the gloomiest day—William Arthur Ward

comforting loss of parents quotes from William Arthur Ward

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American motivational writer William Ward is a great person to turn to if you're struggling to process your grief. With more than 100 articles, poems, and meditations published in places such as Readers Digest, his quotes are famed for their inspirational qualities. 

5. Death ends a life, not a relationship―Morrie Schwartz

loss of parents quote from Morrie Schwartz

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The loss of a parent can often feel like you lost a friend, caregiver, and advisor all in one. American professor Morrie Schwartz's approach to death was that it was not something to be feared, but something to be accepted and that loved ones will always live on in the memories of others. 

6. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened―Dr. Seuss

comforting loss of parents quotes from Dr. Seuss

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7. If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk in my own garden forever—Alfred Tennyson

comforting loss of parents quote from Alfred Tennyson

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English poet Alfred Tennyson often contemplated death and the impact it had on others. The quote above is thought to be a romantic sentiment, but it also strikes a chord for people who have lost a loved one and are in the process of dealing with their own grief. 

8. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly—Maya Angelou

comforting loss of parents quote from Maya Angelou

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Taken from When The Great Trees Fall, Maya Angelou's poem about loss and love, this quotation describes the clarity we gain after the death of a family member. It also reminds us that death is a shared experience and that time is key for healing. 

9. To have been loved so deeply even though the person who loved us is gone will give us some protection forever―J. K. Rowling

comforting loss of parents quotes from J. K. Rowling

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10. What is there to do when people die, people so dear and rare, but bring them back by remembering—May Sarton

comforting loss of parent quote from

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Author May Sarton often examined themes such as loss love, friendship and relationships in her work. Here she describes the power of memories and how helpful it can be to find ways to honor a loved one's passing.

11. Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom—Rumi 

comforting loss of parents quote from Rumi

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12. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms—Paulo Coelho

compassionate loss of parents quote from Paulo Coelho

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Famous for his bestselling novel The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho is a writer well-versed in finding comfort in life's darker moments. The above quotation comes from his novel Aleph, which is an autobiographical account of Coelho's beginnings as a writer.

13. Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart—Jose N. Harris

compassionate loss of parent quote from Jose N. Harris

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w&h thanks Doctify- reviewed Comfort Shields, chartered psychologist and registered psychotherapist in Central London. 

Stacey Carter is a health and wellbeing writer, who works across UK health titles including Natural Health Woman and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. In her spare time, she freelances for other lifestyle brands, including Womanandhome.com.