Death (quotes)

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Death is life’s greatest certainty

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Death is life’s only true certainty …

  • The only thing certain in life is death and taxes. Ben Franklin
  • In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin
  • There is nothing certain in a man’s life but that he must lose it. Owen Meredith
  • The only certainty life contains is death. Patricia Briggs
  • The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death. M. Forster
  • Here is a small fact. You are going to die.  Markus Zusak
  • Death was far more certain than God. Graham Greene
  • Death … was the only kept promise out of all life’s false starts and switchbacks, all there was at the end of the dusty road. William Gay
  • Death is the only inescapable, unavoidable, sure thing. We are sentenced to die the day we’re born. Gary Mark Gilmore
  • We are all part of the ultimate statistic – ten out of ten die.
  • Contemplate the fleetingness of lifeImpermanenceLossGriefDarkness
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… for all lives end sooner or later

  • All good things pass away. Philip Pullman
  • All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. William Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. Chuck Palahniuk
  • Everybody is going to be dead one day, just give them time. Neil Gaiman
  • And last of all comes death. Anareon
  • I dream of the face of Death. It’s an ever-changing face, worn by many at the wrong time, worn by all eventually. Cody Mcfadyen
  • Cause I swear that I’m dying, slowly but its happening. Conor Oberst
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To be human is to be mortal …

  • A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies of being a man. Miguel de Unamuno
  • Death lies dormant in each of us and will bloom in time. Dean Koontz
  • Golden lads and girls all must / As chimney-sweepers come to dust. William Shakespeare
  • The harsh truth is that the cause of death is birth. David Hockney
  • I’ve got death inside me. It’s just a question of whether or not I can outlive it. Don DeLillo
  • Death is part of who we are. It guides us. It shapes us. It drives us to madness. Can you still be human if you have no mortal end. Christopher Paolini
  • Dying men think of funny things–and that’s what we all are here, aren’t we? Dying men? Tad Williams
  • Life: A continuous series of disasters which result in one’s death. Mamie Van Doren
  • Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time. George Carlin
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… and no one ever escapes from life alive

  • No one escapes from life alive. Michael Crichton
  • Death is like an arrow that is already in flight, and your life lasts only until it reaches you. Georg Hermes
  • Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent. D. Laing
  • No one here gets out alive. Jim Morrison
  • After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. B. White
  • In life, more than in anything else, it isn’t easy to end up alive. Roman Payne
  • Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink. Shunryu Suzuki
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We start dying at the moment we are born

  • Birth is the beginning of death. Thomas Fuller
  • As soon as one is born, one starts dying. Luigi Pirandello
  • The end is in the beginning and yet you go on. Samuel Beckett
  • Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the grave. Joseph Hall
  • A man begins dying at the moment of his birth. Most people live in denial of Death’s patient courtship until, late in life and deep in sickness, they become aware of him sitting bedside. Dean Koonz
  • Death is contagious; it is contracted the moment we are conceived. Madeleine L’Engle
  • Death is the only inescapable, unavoidable, sure thing. We are sentenced to die the day we’re born. Gary Mark Gilmore
  • He that begins to live, begins to die. Francis Quarles
  • In every cradle decked with rosy wreath Lurk germs of death. Victor Hugo
  • The seeds of Death are sown in us when we begin to live, and grow up till, like rampant weeds, they choke the tender flower of life. Samuel Richardson
  • The harsh truth is that the cause of death is birth. David Hockney
  • The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying. Jean Cocteau
  • The cure for death is not being born. J. Parker
  • Nothing is born which Death makes not subject of his state. Bhartrhari
  • The day of your birth leads you to death as well as to life. Michel de Montaigne
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Death is the great equaliser 

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Death is the great equaliser for it levels all distinctions …

  • Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. Italian Proverb
  • In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.   John James Ingalls
  • Death and dice level all distinction. Samuel Foote
  • As men, we are all equal in the presence of death. Publilius Syrus
  • Death doesn’t care about personalities – he’s more interested in meeting quotas. Jasper Fforde
  • Death makes equal the high and low. John Heywood
  • How terrible is Death to one man, yet to another it appears the greatest providence in nature; even to all ages and conditions it is the wish of some, relief of many, and the end of all. It puts us all upon a level; the prince and peasant are doomed to the same fate. Wellins Calcott
  • When the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box. Italian Proverb
  • No matter who you are, you will be put abed at last with a shovel. Austin O’Malley
  • When death comes, it respects neither age nor merit. It sweeps from this earthly existence the sick and the strong, the rich and the poor, and should teach us to be prepared for death.  Andrew Jackson
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… cannot be bribed or bargained with …

  • All the gold in the world cannot buy a dying man one more breath—so what does that make today worth? Og Mandino
  • Death doesn’t bargain. August Strindberg
  • Death is the only sovereign whom no partiality can warp, and no price corrupt. Charles Caleb Colton
  • Death takes no bribes. Benjamin Franklin
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… and no matter what your status, cannot be evaded or undone

  • A man’s life breath cannot come back again– no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man’s clenched teeth. Homer, The Iliad
  • There is one who remembers the way to your door: Life you may evade, but Death you shall not. S. Eliot
  • While life could be evaded, death could not. Dean Koontz
  • Death aims only once, but never misses. Edward Counsel
  • Death walks faster than the wind and never returns what he has taken. Hans Christian Andersen
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The fear of death

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We humans are the only animals who are preoccupied with the idea of death

  • All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing. Maurice Maeterlinck
  • Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. Voltaire
  • Death–some form of termination–is the universal ending of all living things; but only man, by virtue of his verbally reportable introspective life, can conceptualize his own cessation. Edwin Shneidman
  • We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth’s creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still. Lewis Thomas
  • No sense of the irony of human experience, that we are the highest form of life on earth, and yet ineffably sad because we know what no other animal knows, that we must die. Don DeLillo
  • What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met. David Levithan
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Most of us have a deep fear of death …

  • Death anxiety is the mother of all religions, which, in one way or another, attempt to temper the anguish of our finitude. Irvin D. Yalom
  • Death ends at last the fear of it. Edward Counsel
  • Death is repose, but the thought of death disturbs all repose. Cesare Pavese
  • Death is the tyrant of the imagination. Barry Cornwall
  • What happens when the thought of death occurs, this very simple and basic thought about death, that I will most certainly die, and that you will most certainly die, is that all these other questions are stripped down to basic, that the very basis for knowledge and existence is shivering, whether one is trembling in tears for another or oneself shivering in anxiety and awe. Hence, at the end we return to the place where we began, at the graveside. Marius Timmann Mjaaland
  • The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity – designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man. Ernest Becker
  • Fear
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… especially the ego within us for it equates death with an annihilation of the self

  • Ego is a ghost who is terrified of dying. Mooji
  • Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the egos fear of death, of annihilation.  To the ego, death is always just around the corner.  In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Whenever ego suffers from fear of death and your practice turns to seeing impermanence, ego settles down. Tsoknyi Rinpoche
  • The ego is frightened by death, because ego is part of the incarnation and ends with it. That is why we learn to identify with our soul, as the soul continues after death. For the soul, death is just another moment. Ram Das
  • Transcending the ego
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We are especially afraid of the act of dying

  • It hath been often said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible. Henry Fielding
  • Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. Matthew Arnold
  • I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens. Woody Allen
  • In death, itself there can be nothing terrible, for the act of death annihilates sensation; but there are many roads to death, and some of them justly formidable, even to the bravest. Charles Caleb Colton
  • Most of us were not afraid of death, only of the act of dying; and there were times when we overcame even this fear. At such moments, we were free–men without shadows, dismissed from the ranks of the mortal; it was the most complete experience of freedom that can be granted a man. Arthur Koestler
  • Tell me, Doctor, are you afraid of death? I guess it depends on how you die.   Haruki Murakami
  • I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death. Francis Bacon
  • Death didn’t bother me much. Strong Christian and all that. Method of death did. Being eaten alive. One of my top three ways not to go out. Laurell K. Hamilton
  • I’m not afraid of being dead. I’m just afraid of what you might have to go through to get there. Pamela Bone
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The fear of death is at the subconscious heart of many of our worries, stresses, and conflicts

  • Death, however, does itch. It itches all the time. It is always with us, scratching at some inner door. Mirroring, softly, barely audibly, just under the membrane of consciousness. Hidden in disguise, leaking out in a variety of symptoms. It is the wellspring of many of our worries, stresses, and conflicts. Irvin D. Yalom
  • We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still. Lewis Thomas
  • The subconsciousWorryStress
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The fear of death is at the subconscious heart of many of our defences and motives

  • It’s not easy to live every moment wholly aware of death. It’s like trying to stare the sun in the face: you can stand only so much of it. Because we cannot live frozen in fear, we generate methods to soften death’s terror. We project ourselves into the future through our children; we grow rich, famous, ever larger; we develop compulsive protective rituals; or we embrace an impregnable belief in an ultimate rescuer. Irvin D. Yalom
  • Despite the staunchest, most venerable defences, we can never completely subdue death anxiety: it is always there, lurking in some hidden ravine of the mind. Irvin D. Yalom
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The fear of death is at the heart of much of our religion

  • Whether we like it or not, the one justification for the existence of all religions is death, they need death as much as we need bread to eat. José Saramago
  • The fear of death has been raised too much and set up on high, especially by preachers, like the brazen serpent in the wilderness over the heads of the Israelites; but not with so good excuse as that symbol had, for this fear has not been curative, I think, nor made into pleasant or graceful shape, but rather a horrid spectacle, to affright people. For that men can be frightened into piety has been one of the legacies of religion which barbarous ages have bequeathed us plentifully. James Vila Blake
  • Most of the world’s religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness. Lao Tzu
  • Religion
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We fear death as something awful …

  • Death has an energy. It is thick as sludge, heavy as iron, and pulls you down into yourself like an imploding building. Victoria Laurie
  • Death strips all men of dignity. Tobsha Learner
  • Death is a Pepsi truck with no place to go. Dying is wham, feeling like the world’s biggest fuck-up and being jerked up and out of it all. Like a puppy being lifted out of its box by the nape of its neck. Like a chess piece being removed from the board by an angry player. Wham, jerk, gone. Dan Simmons
  • Life is hard, but death is even harder. Peter Kreeft
  • Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Bertrand Russell
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… as something painful and heavy …

  • Are not the thoughts of the dying often turned towards the practical, painful, obscure, visceral aspect, towards the “seamy side” of death which is, as it happens, the side that death actually presents to them and forces them to feel, and which far more closely resembles a crushing burden, a difficulty in breathing, a destroying thirst, than the abstract idea to which we are accustomed to give the name of Death? Marcel Proust
  • No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found. Samuel Beckett
  • Death is a child of stone. Evelyn Scott
  • Pleasure is life, and pain is death. Minot Judson Savage
  • Death is always and under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means that life itself has become one. Theodore Roosevelt
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… as something gloomy and deadly serious …

  • Death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of loneliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart. Truman Capote
  • Death is real. Death changes things. Everything else is filler, merely a message from our sponsor. Michael Marshall
  • It is impossible to experience one’s death objectively and still carry a tune. Woody Allen
  • How dreadful is the prospect of death, at the remotest distance! How the smallest apprehensions of it can pall the most gay, airy, and brisk spirits! even I, who thought I could have been merry in sight of my coffin, and drink a health with the sexton in my own grave, now tremble at the least envoy of the king of terrors. To see but the shaking of my glass makes me turn pale … all the jollity of my humour and conversation is turned on a sudden into chagrin and melancholy, black as despair, and gloomy as the grave. Wellins Calcott
  • Life is both sad and solemn. We are led into a wonderful world, we meet one another here, greet each other – and wander together for a brief moment. Then we lose each other and disappear as suddenly and unreasonably as we arrived. Jostein Gaarder
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We fear death as something final

  • Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
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We fear death as an enemy …

  • Death is the last enemy: once we’ve got past that I think everything will be alright. Alice Thomas Ellis
  • The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. K. Rowling
  • Taunting Death … means pitting oneself against a wily enemy who cannot lose. K. Rowling
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… as some kind of fearful and shadowy person or entity …

  • Death’s gang is bigger and tougher than anyone else’s. Always has been and always will be. Death’s the man. Michael Marshall
  • Death tripped down the corridor, changing step, struck out here and there, danced pirouettes; often I felt his breath on my face when he was miles away; often I fell asleep and dreamed while he stood leaning over my bed. Arthur Koestler
  • Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land or a poet who is a stranger among his people. Khalil Gibran
  • ‘Hey Death – is that a sickle in your hand or are you just glad to see me?’
  • No man knows where the Castle of King Death is. All men and women, boys and girls, and even little wee children should so live that when they have to enter the Castle and see the grim King, they may not fear to behold his face. Bram Stoker
  • Death doesn’t care about personalities – he’s more interested in meeting quotas. Jasper Fforde
  • A small piece of truth. I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.  Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
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… as some kind of thief …

  • They say death comes like a thief in the night, where is he? I’ll hug his neck. Cormac Mccarthy
  • Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal.
  • Into the chilly, artificial air, death slipped and snuck–the god of all thieves. D. Robb
  • Remember that every day contains a universe of potential; exhaust it. Live and love so immensely that when death comes there is nothing left for him to take. Wealth is love, music, sports, learning, family and freedom. Above all, stay gold. Dominic Owen Mallary
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… as some kind of fearful monster …

  • Death is the monster we all fear, yet with each day, we walk toward it, and can’t help doing so; we can’t help but walk toward the one thing we’re most trying to avoid. Bill Maher
  • Death is when the monsters get you. Stephen Kingt
  • Death will come and it will have your eyes. Cesare Pavese
  • In literature and in art, alike, this gloomy fashion of regarding Death has been characteristic of Christianity. Death has been painted as a skeleton grasping a scythe, a grinning skull, a threatening figure with terrible face and uplifted dart, a bony scarecrow shaking an hour-glass- -all that could alarm and repel has been gathered round this rightly- named King of Terrors.  Annie Wood Besant
  • Death … doesn’t take her eyes off us for a minute, so much so that even those who are not yet due to die feel her gaze pursuing them constantly. José Saramago
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… that can swoop down at any time …

  • Death hides within every religion. And at any time, it can flash forth–not with healing in its wings but with poison, with that which wounds. Philip K. Dick
  • Death will swoop on you so swiftly. Gather merit till that moment comes! For even if you then throw off your indolence, What will you do when there is no more time? Bodhisattva
  • Death comes black and hard, rushing down on me from the future, with no possible chance of escape. David Gerrold
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… often coming far too soon …

  • Death commences too early–almost before you’re half acquainted with life–you meet the other. Tennessee Williams
  • Death comes black and hard, rushing down on me from the future, with no possible chance of escape. David Gerrold
  • No matter how much you’ve been warned, Death always comes without knocking. Why now? is the cry. Why so soon? It’s the cry of a child being called home at dusk. Margaret Atwood
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… as some kind of omnipotent God …

  • Where is no god but death. Maxwell Anderson
  • Death was far more certain than God. Graham Greene
  • Death is the only god that comes when you call. Roger Zelazny
  • God
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… or even as some kind of devil …

  • Death is not regarded as a natural affair by primitive man. Death is believed to be due to the intervention of some malevolent or at least not well-disposed power. Normally it should not take place. So we have all through history crude explanations of death, as e.g., the influence of the serpent, the devil, sin. Joseph Alexander Leighton
  • Death is the greatest evil; because it cuts off hope. William Hazlitt
  • In the whole course of our observation there is not so misrepresented and abused a personage as death. Some have styled him the king of terrors, when he might with less impropriety have been termed the terror of kings; others have dreaded him as an evil without end, although it was in their own power to make him the end of all evil. He has been vilified as the cause of anguish, consternation, and despair; but these, alas, are things that appertain not unto death, but unto life. How strange a paradox is this, we love the distemper and loathe the remedy, preferring the fiercest buffetings of the hurricane to the tranquillity of the harbour. Charles Caleb Colton
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We fear death because it is life’s greatest unknown

  • It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more. K. Rowling
  • Birth and death; we all move between these two unknowns. Bryant H. McGill
  • Death is the side of life which is turned away from us. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear, / To be we know not what, we know not where. John Dryden
  • He had no conscious knowledge of death, but like every animal of the Wild, he possessed the instinct of death. To him it stood as the greatest of hurts. It was the very essence of the unknown; it was the sum of the terrors of the unknown, the one culminating and unthinkable catastrophe that could happen to him, about which he knew nothing and about which he feared everything. Jack London, White Fang
  • Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. Francis Bacon
  • Death is an absolute mystery. We are all vulnerable to it, it’s what makes life interesting and suspenseful. Jeanne Moreau
  • The unknown
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We fear death as oblivion …

  • Death is the stone into which our oblivion hardens. Pablo Neruda
  • Man dies. Come from darkness, into darkness he returns, and is reabsorbed, without a trace left, into the illimitable void of time. Leonid Andreyev
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… as something that will strip us of all that we are …

  • Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography,” our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are? Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?  Sogyal Rinpoche
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… including the memories of our most treasured moments

  • In any man who dies there dies with him, his first snow and kiss and fight. Not people die but worlds die in them. Yevgeny Yevtushenko
  • We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.  Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
  • Every loss which we incur leaves behind it vexation in the memory, save the greatest loss of all, that is, death, which annihilates the memory, together with life. Leonardo da Vinci
  • Memory
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We fear death as the loss of our precious life and all we love

  • It’s not that we have to quit this life one day, it’s how many things we have to quit all at once: holding hands, hotel rooms, music, the physics of falling leaves, vanilla and jasmine, poppies, smiling, anthills, the color of the sky, coffee and cashmere, literature, sparks and subway trains… If only one could leave this life slowly! Roman Payne
  • Death is the loss of everything all at once. Julie Salamon
  • When you die it’s the end of your life. Sam Shepard
  • The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it. Ernest Hemingway
  • YOU FEAR TO DIE? “It’s not that I don’t want… I mean, I’ve always…it’s just that life is a habit that’s hard to break…” Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
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We fear death as something we’ll have to do alone

  • We must die alone. To the very verge of the stream our friends may accompany us; they may bend over us, they may cling to us there; but that one long wave from the sea of eternity washes up to the lips, sweeps us from the shore, and we go forth alone! In that untried and utter solitude, then, what can there be for us but the pulsation of that assurance, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me! H. Chapin
  • Everyone dies alone. That’s what it is. It’s a door. It’s one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone. But it doesn’t mean you’ve got to be alone before you go through the door. And believe me, you aren’t alone on the other side. Jim Butcher
  • Things change after you die, though, I guess because dying is the loneliest thing you can do. Lauren Oliver
  • They had, finally, the only thing anyone really wants in life: someone to hold your hand when you die. Lorrie Moore
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All in all, we fear death as something to avoid at all costs

  • Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it. Somerset Maugham
  • Death is like an old whore in a bar–I’ll buy her a drink but I won’t go upstairs with her. Ernest Hemingway
  • Delaying death is one of my favourite hobbies. Rick Riordan
  • I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying. Woody Allen
  • I’m going to live forever – or die in the attempt. Joseph Heller
  • I don’t know what’s waiting for us when we die–something better, something worse. I only know I’m not ready to find out yet. Charles De Lint
  • I don’t mean to imply that I’m afraid of Death. I’m just not ready to go out on a date with him. Dean Koontz
  • I don’t want to die. Damn death. Long live life! James Joyce
  • We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. Albert Einstein
  • Shun death, is my advice. Robert Browning
  • Better to flee from death than feel its grip. Homer, The Iliad
  • A man falling off a cliff to certain death will stretch out a hand even to his worst enemy. R obert Jordan
  • No one can say that death found in me a willing comrade, or that I went easily. Cassandra Clare
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Fear of death comes at a cost

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Fear of death causes us to die many times before we die

  • He who doesn’t fear death dies only once. Giovanni Falcone
  • If I am killed, I can die but once; but to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again. Abraham Lincoln
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Fear of death stops us from living fully

  • You want to live—but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead? Seneca
  • In the end, living is defined by dying. Bookended by oblivion, we are caught in the vice of terror, squeezed to bursting by the approaching end. Bernard Beckett
  • The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive. Ernest Becker
  • It is better to be killed than frightened to death. Robert S. Surtees
  • We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by standing in awe of death. David Sarnoff
  • To avoid pain, they avoid pleasure. To avoid death, they avoid life. Osho
  • The thought of death deceives us; for it causes us to neglect to live. Luc De Clapiers, Marquis De Vauvenargues
  • Spending your life concentrating on death is like watching a whole movie and thinking only about the credits that are going to roll at the end. It’s a mistake of emphasis. Nicholson Baker
  • Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live. Henry Van Dyke
  • If you spend all your time worrying about dying, living isn’t going to be much fun.
  • Any guy afraid to die was a guy who was afraid to live. Joann Ross
  • Being fully alive
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The fear of death is far more dreadful than death itself

  • Death: There’s nothing bad about it at all except the thing that comes before it—the fear of it. Seneca
  • He that shrinks from the grave with too great a dread, has an invisible fear behind him pushing him into it. Christian Nestell Bovee
  • The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself. Publilius Syrus
  • The Fear of Death often proves Mortal. Joseph Addison
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Transcending the fear of death

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The time has come to stop seeing death as something awful and fearful

  • Death is a great revealer of what is in a man, and in its solemn shadow appear the naked lineaments of the soul. H. Chapin
  • Death is an antidote for this life, and it makes another more stable form of life which is insoluble in everything. Austin O’Malley
  • Even death has a heart. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
  • Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back. Marcus Aurelius
  • We have the promises of God as thick as daisies in summer meadows, that death, which men most fear, shall be to us the most blessed of experiences, if we trust in him. Death is unclasping; joy, breaking out in the desert; the heart, come to its blossoming time! Do we call it dying when the bud bursts into flower? Henry Ward Beecher
  • Death stands above me, whispering low I know not what into my ear; Of his strange language all I know Is, there is not a word of fear. Walter Savage Landor
  • When the time comes, I will know that death is a homecoming, not a wrench that leaves a bruise on my spirit. Death is not the shadow but the light beyond the shadow.  My spirit will return to its resting place in a long, slow glide toward peace.  Scottish meditation
  • Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. Epicurus
  • Death is nothing to fear. It is only another dimension. Wayne Dyer
  • How strange this fear of death is! We are never frightened at a sunset. George MacDonald
  • We might remember … not to fear death; it is the only way to be cleansed. Robinson Jeffers
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Transcending the fear of death is deeply healing and transformative

  • Coming to terms with the fear of death is conducive to healing, positive personality transformation, and consciousness evolution. Stanislav Grof
  • Healing and positive life change comes from having the courage and spiritual conviction to look squarely at life’s impermanence. Meredith Young Sowers
  • When you overcome the fear of death, you overcome all fear. Matt Benson
  • What greater gift is there than to demonstrate you need not fear death? Frank Herbert
  • If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Lao Tzu
  • Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death. Erik H. Erikson
  • Healing
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Transcend the fear of death by realising that death is a benign part of nature

  • Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life. John Muir
  • In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death.   Sam Llewelyn
  • When you look at death through eyes of wisdom, you see that it is cyclical like the seasons. Letting go of the body is just like dropping off a heavy coat in springtime. J. Goldwag
  • God has created too few unmixed evils to warrant the belief that death is one of them. In all things else in nature, goodness so abounds that we are authorized to infer that it does not stop even at the grave. It is only that her footprints have become invisible. Christian Nestell Bovee
  • Man is like the foam of the sea, that floats upon the surface of the water. When the wind blows, it vanishes, as if it had never been. Thus are our lives blown away by Death. Kahlil Gibran
  • So fades a summer cloud away; So sinks the gale when storms are o’er; So gently shuts the eye of day; So dies a wave along the shore. Anna Letitia Barbauld
  • Do not fear death, but welcome it, since it too comes from nature. For just as we are young and grow old, and flourish and reach maturity, have teeth and a beard and grey hairs, conceive, become pregnant, and bring forth new life, and all the other natural processes that follow the seasons of our existence, so also do we have death.  A thoughtful person will never take death lightly, impatiently, or scornfully, but will wait for it as one of life’s natural processes.  Marcus Aurelius
  • Nature
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Transcend the fear of death by realising that death can be sacred and beautiful

  • I have seen many die, surrounded by loved ones, and their last words were ‘I love you.’ There were some who could no longer speak yet with their eyes and soft smile left behind that same healing message. I have been in rooms where those who were dying made it feel like sacred ground. Stephen Levine
  • Beauty
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Transcend the fear of death by realising that being dead may be no different from not being born yet

  • I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. Mark Twain
  • There was a time when we were not: this gives us no concern – why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be? William Hazlitt
  • I don’t fear death because I don’t believe there is anything on the other side of death to fear. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting.  Roger Ebert
  • Life is a spark between two identical voids, the darkness before birth and the one after death. Irvin D. Yalom
  • After your death, you will be what you were before your birth. Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Being dead will be no different from being unborn — I shall be just as I was in the time of William the Conqueror or the dinosaurs or the trilobites. There is nothing to fear in that. Richard Dawkins
  • Death is feared as birth is forgotten. Doug Horton
  • It is equally pointless to weep because we won’t be alive a hundred years from now as that we were not here a hundred years ago. Michel de Montaigne
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Transcend the fear of death by more fully embracing and enjoying life

  • Death loses its terror if one dies when one has consummated one’s life! Irvin D. Yalom
  • Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. Natalie Babbitt
  • Dying–shucks! If you can handle the living, what’s to be afraid of the dying? Robert Penn Warren
  • Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. Gautama Buddha
  • He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived. Franz Kafka
  • Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of the earth and the life upon it, that I cannot think of heaven and the angels. Pearl S. Buck
  • People living deeply have no fear of death. Anais Nin
  • The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain
  • You want to live—but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead? Seneca
  • Why shed tears that you must die? For if your past life has been one of enjoyment, and if all your pleasures have not passed through your mind, as through a sieve, and vanished, leaving not a rack behind, why then do you not, like a thankful guest, rise cheerfully from life’s feast, and with a quiet mind go take your rest.  Lucretius
  • Embrace life
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Transcend the fear of death by fulfilling your potential

  • The death anxiety of many people is fuelled … by disappointment at never having fulfilled their potential. Many people are in despair because their dreams didn’t come true, and they despair even more that they did not make them come true. A focus on this deep dissatisfaction is often the starting point in overcoming death anxiety. Irvin D. Yalom
  • Potential
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Transcend the fear of death by living a virtuous life

  • How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue! Joseph Addison
  • If thou hadst a good conscience thou wouldst not greatly fear death. Thomas A. Kempis
  • Death is just–to the just. Edward Counsel
  • Death is release, if you’ve lived all right. Edward Albee
  • Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity. Nelson Mandela
  • Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
  • Death, a cause of terror to the sinner, is a blessed moment for him who has walked in the right path. James Joyce
  • Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion to death. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • If a man should wanton walk with crime … he shall find in death no great deliverance. Aeschylus
  • Virtue
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Transcend the fear of death by building character

  • Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. But, once realise what the true object is in life — that it is not pleasure, not knowledge, not even fame itself, ‘that last infirmity of noble minds’ —but that it is the development of character, the rising to a higher, nobler, purer standard, the building-up of the perfect Man — and then, so long as we feel that this is going on, and will (we trust) go on for evermore, death has for us no terror; it is not a shadow, but a light; not an end, but a beginning! Lewis Carroll
  • Character
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Transcend the fear of death by coming to accept death …

  • Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. Miyamoto Musashi
  • Ignorance and fear of death overshadow life, while knowing and accepting death erases this shadow. Lily Pincus
  • You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying. J. K. Rowling
  • Win the game of life; let your mind surrender and accept death. Sri Guru Granth Sahib
  • To will the obligatory in relation to death is to fall in line with the major immutable cycles of Nature, especially human nature, and to understand that (whether or not there is a purpose or meaning to life or a life of the spirit beyond the life of the body) no one, absolutely no one, escapes being finite and mortal. And knowing this, and then to accept it, to will it, and not to be in an unnecessary state of angst or rebellion or terror over it. Edwin Shneidman
  • We treat death as a tragedy, as an ending of the good times. But what if we could think of it as it really is in nature, a process of physical change, an inevitable transformation, something you cannot alter and so must accept?  Then it’s possible to look directly at it instead of turning away in fear, to examine it instead of shunning it in denial. Mark Forstater
  • In accepting death as inevitable, we don’t label it as a good thing or a bad thing. As one of my teachers once said to me, “Death happens. It is just death, and how we meet it is up to us. Joan Halifax
  • Acceptance
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… by letting go of the need to label death as good or bad …

  • In accepting death as inevitable, we don’t label it as a good thing or a bad thing. As one of my teachers once said to me, “Death happens. It is just death, and how we meet it is up to us. Joan Halifax
  • Treat Death as it treats us: with utter indifference. Stephen Evans
  • Let go of the need to judge things as good or bad
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… by realising death is not an entity to be feared.  Death is not anything.

  • Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing. Ray Bradbury
  • Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over… Death is not anything… death is not… It’s the absence of presence, nothing more… the endless time of never coming back… a gap you can’t see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes not sound. Tom Stoppard
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See death as a natural part of life

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Death is not the opposite of life but a natural part of life …

  • Death is part and parcel of life. With every death comes a new birth; with every birth comes an eventual death. Don’t mourn the dead. Celebrate the fact that they lived. Celestine Chua
  • There is no life without death. Kyle Idleman
  • The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation. Hermann Hesse
  • Life and death make a meaningful whole. Etty Hillesum
  • Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it. Haruki Murakami
  • It’s not contagious, you know. Death is as natural as life. It’s part of the deal we made. Mitch Albom
  • Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. YODA
  • Death is the side of life which is turned away from us. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Death is the sleeping partner of life. Eliza Cook
  • Death is by no means separate from life. . . . We all interact with death every day, tasting it as we might a wine, feeling its keen edge even in trifling losses and disappointments, holding it by the hand, as a dancer might a partner, in every separation. Eugene Kennedy
  • For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. Kahlil Gibran
  • God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled.
  • Who knows but life be that which men call death, / And death what men call life? Euripides
  • The only religious way to think of death is as part and parcel of life; to regard it, with the understanding and the emotions, as the inviolable condition of life. Thomas Mann
  • What is Death? Death is the ending of life. When people die, their bodies stop working. The heart stops beating and the brain stops functioning. People have always wanted to learn the secret of living forever. In ancient times, explorers and scientists searched for the secret of eternal life. The truth is, nothing can live forever. Everyone and everything will die in time. Plants, animals, and people all die. Death is a natural part of life. Joanne Mattern
  • The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? Edgar Allan Poe
  • That’s life. Still the best alternative to death. Cody Mcfadyen
  • Life and death are different sides of the same coin. Neil Gaiman
  • When one existentially awakens from within, the relation of birth-and-death is not seen as a sequential change from the former to the latter. Rather, living as it is, is no more than dying, and at the same time there is no living separate from dying. This means that life itself is death and death itself is life. That is, we do not shift sequentially from birth to death, but undergo living-dying in each and every moment. Masao Abe
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… as natural as birth …

  • Death is not an anomaly or the most dreadful of all events as modern culture would have you believe, but the most natural thing in the world, inseparable from and just as natural as its polarity – Remind yourself of this when you sit with a dying person.  It is a great privilege and a sacred act to be present at a person’s death as a witness and companion.  Eckhart Tolle
  • It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other. Francis Bacon
  • Just as when we come into the world, when we die we are afraid of the unknown. But the fear is something from within us that has nothing to do with reality. Dying is like being born: just a change. Isabel Allende
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… as much a miracle as birth …

  • Every life is framed by two mysteries. Only one of them, birth, is considered a miracle…. The other mystery that occurs, usually decades later, death, is very different. It brings to an end all the things birth struggled so hard to achieve. A thready heartbeat crosses an invisible line and becomes still. The bellows of the lungs, which have pumped some 700 million times, refuse to pump even once more. A hundred billion neurons cease to fire; a trillion billion cells throughout the body receive the news that their mission is over. Yet this abrupt finale is as much a mystery as birth, for at the moment life ends, 99% of our cells are typically still functional…. Some cells don’t even get the news for some time. If the dead person is revived within ten minutes or so, before the brain gets permanently damaged by hypoxia, the body’s machinery will go back to work as if nothing had happened. Deepak Chopra
  • Science regards man as an aggregation of atoms temporarily united by a mysterious force called the life-principle. To the materialist the only difference between a living and a dead body is, that in the one case that force is active, in the other latent. When it is extinct or entirely latent, the molecules obey a superior attraction, which draws them asunder and scatters them through space. This dispersion must be death, if it is possible to conceive such a thing as death where the very molecules of the dead body manifest an intense vital energy. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
  • Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that’s a miracle. But of course, if someone is killed by a freak chain of events — the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there — that must also be a miracle. Just because it’s not nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous. Terry Pratchett
  • Life is a miracle and marvel
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… and as much a mystery as birth …

  • Birth, life and death – each took place on the hidden side of a leaf. Toni Morrison
  • Birth, death, and suffering all bring us to the very edge of what our minds can understand. Baba Ram Dass
  • Death is an absolute mystery. We are all vulnerable to it, it’s what makes life interesting and suspenseful. Jeanne Moreau
  • Death is the side of life which is turned away from us. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Death, like birth, is one of nature’s mysteries, the combining of primal elements and dissolving of the same into the same. Marcus Aurelius
  • Death, like generation, is a secret of Nature. Marcus Aurelius
  • Mystery
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Death and birth are simply different aspects of the same state

  • Death is not the opposite of life. It is the opposite of birth.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Death is feared as birth is forgotten. Doug Horton
  • Death belongs to life as birth does. Rabindranth Tagore
  • Birth and death are not two different states, but they are different aspects of the same state. Mohandas K. Gandhi
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The peace of death

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Death is inherently peaceful …

  • Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace. Oscar Wilde
  • Death is Peaceful, Life is Harder. Stephenie Meyer, Twilight
  • Always the idea of unbroken quiet broods around the grave. It is a port where the storms of life never beat, and the forms that have been tossed on its chafing waves lie quiet forevermore. There the child nestles peacefully as ever it lay in its mother’s arms, and the workman’s hands lie still by his side, and the thinker’s brain is pillowed in silent mystery, and the poor girl’s broken heart is steeped in a balm that extracts its secret woe, and is in the keeping of a charity that covers all blame. E. H. Chapin, Living Words
  • Death is repose, but the thought of death disturbs all repose. Cesare Pavese
  • I shall soon be laid in the quiet grave–thank God for the quiet grave–O! I can feel the cold earth upon me–the daisies growing over me– O for this quiet–it will be my first. John Keats
  • No matter what the circumstances of our death, we overcome the horrors of our lives and find peace at last. Rosemary Altea
  • Inner peace
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… an escape of worldly pain and cares …

  • We do not need to grieve for the dead. Why should we grieve for them? They are now in a place where there is no more shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation, or pain. They are home. John O’Donohue
  • Death is the end of every worldly pain. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
  • Unjustly men hate death, which is the greatest defence against their many ills. Aeschylus
  • Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Call no man happy till he is dead. Aeschylus
  • Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console. Charles Caleb Colton
  • Pain
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… a kind of deep rest …

  • Sleep would be so welcome. A warm blanket of black to erase everything else. Sleep without dreams. I’ve heard people talk about the sleep of the dead. Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that’s what it’s like, I wouldn’t mind. If that’s what dying is like, I wouldn’t mind that at all. Gayle Forman, If I Stay
  • Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men. Herodotus
  • Death is the sleeping partner of life. Eliza Cook
  • Death envies those asleep in her … Extinguished softly in her womb. Evelyn Scott
  • When the time comes, I will know that death is a homecoming, not a wrench that leaves a bruise on my spirit. Death is not the shadow but the light beyond the shadow.  My spirit will return to its resting place in a long, slow glide toward peace.  Scottish meditation
  • There is nothing frightening about an eternal dreamless sleep. Surely it is better than eternal torment in Hell and eternal boredom in Heaven. Isaac Asimov
  • That’s the happiest moment. When it’s all done. When we stop. When we can stop. Edward Albee
  • Rest and renewal
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… a state maybe not unlike deep sleep

  • Does it hurt?” The childish question had escaped Harry’s lips before he could stop it. “Dying? Not at all,” said Sirius. “Quicker and easier than falling asleep.”  K. Rowling
  • I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning. Benjamin Franklin
  • There is nothing frightening about an eternal dreamless sleep. Surely it is better than eternal torment in Hell and eternal boredom in Heaven. Isaac Asimov
  • There is great reason to hope that death is good; for one of two things — either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed by the sight of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man … even the great king will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? Plato
  • Sleep is lovely, death is better still, not to have been born is of course the miracle. Heinrich Heine
  • But what is all this fear of and opposition to Oblivion? What is the matter with the soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep.  James Thurber
  • Sleep
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Life after death

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Many believe strongly that death is not the end of life …

  • Death is the end of one story and the beginning of another. Philip Moeller
  • Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. Rabindranath Tagor
  • Death is the gate of life. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • For what is it to die, But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind? And when the Earth has claimed our limbs, Then we shall truly dance. Kahlil Gibran
  • I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon. (his last words). John Newton
  • Life is going forth; death is returning home. Lao Tzu
  • Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean. David Searls
  • Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. Rossiter Worthington Raymond
  • Winter is on my head but eternal spring is in my heart. The nearer I approach the end, the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me. It is marvellous yet simple. For half a century, I have been writing my thoughts in prose, verse, history, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode and song– I have tried all; but I feel that I have not said a thousandth part of what is in me.  When I have gone down to the grave I can say like many others, “I have finished my day’s work,” but I cannot say, “I have finished my life’s work”; my day’s work will begin the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley.  It is an open thoroughfare.  It closes in the twilight but opens with the dawn.  My work is only beginning; my work is hardly above its foundation. I would gladly see it mounting forever.  The thirst for the infinite proves infinity.  Victor Hugo
  • Someone dying asks if there is life after death. Yes, comes the answer, only not yours. L. Doctorow
  • I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car, and into another. John Lennon
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…that death is just a brief transition …

  • Death is not a period, but a comma in the story of life. Amos Traver
  • Death is only a small interruption. Anita Brookner
  • The grave itself is but a covered bridge, / Leading from light to light, through a brief darkness! Henry Wadsworth Lngfellow
  • There is no death. Only a change of worlds. Chief Seattle
  • That which we call Death is but a pause of suspension; and in truth a progress to life, only our thoughts look downwards upon the body, and not upwards upon things to come. Wellins Calcott
  • 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. Helen Keller
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… that we are immortal …

  • For though Death be a dark passage, it leads to immortality, and that is recompense enough for suffering of it. William Penn
  • Fear not death for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal. Benjamin Franklin
  • Our creator would never have made such lovely days and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live after he’s died, then maybe he was a great man. Immortality is the only true success. James Dean
  • Oh how wrong we were to think immortality meant never dying. Gerard Way
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… that death is simply a shedding of the physical body …

  • Death is simply a shedding of the physical body, like the butterfly coming out of a cocoon. . . . It’s like putting away your winter coat when spring comes. Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross
  • He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave. Garth Stein
  • If we really believed that those who are gone from us were as truly alive as ourselves, we could not invest the subject with such awful depth of gloom as we do. If we could imbue our children with distinct faith in immortality, we should never speak of people as dead, but passed into another world.  We should speak of the body as a cast-off garment, which the wearer had outgrown; consecrated indeed by the beloved being that used it for a season, but of no value within itself.  Lydia Maria Child
  • When you look at death through eyes of wisdom, you see that it is cyclical like the seasons. Letting go of the body is just like dropping off a heavy coat in springtime. J. Goldwag
  • Death, I am told, is as easy and as simple as going to sleep and then awakening. Our etheric body slips out of the physical body, carrying the mind with it, and we awake to our new surroundings to find our friends and relations ready to help and instruct us in our new life. Death is simply the severance of this etheric body or structure from the physical body. The physical body returns to earth, and the etheric body, controlled by the mind, continues to function in the etheric world which, though within and also without the physical, yet cannot be appreciated by us so long as we are inhabitants of the physical body. Our range of sight and touch is too confined for us to appreciate these finer vibrations. Arthur Findlay
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… and a shedding of the illusions that encompass us …

  • There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • There is no death. How can there be death if everything is part of the Godhead? The soul never dies and the body is never really alive. Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • I think on death as the apparent end of the illusions that encompass us. They all have a sudden and unexpected end, that challenges any faith we have pinned to their worth. Machel Lindsay
  • Most of the world’s religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness. Lao Tzu
  • Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration; we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively; there’s no such thing as death, life is just a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks
  • Illusion
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… while the soul lives on after death …

  • Death is simply the soul’s change of residence. Eliza Cook
  • He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave. Garth Stein
  • It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; ’tis rather an embryo state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals? Benjamin Franklin
  • I believe in the immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings. Helen Keller
  • When the time comes, I will know that death is a homecoming, not a wrench that leaves a bruise on my spirit. Death is not the shadow but the light beyond the shadow.  My spirit will return to its resting place in a long, slow glide toward peace.  Scottish meditation
  • Death is the final stage of growth in this life. There is no total death. Only the body dies. The self or the spirit, or whatever you may wish to label it, is eternal. You may interpret this in any way that makes you comfortable. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Much is being missed because of fear. We are too attached to the body and we go on creating more and more fear because of that attachment. The body is going to die, the body is part of death, the body is death — but you are beyond the body. You are not the body; you are the bodiless. Remember it. Realize it. Awaken yourself to this truth — that you are beyond the body. You are the witness, the seer. Osho
  • For man, the death of the body is inevitable, and is determined by time and circumstance; but, with proper precaution, the death of the soul may be totally avoided. William Batchelder Greene
  • Whatever it is that occurs at death, I believe it deserves to be called a miracle. The miracle, ironically, is that we don’t die. The cessation of the body is an illusion, and like a magician sweeping aside a curtain, the soul reveals what lies beyond. Deepak Chopra
  • Whatever happens to your body, your soul will survive, untouched. K. Rowling
  • The soul
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… in the form of consciousness

  • Molecules dissolve and pass away, but consciousness survives the death of the matter on which it rides. Deepak Chopra
  • Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration; we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively; there’s no such thing as death, life is just a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks
  • It seems a strange and repugnant conclusion that with the cessation of consciousness at death, there ceases to be any knowledge of having existed. With his last breath, it becomes to each the same thing as though he had never lived. And then the consciousness itself — what is it during the time that it continues? And what becomes of it when it ends? We can only infer that it is a specialized and individualized form of that Infinite and Eternal Energy which transcends both our knowledge and our imagination; and that at death its elements lapse into the Infinite and Eternal Energy whence they were derived. Herbert Spencer
  • Death cannot touch the higher consciousness of man … it can only separate those who love each other so far as their lower vehicles are concerned; the man living on earth, blinded by matter, feels separated from those who have passed onwards, but … there is no such thing as Death at all. Annie Wood Besant
  • Consciousness
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Death is an awakening

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Death is an awakening to our spiritual dimension …

  • Death in the physical is the birth in the spiritual. Birth in the physical is death in the spiritual. Edgar Cayce
  • Is death the last step? No, it is the final awakening. Sir Walter Scott
  • I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning. Benjamin Franklin
  • Death is nothing to fear. It is only another dimension. Wayne Dyer
  • When death occurs, death as you know it, the universe embraces you and takes you to its heart. Rosemary Altea
  • We go to the grave of a friend, saying, “A man is dead;” but angels throng about him, saying, “A man is born.” Henry Ward Beecher
  • Spirituality
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… an awakening from the dream that is life

  • Death is one dream out of another flowing. Conrad Aiken
  • To live is to dream and to die is to awaken.
  • We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream: it may be so the moment after death. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Death is one dream out of another flowing. Conrad Aiken
  • Life may be considered altogether as a dream, and death as the awakening from sleep. Artur Schopenhauer
  • Death is the veil which those who live call life; They sleep, and it is lifted. Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Birth and death are doors through which you pass from one dream to another. Paramhansa Yogananda
  • As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life… and then return after death. Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real life of God. Count Leo Tolstoy
  • DreamingLife is God’s dream
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Death is the start of the next adventure …

  • To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. K. Rowling
  • To die would be an awfully big adventure. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
  • Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure in life. Charles Frohman
  • Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored. Herman Melville
  • Adventure
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… the start of a new journey

  • End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain- curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. R.R. Tolkien
  • Death is the continuing of life … the next part of our life. It’s like walking through a door, you know? Walking through the door marked “Death”: It’s the beginning of a new part of our journey. Rosemary Altea
  • I think of death as some delightful journey that I shall take when all my tasks are done. Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • The world’s an inn, and death the journey’s end. John Dryden
  • There is no death. Only a change of worlds. Chief Seattle
  • Life is a journey
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Death is the birthday of eternity

  • For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. William Penn
  • The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Death gives us sleep, eternal youth, and immortality. Jean Paul Richter
  • What is death but a traversing of eternities and a crossing of cosmic oceans? Robert E. Howard
  • Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity. John Milton
  • That day, which you fear as being the end of all things, is the birthday of your eternity. Seneca
  • From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them, and that is eternity. Edvard Munch
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Re-incarnation

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Death, some believe, is a stepping stone to re-incarnation and the chance to live more lives on earth …

  • Some people believe that we go on living in another body after death, that we lived before. They call it reincarnation. That we all lived before on the earth thousands of years ago or on some other planet. They say we have forgotten it. Some say they remember their past lives. James Joyce
  • I know I am deathless. No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before. I laugh at what you call dissolution, and I know the amplitude of time. Walt Whitman
  • As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life… and then return after death. Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real life of God. Count Leo Tolstoy
  • Birth and death are doors through which you pass from one dream to another. Someone is born on Earth in France as a powerful king, rules for a time, then dies. He maybe reborn in India, and travel in a bullock cart into the forest to meditate. He may next find rebirth in America as a successful businessman; and when he dreams death again, reincarnates perhaps in Tibet as a devotee of Buddha and spend his entire life in a lamasery. Therefore, hate none and be attached to no nationality, for sometimes you are a Hindu, sometimes a Frenchman, sometimes an Englishman, or an American or a Tibetan. What is the difference? Each existence is a dream within a dream, is it not? Paramhansa Yogananda
  • If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up? Chuck Palahniuk
  • My only fear of death is reincarnation. Tupac Shakur
  • Reincarnation
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… where we take nothing but our karma with us

  • When we cross the gates of death, our karma is all we take with us. Everything else that we enjoyed in this life we leave behind…. Our karma is the only thing that will count in determining our rebirth, for our next life is nothing but the effects of our karmic tendencies that materialize in our perception. Tulku Thondup
  • Karma
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Heaven and Hell

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Some people believe we go to heaven after we die …

  • Death to the wicked is all loss, to the righteous all gain. John Thornton
  • Death will come in any case, and there is a long afterwards if the priests are right and nothing to fear if they are wrong. Graham Greene
  • There is not death! The stars go down to rise upon some other shore, and bright in heaven’s jewelled crown, they shine for ever more. John L. McCreery
  • I have a certainty about eternity that is a wonderful thing, and I thank God for giving me that certainty. I do not fear death. I may fear a little bit about the process, but not death itself, because I think the moment that my spirit leaves this body, I will be in the presence of the Lord. Billy Graham
  • We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there is a realm where the rainbow never fades, where the stars will be spread before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us like shadows will stay in our presence forever. Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • So when the friends we love the best lie in their churchyard bed, we must not cry too bitterly over the happy dead; because, for our dear Saviour’s sake, our sins are all forgiven; and Christians only fall asleep to wake again in Heaven. Cecil Frances Alexander
  • Death is the Christian’s vacation morning. School is out. It is time to go home. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Heaven
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… while others dismiss this as wishful thinking …

  • I think people believe in heaven because they don’t like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don’t like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish. Mark Haddon
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… a useful carrot used by religion

  • A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death. It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. Albert Einstein
  • Religion
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Some believe in the possibility of hell after death …

  • Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in. George Bernard Shaw
  • I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people, like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death, since they didn’t believe in life after death, and what each person believed happened to him when he died. Sylvia Plath
  • Hell
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… while others argue hell is a clear projection of our own human fear and self-judgement …

  • Death is a projection, nothing more than the mind projecting life as death. For example, “If I die I’m going to hell.” When we look at our lives, what is suffering but hell? And also, “God will be displeased.”  God will be displeased, turned around, is “I am displeased.” What have I done that I’m displeased about? Let me look to that. I am the judge here that has been causing the guilt and pain. As you look at death, you’ll see it’s all about life as you’ve understood it to be.  You not only project your future as your past, you also project your death.  Byron Katie
  • Heaven and Hell are man’s hopes and his fears extended beyond the grave. Abraham Miller
  • Who believes in Hell? Is it a terrible place to which we sinners are condemned? Or is it a place of the imagination, fuelled by fears that have built upon the superstitions and religious relics of our society? Kaye Saunders
  • FearProjection
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… a cruel and twisted human invention …

  • The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell. Bertrand Russell
  • Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell, unless it is the sorely limited mind that has failed to describe heaven. Christopher Hitchens
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… created by the church to warn people to behave as it says they should

  • Hell doesn’t even exist … It’s all in our minds. We invented it as a warning to those who don’t live up to our standards. Kaye Saunders
  • Hell is the carrot and the stick in the chain letter that is the Christian religion.
  • Heaven and Hell are, in my opinion, much like God: a feel-good idea that swims in the minds of people, but has little bearing in reality. It’s also a nifty way to control people through fear. World Religions in a Nutshell
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Death: A recycling

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Some argue that death, as is evident in nature, is just a recycling of life

  • There is no such thing as death. In nature, nothing dies. From each sad remnant of decay, some forms of life arise so shall his life be taken away before he knoweth that he hath it. Charles Mackay
  • I am beginning to understand that the stream the scientists are studying is not just a little creek. It’s a river of energy that moves across regions in great geographic cycles. Here, life and death are only different points on a continuum. The stream flows in a circle through time and space, turning death into life across coastal ecosystems, as it has for more than a million years. But such streams no longer flow in the places where most of us live. Kathleen Dean Moore and Jonathan W. Moore
  • From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them, and that is eternity. Edvard Munch
  • All of nature offers lessons on living, free of charge. One morning I noticed a dead tree supporting many living things– fungus, vines, lichen–which taught me that even after death we can continue to support those who live on. Bernie S. Siegel
  • The temple bell stops — but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. Basho
  • One of the surest axioms of science is that energy can never die, ever. Energy is known with scientific certainty to be deathless; it can neither be created nor destroyed. Robert Lanz
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Oblivion

  • Some believe we cease to exist after we die; that death leads to oblivion
  • I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting. Many a man has borne himself proudly on the scaffold; surely the same pride should teach us to think truly about man’s place in the world. Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cosy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigour, and the great spaces have a splendour of their own. Bertrand Russell
  • The person who disbelieves in Hell doesn’t really believe in Heaven either. He believes in oblivion. He desperately hopes that he’ll cease to exist after death. He hopes he’ll get away with it after all. Dwight Longenecker
  • Death is the stone into which our oblivion hardens. Pablo Neruda
  • Man dies. Come from darkness, into darkness he returns, and is reabsorbed, without a trace left, into the illimitable void of time. Leonid Andreyev
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Death is the great unknown

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All of this is pure conjecture for what really happens after death is one of the great unknowns of life…

  • I go to seek a Great Perhaps. François Rabelais  (last words)
  • Birth and death; we all move between these two unknowns. Bryant H. McGill
  • Death is the side of life which is turned away from us. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death… although Catholics have their hopes. Alfred Hitchcock
  • The unknown
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… one of the greatest mysteries of all …

  • Now comes the mystery. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Birth, life and death – each took place on the hidden side of a leaf. Toni Morrison
  • Birth, death, and suffering all bring us to the very edge of what our minds can understand. Baba Ram Dass
  • Death is an absolute mystery. We are all vulnerable to it, it’s what makes life interesting and suspenseful. Jeanne Moreau
  • Death is the side of life which is turned away from us. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Death, like birth, is one of nature’s mysteries, the combining of primal elements and dissolving of the same into the same. Marcus Aurelius
  • Death, like generation, is a secret of Nature. Marcus Aurelius
  • The mystery of death, the riddle of how you could speak to someone and see them every day and then never again, was so impossible to fathom that of course we kept trying to figure it out, even when we were unconscious. Francine Prose
  • Mystery
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… a mystery we must embrace if we are to embrace the gift of life

  • Leap through the Mystery of death as the circus-rider leaps through the papered hoop … find Life ambling along beneath us on the Other Side? Sidney Lanier
  • Dance on the edge of mystery. Alan Cohen
  • A cosmic celebration can be localized within you when you realize that life is not a problem to be solved but a magnificent mystery to be lived. Michael Bernard Beckwith
  • Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Rachel Carson
  • Life is a gift
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Whatever our death leads to, we must resolve to face death with courage

  • Death is the fate no one can escape. The question, then, is, How does one die? A person can die like a hero or like a coward. The difference is that the hero can face death without fear, whereas the coward can’t. Alexander Lowen
  • Courage
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We live on after death through our legacy

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Whether death is the end or not, there can be no doubt that we live on in the hearts of our family and friends …

  • To live in hearts, we leave behind is not to die. Thomas Campbell
  • Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken? Terry Pratchett
  • I wish to go on living even after my death. Anne Frank
  • Death ends a life, not a relationship. Mitch Albom
  • When I am gone, my love, do not look for me in the places we used to go to together. Look for me in the places we always planned to go to together.  Robert Brault
  • Those whom we loved never really leave us. They live on forever in our hearts, and cast their radiant light onto our every shadow. Sylvana Rossetti
  • Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. William Penn
  • FriendshipFamily
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… and especially through our children …

  • For children preserve the fame of a man after his death. Aeschylus
  • Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. Albert Einstein
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… through memories of us that live on …

  • One lives in the hope of becoming a memory. Antonio Porchia
  • People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die. Haruki Murakami
  • If this continues, if this goes on, then when I die, your memories of me will be my greatest accomplishment. Your memories will be my most lasting impressions. David Levithan
  • When do the dead die? When they are forgotten. Laura Esquivel
  • To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time. Elie Wiesel
  • Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them. George Eliot
  • When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other. Rob Sheffield
  • No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories. Chris Sorensen
  • Memory
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… through words spoken about us after we die…

  • Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men. Quintus Ennius
  • There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time. David Eagleman
  • I mean they say you die twice. Once when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.  Banksy
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… through the power of love

  • When you die, the energy that kept you alive filters into the people you loved. Did you know that? It’s like a fire you’ve tended all your life, and the sparks are all scattered into the wind…. That’s why we survive as long as we do, because the people who loved us keep us going. Kevin Brockmeier
  • Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone. Mitch Albom
  • Love
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We live on through what we weave into the lives and minds of others …

  • What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. Pericles
  • No one’s death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humanness. Hermann Broch
  • What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. Albert Pike
  • The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. Thornton Wilder
  • When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. You lend your light to one person, and he or she shines it on another and another and another. Oprah Winfrey
  • Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. Shannon L. Alder
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… through what we do for the world and for others …

  • Do something that the world would care about for years after you have passed on. Lorrin L. Lee
  • The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy. Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
  • The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. Thornton Wilder
  • Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann
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… through what we create that outlasts us…

  • All architects want to live beyond their deaths. Philip Johnson
  • Creativity is not merely the innocent spontaneity of our youth and childhood; it must also be married to the passion of the adult human being, which is a passion to live beyond one’s death. Rollo May
  • We fear death, we shudder at life’s instability, we grieve to see the flowers wilt again and again, and the leaves fall, and in our hearts, we know that we, too, are transitory and will soon disappear. When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something last longer than we do. Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund
  • We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. Chuck Palahniuk
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… through the legacies we leave behind

  • Death is the end of those who have done nothing to cause their names to live after them. Xenophon
  • Death comes to all but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold. George Fabricius
  • The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. William James
  • No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away. Terry Pratchett
  • How long after you are gone will ripples remain as evidence that you were cast into the pool of life? Grant M. Bright
  • Legacy is not what’s left tomorrow when you’re gone. It’s what you give, create, impact and contribute today while you’re here that then happens to live on. Rasheed Ogunlaru
  • Everyone must leave something behind when he dies . . . Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die . . . It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. Ray Bradbury
  • Leaving a legacy
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The blessings of death

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Death, far from being a fearful tyrant, has many blessings to bestow

  • Death may be the greatest of all human blessings. Socrates
  • Men fear death, as if unquestionably the greatest evil, and yet no man knows that it may not be the greatest good. William Mitford
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Death clears out the old to make space for the new

  • No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be. Because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Steve Jobs
  • To death we owe our life; the passing of one generation opens a way for another. Christian Nestell Bovee
  • The great thing about the dead, they make space. John Updike
  • Death is but an aspect of life, and the destruction of one material form is but a prelude to building up of another. Annie Besant
  • Death is part and parcel of life. With every death comes a new birth; with every birth comes an eventual death. Don’t mourn the dead. Celebrate the fact that they lived. Celestine Chua
  • Without death in the world, existence in it would soon become, through over-population, the most frightful of curses. Christian Nestell Bovee
  • A garden that never died eventually would weary. Robbed of springtime, unacquainted with the extraordinary perfume that rises from the soil after it’s had its rest, the garden that winter doesn’t visit is a dull place.  The return every spring of earth’s first freshness would never be kept if not for the frosts and rot and ripe deaths of fall.  So when I go out from the garden for the last time in autumn, I leave the gate open behind me.  Michael Pollan
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Death stimulates progress

  • Death is progress, advance, disimprisonment. Reuen Thomas
  • Death is really a great blessing for humanity, without it there could be no real progress. People who lived for ever would not only hamper and discourage the young, but they would themselves lack sufficient stimulus to be creative. Alfred Adler
  • Progress
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Death gives us powerful perspective on life …

  • Nothing in this world of form matters absolutely. Every form is destined to dissolve eventually.    Eckhart Tolle
  • The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective. James Patterson
  • Once you have been confronted with a life-and-death situation, trivia no longer matters. Your perspective grows and you live at a deeper level. There’s no time for pettiness. Margaretta Rockefeller
  • The eruption of feelings and emotions that follows a near-death experience, or any event that causes us to stop and look deeply at the reality of our lives, is ripe with the potential for insight and clarity. Allan Lokos
  • Perspective
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… especially teaching us about the value and preciousness of life

  • In a study we did of bereavement, we found that rather impressive numbers of widows and widowers had not simply gone back to their pre-loss functioning, but grown. This was due to a kind of increased existential awareness that resulted from this confrontation with the death of another. And I think it brought them in touch with their own death, so they began to experience a kind of preciousness to life that comes with an experience of its transiency. Irvin D. Yalom
  • Your life is finite, your death is guaranteed. Rather than wait ’til old age before regarding each day as precious, choose to regard each day as precious right now. Jeff Davidson
  • Life is too short when you think of the length of death. Sean Mangan
  • When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heart-breaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings. Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things. Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Death’s stamp gives value to the coin of life; making it possible to buy with life what is truly precious. Rabindranath Tagore
  • Death fosters life that life may suckle death. Sri Aurobindo
  • I was discovering that the most precious gift someone can give us is time, because what gives time its value is death. Ingrid Betancourt
  • All the gold in the world cannot buy a dying man one more breath—so what does that make today worth? Og Mandino
  • Odd thing about death … it reaffirms life. Rita Mae Brown
  • Death is not the enemy of life, but its friend, for it is the knowledge that our years are limited which makes them so precious. It is the truth that time is but lent to us which makes us, at our best, look upon our years as a trust handed into our temporary keeping. Joshua Loth Liebman
  • ValuesAppreciation
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Death teaches us not to sweat the small things in life …

  • The way to really live is to die. The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave. Imagine you’re lying in your coffin…. Now look at your problems from that viewpoint. Changes everything, doesn’t it? Anthony de Mello
  • My deepest belief is that to live as if we’re dying can set us free. Dying people teach you to pay attention and to forgive and not to sweat the small things. Anne Lamott
  • Once you have been confronted with a life-and-death situation, trivia no longer matters. Your perspective grows and you live at a deeper level. There’s no time for pettiness. Margaretta Rockefeller
  • How long am I going to be dead?’ With that eternal perspective, you can now make your own choice and leave the worrying, the fears, the question of whether you can afford it and the guilt to those who are going to be alive forever. Wayne Dyer
  • Living with the immediacy of death helps you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you to live a less trivial life. Sogyal Rinpoche
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… not to make everything into a life and death situation

  • If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you’re going to have problems. You’ll be dead a lot. Dean Smith
  • If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times. Dean Smith
.

Death teaches us how to live

  • With death so endless a proposition and life so breathtakingly brief, ask yourself, ‘Should I avoid doing the things I really want to do?’ ‘Should I live my life as others want me to?” ‘Are things important to accumulate?’ ‘Is putting it off the way to live?’ Chances are your answers can be summed up in a few words: Live… Be You… Enjoy… Love. Wayne Dyer
  • Only through the death experience could man fully understand his life experience. Only through the realization that his days on earth were finite could he grasp the importance of living those days with honour, integrity, and service to his fellow man. Dan Brown
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Death gives meaning to life

  • The meaning of life is that it stops. Franz Kafka
  • Death is our constant companion, and it is death that gives each person’s life its true meaning. Paulo Coelho
  • Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem alone. Marion Woodman
  • Without death, our lives would have no meaning. Death frames our end for us and also puts a value on things. Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro
  • Life? Life? It’s Death that makes life worth living for. Aaron Howard
  • Meaning
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Death, and the pain of it, can open our hearts …

  • The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one. Dean Koontz
  • The heart
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… especially to compassion for ourselves and others

  • When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heart-breaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings. Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If every one of you agrees to practice this, bitterness will die out, harmony will arise. Anthony de Mello
  • Because God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self- interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one. Dean Koontz
  • All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do? Gautama Buddha
  • Compassion
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Death teaches us to follow our hearts and do what we love

  • Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs
  • Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray
  • Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover. Falsely yours. Charles Bukowski
  • Do what you love
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Death teaches us to love more

  • Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other. Leo F. Buscaglia
  • If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? Stephen Levine
  • Don’t write a good eulogy. Tell them now.
  • Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today. Michelle C. Ustaszeski
  • The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone. Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Jackson Brown Jr.
  • Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Og Mandino
  • People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies. Haruki Murakami
  • You never knew the last time you were seeing someone. You didn’t know when the last argument happened, or the last time you had sex, or the last time you looked into their eyes and thanked God they were in your life. After they were gone? That was all you thought about. Day and night.  R. Ward
  • Love
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Death extinguishes resentments and brings forgiveness

  • Oh the grave! – the grave! –It buries every error–covers every defect–extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom springs none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him! Washington Irving
  • Hatred is so lasting and stubborn, that reconciliation on a sickbed certainly forebodes death. Jean de la Bruyere
  • ResentmentForgiveness
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Death teaches us humility

  • Death is God’s way of telling you not to be such a wise guy. Grenville Kleiser
  • Graveyards remind us of the vanity of all human endeavour. Ivan Klima
  • Dead, we are revealed in our true dimensions, and they are surprisingly modest. Michael Cunningham
  • The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one. Dean Koontz
  • Humility
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Death inspires art

  • Death is an endless night so awful to contemplate that it can make us love life and value it with such passion that it may be the ultimate cause of all joy and all art. Paul Theroux
  • Art
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Death can open the way to posthumous fame …

  • Death had a curious way of ennobling people. Of washing away their flaws and elevating their reputations to a new purity. Sinners became saints once their bodies were lowered into the ground. Joanna Campbell Slan
  • Death hath this also; that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy. Francis Bacon
  • If fame is only to come after death, I am in no hurry for it. Martial
  • Dying is the fastest route to fame for an aspiring rock star. The dead man’s melodies become profound, acquiring deep mystery and rising into a realm beyond the reach of human criticism. In the stopping of a heartbeat, the rocker is transformed from decadent, depraved hedonist into misunderstood genius. Aye, death and musical stardom go together like Scotland and rain. Mark Rice
  • Truman Capote’s death was a good career move. Gore Vidal
  • To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten. Emile M. Cioran
  • The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death. Blaise Pascal
  • Only in death will we have our own names since only in death are we no longer part of the effort. In death, we become heroes. Chuck Palahniuk
  • Fame
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… but how much is fame really worth when you’re gone?

  • It is permissible even for a dying hero to think before he dies how men will speak of him hereafter. His fame lasts perhaps two thousand years. And what are two thousand years?… What, indeed, if you look from a mountain top down the long wastes of the ages? The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare. Virginia Woolf
  • Since fame is an illusion and death is in our future all we have is the next moment before we are swallowed into oblivion. Al Goldstein
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Death brings a level of honesty

  • With death comes honesty. Salman Rushdie
  • Honesty
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Most of all, death teaches us to embrace life

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Death teaches us to embrace life more fully …

  • The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive – perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine. Mignon McLaughlin
  • Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal.
  • Remember that every day contains a universe of potential; exhaust it. Live and love so immensely that when death comes there is nothing left for him to take. Wealth is love, music, sports, learning, family and freedom. Above all, stay gold. Dominic Owen Mallary
  • I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to. Jimi Hendrix
  • The sublimity of wisdom is to do those things living, which are to be desired when dying. Norman Douglas
  • The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren- song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Death is the condition of higher and more fruitful life. H. Chapin
  • Do you know that disease and death must needs overtake us, no matter what we are doing? What do you wish to be doing when it overtakes you? If you have anything better to be doing when you are so overtaken, get to work at it. Epictetus
  • One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.
  • Embrace life
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… to see each day as a reprieve from death …

  • Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life. William Law
  • This day is all you have and these hours are now your eternity. Greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. Og Mandino
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… to enjoy life …

  • Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead. Hans Christian Andersen
  • There is no cure for birth or death save to enjoy the interval. George Santayana
  • Everything is passing… enjoy its momentariness. Mooji
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… to embrace the moment …

  • Since fame is an illusion and death is in our future all we have is the next moment before we are swallowed into oblivion. Al Goldstein
  • Death follows us around for a reason. It’s because death is our best adviser. There is nothing more powerful than a person who is prepared to live right now, in this instant, fully accepting that this may be their last moment on earth. C. Ping
  • The acceptance of death gives you more of a stake in life, in living life happily, as it should be lived. Living for the moment. Sting
  • All the gold in the world cannot buy a dying man one more breath—so what does that make today worth? Og Mandino
  • Live in the moment
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… for we only get one life …

  • We only live once. We all have an expiration date after that we will never come again. I am not saying that to make you sad. I am saying that so you can cherish each moment in your life and be grateful that you are here and you are Special. Pablo Valle
  • You only get one life. Live it to the fullest. All your miseries will be forgiven when you will be dead. Santosh Kalwar
  • Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver
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… a life that is short …

  • Life is like a very short visit to a toy shop between birth and death. Desmond Morris
  • Surely your sojourn on earth is so brief, it ought to be pleasing to you. In a word, it’s your life; do with it what you want. Wayne Dyer
  • Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good. Marcus Aurelius
  • Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live- – you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason — or you will never be at all.  Dan Millman
  • It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life. Terry Pratchett
  • Death will swoop on you so swiftly. Gather merit till that moment comes! For even if you then throw off your indolence, What will you do when there is no more time? Bodhisattva
  • Buddha once said “This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky.” Deepak Chopra
  • This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky. Gautama Buddha
  • Life is fleetingImpermanence
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… and we never know when death will come

  • Death can come at any moment. You could die this afternoon; you could die tomorrow morning; you could die on your way to work; you could die in your sleep. Most of us try to avoid the sense that death can come at any time, but its timing is unknown to us. Can we live each day as if it were our last? Can we relate to one another as if there were no tomorrow? Joan Halifax
  • If you live each day as it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right. Steve Jobs
  • Sorrows and disasters are like the clouds that flit across the sky; they cannot injure the blue depths of space. Your duty is just to strive on from this very moment. Do not vacillate or postpone. Who knows when death knocks? Maybe, he may knock this very night, this very moment; therefore, do not delay. Do you postpone for tomorrow the dinner of this day! Feed the spirit as scrupulously as you now feed the body. Sri Sathya Sai Baba
  • No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow. Euripides
  • We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance. Marcel Proust
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A well spent and full life brings a happy death with no regrets …

  • As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death. Leonardo da Vinci
  • I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by loving. Anais Nin
  • When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty to watch.
  • Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfilment. Dag Hammarskjöld
  • No man on his death bed ever looked up into the eyes of his family and friends and said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’ John Piper
  • To die happy, you must live life with that end in mind. Live a life of purpose. Leo Babauta
  • HappinessRegret
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… and helps banish the fear of death

  • Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. Gautama Buddha
  • People living deeply have no fear of death. Anais Nin
  • The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain
  • You want to live—but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead? Seneca
  • Dying–shucks! If you can handle the living, what’s to be afraid of the dying? Robert Penn Warren
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We must remember that everyone dies but not everyone lives …

  • Death is more universal than life. Everyone dies but not everyone lives. Alan Sachs
  • Every man dies – Not every man really lives. William Ross Wallace
  • Unbeing dead isn’t being alive. E. Cummings
  • Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five. Benjamin Franklin
  • Most people don’t want to die, but they don’t want to live either. I am speaking about men now as much as women. They look for a third way, but there is no third way. Jonathan Rosen
  • There are some dead who are more alive than the living. Romain Rolland
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… and the worst regret is to die without having lived

  • To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. Erich Fromm
  • Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. Norman Cousins
  • The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. M. Lewis
  • 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 had not lived. Henry David Thoreau
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Resolve to live rich

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Replace the fear of death with the fear of an unlived life

  • Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life. Bertolt Brecht
  • Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live. Natalie Babbitt
  • It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. Marcus Aurelius
  • Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Miguel Ruiz
  • It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live. Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
  • 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. Rabbi Harold Kushner
  • You want to live—but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead? Seneca
  • Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity; they seem more afraid of life than of death. James F. Byrnes
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Have the courage to live

  • A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live. Lao Tzu, Lao Tzu
  • Dying is no big deal, living is the trick. Red Smith
  • Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. Taylor Swift
  • I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by loving. Anais Nin
  • You have to die a few times before you can really live. Charles Bukowski
  • We come this way but once. We can either tiptoe through life and hope we get to death without being badly bruised or we can live a full, complete life achieving our goals and realizing our wildest dreams. Bob Proctor
  • Our concern must be to live while we’re alive… to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Courage
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Realise that you’re either busy living or busy dying

  • Every moment of one’s existence, one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit. Norman Mailer
  • Get busy living or get busy dying. Stephen King
  • Go ahead and do what you love to do. Do nothing else! You have so little time. How can you think of wasting a single moment doing something for a living you don’t like to do. That is not a living, that is dying! Neale Donald Walsch
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Resolve to die as young as possible as late as possible

  • The idea is to die young as late as possible. Ashley Montagu
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Resolve to let death find you doing what you love

  • I want death to find me planting my cabbages. Michel de Montaigne
  • From an aunt, long ago: “Death has come for me many times but finds me always in my lovely garden and leaves me there, I think, as an excuse to return.”  Robert Brault
  • One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. James Joyce
  • Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours. Dale Carnegie
  • Do what you love
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Resolve not to waste your entire life amassing stuff for what you possess in life cannot be taken with you in death

  • The angel of death comes to us and says, “You see everything that exists here is mine; it is not yours. Your house, your spouse, your children, your car, your career, your money — everything is mine and I can take it away when I want to, but for now you can use it. Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Remember, what you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else, but what you are will be yours forever. Henry van Dyke
  • Every man goes down to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away. Persian Proverb
  • Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give. Rumi
  • Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. Errol Flynn
  • One’s real deathless wealth is all the beautiful souls one has seen and spiritually touched. Olive Schreiner
  • Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. King Solomon
  • There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there. Colonel Harland Sanders
  • It is sheer madness to live in want in order to be wealthy when you die. Juvenal
  • I don’t want to own anything that won’t fit into my coffin. Fred A. Allen
  • There are no pockets in a shroud.
  • He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.
  • In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. Eckhart Tolle
  • Money is only loaned to a man. He comes into the world with nothing and he leaves with nothing. William Crapo Durant
  • If your riches are yours, why don’t you take them with to the other world? Benjamin Franklin
  • Of all the riches that we hug, of all the pleasures we enjoy, we can carry no more out of this world than out of a dream. John S. Bonnell
  • MaterialismConsumerism
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Resolve to live rich rather than to die rich

  • It is better to live rich than to die rich. Samuel Johnson
  • Think it more satisfactory to live richly than die rich. Sir Thomas Browne
  • Constantly remind yourself that you’re here for a reason, and it’s not to hoard a lot of material stuff! Wayne Dyer
  • Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me. Steve Jobs
  • Money is just a symbol we use to facilitate the gathering of memories and experiences. Stuart Wilde
  • Live rich rather than die rich
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The greatest loss of all is not death but what dies in us while we live

  • Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. Norman Cousins
  • Better to live or die, once and for all, than die by inches. Homer, The Iliad
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Beware a living death

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A living death can be worse than an actual death

  • Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five. Benjamin Franklin
  • It is not death to have the body called back to the earth, and dissolved into its kindred elements, and mouldered to dust, and, it may be, turn to daisies, in the grave. But it is death to have the soul paralyzed, its inner life quenched, its faculties dissipated; that is death. H. Chapin
  • Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily. Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Some people die, others just run out of fuel. Carmen Boullosa
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To live without care is a kind of living death

  • Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways. Stephen Vincent Benet
  • Life without caring is tantamount to death. The reverse is equally true: If you do not love life, you will not care for life. If you do not love yourself, you will not care of yourself.  Robert Muller
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To lose your imagination is a kind of living death

  • What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination. Sylvia Plath
  • Imagination
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Not to express yourself is a kind of living death

  • When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Each time we don’t say what we wanna say, we’re dying. Yoko Ono
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To lose all hope is a kind of living death

  • The heart dies a slow death, shedding each hope like leaves until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains. Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death. Pearl S. Buck
  • HopeDespair
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To lose your purpose and reason for living is a kind of living death

  • Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living. Jo Nesbo
  • Purposeless activity may be a phase of death. Pearl S. Buck
  • PurposeReason
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To lose your sense of humour is a kind of living death

  • Those who shun the whimsy of things will experience rigor mortis before death. Tom Robbins
  • Humour
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To constantly fear death is a kind of living death

  • You want to live—but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead? Seneca
  • Fear
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To be apathetic and Indifferent is a kind of living death

  • Desire is half of life; indifference is half of death. Khalil Gibran
  • Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death. Anton Chekhov
  • Apathy — not hate — is the opposite of love. It is this apathy that leads first to the death of the psyche, and in its extreme form to the death of the body.  Jane G. Goldberg
  • Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. Elie Wiesel
  • The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Elie Wiesel
  • Apathy and indifference
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To be constantly idle is a kind of living death

  • There is nothing worse than an idle hour, with no occupation offering. People who have many such hours are simply animals waiting docilely for death. We all come to that state soon or late. It is the curse of senility. L. Mencken
  • To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent. Gautama Buddha
  • Idleness
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To live in fear of pain is a kind of living death

  • It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death. Eleanor Roosevelt
  • FearPain
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To have a closed mind is a kind of living death

  • This alone is to be feared – the closed mind, the sleeping imagination, the death of the spirit. The death of the body is to that, I think, a little thing. Winifred Holtby
  • A closed mind is a dying mind. Edna Ferber
  • Life is doubt, and faith without doubt is nothing but death. Miguel de Unamuno
  • And faith without doubt is nothing but death. Miguel de Unamuno
  • Even as you grow wiser and wiser with age you must remind yourself that an understanding is never absolutely final. What’s currently right could easily be wrong later. Thus, the most destructive illusion is a settled point of view.  Since life is continuous growth and movement, choosing a fixed point of view is essentially a declaration of death.  Marc and Angel Chernoff
  • Closed mindednessOpen-mindedness
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To be inflexible and rigid is a kind of living death

  • Thus, flexibility, as displayed by water, is a sign of life. Rigidity, its opposite, is an indicator of death. Anthony Lawlor
  • Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and hard… Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. T ao Te Ching
  • Flexibility
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To let others think for you is a kind of living death

  • There’s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death. They don’t honour their own lives … their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them…. Most people’s deaths are a sham. There’s nothing left to die. Charles Bukowski
  • Mental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul. Robert Ingersoll
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To suffer from constant poor health is a kind of living death

  • Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering; an image of death. Gautama Buddha
  • Health
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To live behind a facade in order to conform is a kind of living death

  • It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we’re alive – to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Conformity
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To be constantly bored is a kind of living death

  • Is boredom anything less than the sense of one’s faculties slowly dying? John Berger
  • Boredom
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To be constantly afraid of making a mistake is a kind of living death

  • It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are dead-alive, and people who are alive- alive. The dead- alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in questions, in torment. Yevgeny Zamyatin
  • Mistakes
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To ignore your longings and passions is a kind of living death

  • Ignoring your passion is like dying a slow death. Oprah Winfrey
  • A human soul devoid of longing was a soul deformed, deprived of its highest good, sick unto death. Saul Bellow
  • Desire is half of life, indifference is half of death. Kahlil Gibral
  • Ignoring your passion is like dying a slow death…Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Oprah Winfrey
  • Passion
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To be stuck in the past is a kind of living death

  • And nostalgia is a cancer. Nostalgia will fill your heart up with tumors. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s what you are. You’re just an old fart dying of terminal nostalgia. Sherman Alexie
  • The past
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To stop dreaming is a kind of living death

  • A person starts dying when they stop dreaming. Brian Williams
  • Dreams
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To live a life full of sin is a kind of living death

  • An evil life is a kind of death. Ovid
  • For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Bible
  • From this point of view, the whole concept of sin changes from something moral or religious to something commonsense. Sin begins with rejection of yourself. Self-rejection is the biggest sin that you commit. In religious terms, self-rejection is a “mortal sin,” which leads to death. Impeccability, on the other hand, leads to life. Don Miguel Ruiz
  • If a man should wanton walk with crime … he shall find in death no great deliverance. Aeschylus
  • When we talk about sin, we need to understand what sin is. Sin is not God says ‘you can’t do this’ because He wants to take something away from you. He says: “If you do this, it will be death. If you do this, it will be life.” And then He says: “Please, choose life, so that you can live. I’ve made you, I know how you work. I’ve made this whole Earth, I know how it works. Please, choose life. Lacey Mosley
  • The wages of sin is death – but the working conditions are good. Proverb
  • The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling. Paula Poundstone
  • Sinful and forbidden pleasures are like poisoned bread; they may satisfy appetite for the moment, but there is death in them at the end. Edwards Tryon
  • Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Francis Quarles
  • Sin hath the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages. Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
  • Sin is the great element of hell, and where it exists heaven cannot be. Its triumphs are deeper than those of time, and more terrible than death. It has swept over the moral world, more glorious than the physical, and blighted by the beautiful and desecrated the holy. It has scattered abroad and afar the seeds of envy, war, lust, intemperance, murder, and all abomination and iniquity. It has drawn man aside from innocence and rectitude, and he has gone forth from the joy of Eden with a bowed head and a burning heart; and, worse than all, it has spread a veil athwart his moral vision, and alienated him from his Maker. H. Chapin
  • Sin brought death, and death will disappear with the disappearance of sin. Mary Baker Eddy
  • sin, how you paint your face! How you flatter us poor mortals on to death! You never appear to the sinner in your true character; you make fair promises, but you never fulfil one; your tongue is smoother than oil, but the poison of asps is under your lip! Hosea Ballou
  • After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15
  • Sin
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To stay static is a kind of living death

  • Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. Anais Nin
  • Life is transformation; staying static is a kind of death. Lori Deschene
  • Only the fairy tale equates changelessness with happiness… Permanence means paralysis and death. Only, in movement, with all its pain, is life. Jacob Burckhardt
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To live without emotion is a kind of living death

  • Life without emotions would be as calm as death, like a world without weather. Accept feelings as they are; pleasant or painful, they are natural and don’t need fixing. Let them rise and pass without allowing changeable emotions to run your life. Dan Millman
  • Emotion
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To be overly attached to logic and reason is a kind of living death

  • Logic is the death to that part of you that is the miracle maker. Sturat Wilde
  • LogicReason
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To live in self-pity is a kind of living death

  • Self-pity is a death that has no resurrection, a sinkhole from which no rescuing hand can drag you because you have chosen to sink. Elizabeth Elliot
  • Self-pity
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To constantly compare yourself to others is a kind of living death

  • Comparison is the death of joy. Mark Twain
  • Comparison is your death trap. It is the beginning point, and middle point, and ending point, of most defeat or failure, for it holds you in that position of negative emotion, which holds you in that place of negative attraction. And you simply cannot offer enough action to compensate for that. You just cannot. Abraham-Hicks
  • Comparison
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To deny or ignore your emotional needs is a kind of living death

  • But man has other needs as well: emotional needs. These, too, are few, but every bit as important as his physical requirements, yet not so simple. If they aren’t met, they can be as devastating as physical hunger, as uncomfortable as a lack of shelter, as incapacitating as thirst. The frustration, isolation and anxiety brought about by unmet emotional needs can, like physical privation, produce death or a degree of living death – neurosis and psychosis. Leo F. Buscaglia
  • We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness. Albert Schweitzer
  • Human needs
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The price of denying death

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In our society, we tend to deny death …

  • The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity – designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man. Ernest Becker
  • A man begins dying at the moment of his birth. Most people live in denial of Death’s patient courtship until, late in life and deep in sickness, they become aware of him sitting bedside. Dean Koonz
  • The mind will not believe in death, perhaps because, as far as the mind is concerned, death never happens. Jeanette Winterson
  • Reality means you live until you die…the real truth is nobody wants reality. Chuck Palahniuk
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… while science works frantically to delay and even conquer death

  • Nowadays, we have technology that’s improved so that we can bring people back to life. In fact, there are drugs being developed right now — who knows if they’ll ever make it to the market — that may actually slow down the process of brain- cell injury and death. Imagine, you fast-forward to ten years down the line and you’ve given a patient whose heart has just stopped this amazing drug, and actually what it does is it slows everything down so that the things that would’ve happened over an hour, now happen over two days. As medicine progresses, we will end up with lots and lots of ethical questions. Sam Parnia
  • Science says: “We must live,” and seeks the means of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life, of making it tolerable and acceptable; wisdom says: “We must die,” and seeks how to make us die well. Miguel de Unamuno
  • Health care is, at its core, about improving the odds of life in its struggle against death. Of extending that game which we will all lose, each and every one of us unto eternity, extending it another year or month or second. Keith Olbermann
  • Science
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To deny death is to deny life

  • There is still a widespread denial of death in Western cultures. Even old people try not to speak or think about it, and dead bodies are hidden away.  A culture that denies death inevitably becomes shallow and superficial, concerned only with the external form of things.  When death is denied, life loses its depth.  The possibility of knowing who we are beyond name and form, the dimension of the transcendent, disappears from our lives because death is the opening into that dimension.  Eckhart Tolle
  • I don’t necessarily view death as something negative. Death gives meaning to life. Living in fear of death is living in denial. Actually, it’s not really living at all, because there is no life without death. It’s two sides of the one. You can’t pick up one side and say, “I’m just going to use the ‘heads’ side.” No. It doesn’t work like that. You have to pick up both sides because nothing is promised to anyone in this world besides death. 50 Cent
  • Pain and death are a part of life. To reject them is to reject life itself. Havelock Ellis
  • Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. James Baldwin
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To embrace life, we must accept death as the reality it is

  • Ignorance and fear of death overshadow life, while knowing and accepting death erases this shadow. Lily Pincus
  • We treat death as a tragedy, as an ending of the good times. But what if we could think of it as it really is in nature, a process of physical change, an inevitable transformation, something you cannot alter and so must accept?  Then it’s possible to look directly at it instead of turning away in fear, to examine it instead of shunning it in denial.  Mark Forstater
  • Acceptance
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The rewards of contemplating death

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Contemplating death is a deeply spiritual act

  • The contemplation of one’s mortality, the fleetingness of life and the impermanence of form is a deeply spiritual thing to do. It is a liberating act that makes life feel considerably less heavy. Eckhart Tolle
  • Healing and positive life change comes from having the courage and spiritual conviction to look squarely at life’s impermanence. Meredith Young Sowers
  • It is necessary to meditate early, and often, on the art of dying to succeed later in doing it properly just once. Umberto Eco
  • Contemplation
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Contemplating death can help us find the sacred dimension of life

  • When you go deep enough into the formless, the dreadful is no longer dreadful, it’s sacred. Then you will experience the two levels, when somebody dies who is close to you. Yes it’s dreadful on the level of form. It’s sacred on the deeper level. Death can enable you to find that dimension in yourself. You’re helping countless other humans if you find that dimension in yourself – the sacred dimension of life. Death can help you find the sacred dimension of life – where life is indestructible. Eckhart Tolle
  • Death is that which is beyond form. In it, you find God, the formless One Life.  Eckhart Tolle
  • For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • I feel strongly, because a man who will himself die one day in the not too distant future and, also, as a psychiatrist who spent decades dealing with death anxiety, that confronting death allows us, not to open some noisome, Pandora’s box, but to re-enter life in a richer, more compassionate manner. Irvin D. Yalom
  • Odd thing about death … it reaffirms life. Rita Mae Brown
  • A free man thinks of nothing less than of death; and his wisdom is a meditation not on death but on life. Baruch Spinoza
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Contemplating death reminds us we are still very much alive …

  • Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm’s length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he’s about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, ‘I haven’t touched you yet.’ Carlos Castaneda
  • When you look at a corpse you can always sense your own breath better. Zona Gale
  • Every twinge of sensation, even of agony, was a negation of death. Robert E. Howard
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… and helps us live more intensely

  • An awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely. Paulo Coelho
  • Death teaches us to live; it gives us a boundary to map our living within. Death’s hammer breaks through the mirror separating us from light. David Meltzer
  • You have to die a few times before you can really live. Charles Bukowski
  • What the angel of death can teach us is how to be truly alive. We become aware that we can die at any moment; we have just the present to be alive. The truth is we don’t if we are going to die tomorrow. Who knows?   Don Miguel Ruiz
  • No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. Without that, I am not alive. Banana Yoshimoto
  • Being fully alive
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Contemplating death can help us live life with a greater sense of purpose

  • It is not desirable that we should live as in the constant atmosphere and presence of death; that would unfit us for life; but it is well for us, now and then, to talk with death as friend talketh with friend, and to bathe in the strange seas, and to anticipate the experiences of that land to which it will lead us. These forethinkings are meant, not to make us discontented with life, but to bring us back with more strength, and a nobler purpose in living. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Purpose
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Contemplating death can help us prioritise what is truly important

  • It is a painful thing to say to oneself: by choosing one road I am turning my back on a thousand others. Everything is interesting; everything might be useful; everything attracts and charms a noble mind; but death is before us; mind and matter make their demands; willy-nilly we must submit and rest content as to things that time and wisdom deny us, with a glance of sympathy which is another act of our homage to the truth. Antonin Sertillanges
  • If you are fully alive to the prospect of dying, you really start reprioritising your life. Mitch Albom
  • Some aspects of success seem rather silly as death approaches. Donald A. Miller
  • Put first things first
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Contemplating death can help us make important choices about how to live

  • Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs
  • Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, “Did you bring joy?” The second was, “Did you find joy?” Leo Buscaglia
  • It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world. John Steinbeck, East of Eden
  • When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity. George Eliot
  • ChoiceLiving consciously
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Contemplating death can bring a sense of inner peace

  • Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death.  That is why the peace of God can come to you through contemplation and acceptance of death.  Eckhart Tolle
  • As death, when we come to consider it closely, is the true goal of our existence, I have formed during the last few years such close relationships with this best and truest friend of mankind that death’s image is not only no longer terrifying to me, but is indeed very soothing and consoling, and I thank my God for graciously granting me the opportunity…of learning that death is the key which unlocks the door to our true happiness. I never lie down at night without reflecting that —- young as I am — I may not live to see another day. Yet no one of all my acquaintances could say that in company I am morose or disgruntled. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • And you know, there’s less charm in life when you think about death–but it’s more peaceful. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  • Inner peace
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Dying before you die

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Some believe we can experience what we are beyond death through deep inner stillness …

  • When we raise ourselves through meditation to what unites us with the spirit, we quicken something within us that is eternal and unlimited by birth and death. Once we have experienced this eternal part in us, we can no longer doubt its existence. Meditation is thus the way to knowing and beholding the eternal, indestructible, essential centre of our being. Rudolf Steiner
  • Through meditation one discovers one’s own light. That light you can call your soul, yourself, your God—whatsoever word you choose—or you can remain just silent because it has no name. It is a nameless experience, tremendously beautiful, ecstatic, utterly silent, but it gives you the taste of eternity, of timelessness, of something beyond death. Rajneesh
  • The purpose of meditation is to awaken in us the sky-like nature of mind, and to introduce us to that which we really are, our unchanging pure awareness, which underlies the whole of life and death. Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Meditation is not growth of the ego, it is death of the ego. Rajneesh
  • Stillness

 

… and by being fully present in this moment

  • As we look deeply within, we understand our perfect balance. There is no fear of the cycle of birth, life and death. For when you stand in the present moment, you are timeless. Rodney Yee
  • Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence.  This means that is is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature.  But don’t seek to grasp it with your mind. Don’t try to understand it.  You can know it only when the mind is still.  Eckhart Tolle
  • PresenceLive in the present
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After all, your life is not between your birth and death – but between now and your next breath.

  • Your life is not between the moments of your birth and death. Your life is between now and your next breath.  The present – the here and now – is all the life you ever get.  Marc and Angel Chernoff
  • You have to remember one life, one death–this one! To enter fully the day, the hour, the moment whether it appears as life or death, whether we catch it on the inbreath or outbreath, requires only a moment, this moment. And along with it all the mindfulness we can muster, and each stage of our ongoing birth, and the confident joy of our inherent luminosity. Stephen Levine
  • You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be. Chuck Palahniuk
  • No life that breathes with human breath Has ever truly long’d for death. Alfred Lord Tennyson
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Some spiritual paths assert that the secret to a fuller life is to die before you die

  • Die before you die. Muhammed
  • Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death. Eckhart Tolle
  • He who dies before he dies does not die when he dies. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life – after that you cannot be deceived. Zen Proverb
  • To conquer death, you only have to die. Alane Ferguson
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Die before you die by deeply meditating on the impermanence of all forms …

  • The life of form is so impermanent that it might be a good idea to think of yourself as dead already. Eckhart Tolle
  • One of the most powerful spiritual practices is to meditate deeply on the mortality of physical forms, including your own. This is called: Die before you die. Go into it deeply. Your physical form is dissolving, is no more. Then a moment comes when all mind- forms or thoughts also die. Yet you are still there – the divine presence that you are. Radiant, fully awake. Nothing that was real ever died, only names, forms, and illusions. Eckhart Tolle
  • Meditation is a dress rehearsal for death. Adyashanti
  • Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well. Gautama Buddha
  • Whenever ego suffers from fear of death and your practice turns to seeing impermanence, ego settles down. Tsoknyi Rinpoche
  • Remember the coffin where men All must to dust be returning. Henri Cazalis
  • Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death? Plato
  • Impermanence
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… by meditating on the fleetingness of life …

  • Buddha once said “This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky.” Deepak Chopra
  • Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good. Marcus Aurelius
  • This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky. Gautama Buddha
  • It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life. Terry Pratchett
  • Contemplate the fleetingness of life
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… by meditating on the no-thingness you’ll become …

  • We live in a cloud of illusions and rarely realize that we are spinning this web of fiction for all the hours and days of our lives, unless we are fortunate or unfortunate enough to die slowly. Perhaps slow death may be the only moments of reality for the total life of many earthlings. Because the dying person is forced to face the fact that he is about to become zero. Richard Rose
  • Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over. Death is not anything… death is not… It’s the absence of presence, nothing more… the endless time of never coming back… a gap you can’t see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes not sound. Tom Stoppard
  • How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it. Cormac Mccarthy
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… by taking it that you have died today and regarding the future as surplus time …

  • The way to really live is to die. The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave. Imagine you’re lying in your coffin…. Now look at your problems from that viewpoint. Changes everything, doesn’t it? Anthony de Mello
  • Take it that you have died today, and your life’s story is ended; and henceforward regard what future time may be given you as an uncovenanted surplus, and live it out in harmony with nature.  Marcus Aurelius
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… by letting go of your identification with form …

  • Now find death before it finds you. And that’s the essence of spiritual practice, is finding death, embracing death…which is the end of identification with form. The end of deriving your sense of self, identity, from form. Eckhart Tolle
  • Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give. Rumi
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… by learning to accept and even welcome life’s endings as opening space for something new …

  • People tend to be uncomfortable with endings, because every ending is a little death. If you can learn to accept and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of inner spaciousness that is deeply peaceful. By learning to die daily in this way, you open yourself to life. Eckhart Tolle
  • All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. Anatole France
  • To live is to be willing to die over and over again. Pema Chodron
  • There are so many little dyings that it doesn’t matter which of them is death. Kenneth Patchen
  • Endings are not always bad. Most times they’re just beginnings in disguise. Kim Harrison
  • Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well. Buddha
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… by more fully embracing the wonders of life …

  • You can live every moment of every day deeply, in touch with the wonders of life. Then you will learn to live, and, at the same time, learn to die. A person who does not know how to die does not know how to live, and vice versa. You should learn to die – to die immediately. This is a practice.  Thich Nhat Hanh
  • If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. Albert Camus
  • Wonder
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… by dying to the past, each and every moment …

  • There is only one courage and that is the courage to go on dying to the past, not to collect it, not to accumulate it, not to cling to it. Osho Rajneesh
  • Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Eckhart Tolle
  • You need to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old. Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • A person who lives moment to moment, who goes on dying to the past, is never attached to anything. Attachment comes from the accumulated past. If you can be unattached to the past every moment, then you are always fresh, young, just born. You pulsate with life and that pulsation gives you immortality. You are immortal, only unaware of the fact. Osho
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… by regarding each night as a little death and each day as a rebirth …

  • Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life. William Law
  • We die daily. Happy those who daily come to life as well. George MacDonald
  • Every day, therefore, should be regulated as if it were the one that brings up the rear, the one that rounds out and completes our lives. Seneca
  • We term sleep a death by which we may be literally said to die daily; in fine, so like death, I dare not trust it without my prayers. Sir Thomas Browne
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… by rehearsing death and being prepared for it

  • Always be thou prepared, and so live that death may never find thee unprepared. Thomas A. Kempis
  • Be still prepared for death: and death or life shall thereby be the sweeter. William Shakespeare
  • Death never takes the wise man by surprise; He is always ready to go. Jean de La Fontaine
  • You cannot avoid mortality. But you can choose your way of meeting it. And that is the most that any man can hope for. David Gerrold
  • I carry death in my left pocket. Sometimes I take it out and talk to it: “Hello, baby, how you doing? When you coming for me? I’ll be ready. Charles Bukowski
  • Rehearse death. To say this is to tell a person to rehearse his freedom. A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. He is above, or at any rate, beyond the reach of, all political powers. Seneca
  • Preparation
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… by imagining yourself on your deathbed and asking yourself what will be important to you then …

  • Do you really think you’re gonna be on your death bed and wish you took less risks? Brian Johnson
  • Get your priorities straight. No one on their deathbed ever said, “If only I’d spent more time at the office.” Life’s Little Instruction Book
  • When making decisions about your life, imagine yourself on your own deathbed. Looking back from there, what do you wish you had chosen at this time? Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D
  • No one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time on my business.” Paul E. Tsongas
  • Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a year? Will it matter when you’re on your deathbed?
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… by imagining yourself at your funeral and asking yourself what you want your loved ones to say about you

  • I hate funerals and would not attend my own if it could be avoided, but it is well for every man to stop once in a while to think of what sort of a collection of mourners he is training for his final event. Robert T. Morris
  • Tis after death that we measure men. James Barron Hope
  • I want words at my funeral. But I guess that means you need life in your life. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
  • As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself. This is your funeral, three years from today. All these people have come to honour you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life. As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand. There are to be four speakers. The first is from your family, immediate and also extended —children, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who have come from all over the country to attend. The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who can give a sense of what you were as a person. The third speaker is from your work or profession. And the fourth is from your church or some community organization where you’ve been involved in service. Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would like their words to reflect? What kind of son or daughter or cousin? What kind of friend? What kind of working associate? What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? Look carefully at the people around you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives?  Stephen Covey
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Die before you die especially by dying to the ego

  • Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are, not all that we see is beautiful and attractive. This is undoubtedly part of the reason we flee silence.  We do not want to be confronted with our hypocrisy, our phoniness. We see how false and fragile is the false self we project. We have to go through this painful experience to come to our true self. It is a harrowing journey, a death to self—the false self—and no one wants to die.  But it is the only path to life, to freedom, to peace, to true love.  And it begins with silence.  We cannot give ourselves in love if we do not know and possess ourselves. This is the great value of silence. It is the pathway to all we truly want. M. Basil Pennington
  • What is actually the birth of our spiritual identity feels to the ego like death. The ego, our small and separate sense of self, is an imposter personality.  It is a false self.  It resists our genuinely remembering God, because in the recognition of our oneness with him lies the death of the ego and the end of all fear.  Marianne Williamson
  • Life after spirituality is a constant dying. Emerging from our own ashes becomes no big deal, but just the way things are. Robert Augustus Masters
  • The path of dying to self and being reborn leads to life abundant. Jesus Christ
  • When the ego dies, the soul awakes. Gandhi
  • One must die; that is, one must free oneself from a thousand petty attachments and identifications. . . . One is attached to everything in one’s life, attached to one’s imagination, attached to one’s stupidity, attached even to one’s sufferings, possibly to the sufferings more than to everything else. Attachment to things, identifications with things, keep alive a thousand useless “I”s in a person.  These “I”s must die in order that the big I may be born.  But how can they be made to die?  They do not want to die.  It is at this point that the possibility of awakening comes to the rescue.  To awaken means to recognize one’s nothingness.  I. Gurdjieff
  • Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death. Eckhart Tolle
  • Meditation is not growth of the ego, it is death of the ego. Rajneesh
  • The attainment of enlightenment from ego’s point of view is extreme death, the death of self, the death of me and mine, the death of the watcher. It is the ultimate and final disappointment. Chogyam Trungpa
  • Transcending the ego
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Experiencing the death of another

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To live is to experience the death of loved ones

  • So they pass away: friends, kindred, the dearest-loved, grown people, aged, infants. As we go on the down-hill journey, the mile-stones are grave-stones, and on each more and more names are written; unless haply you live beyond man’s common age, when friends have dropped off, and, tottering, and feeble, and unpitied, you reach the terminus alone. William Makepeace Thackeray
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All our relationships end in rejection or death

  • It’s easy to cry when you realize that everyone you love will reject you or die. Chuck Palahniuk
  • The reality is that all relationships inevitably will be dissolved and broken. The ultimate price exacted for commitment to other human beings rests in the inescapable fact that loss and pain will be experienced when they are gone, even to the point of jeopardizing one’s physical health.  It is a toll that no one can escape, and a price that everyone will be forced to pay repeatedly.  Like the rise and fall of the ocean tides, disruptions of human relationships occur at regular intervals throughout life, and include the loss of parents, death of a mate, divorce, marital separation, death of family members, children leaving home, death of close friends, change of neighbourhoods, and loss of acquaintances by retirement from work.  Infancy, adolescence, middle age, old age–all seasons of life involve human loss.  James J. Lynch
  • There really is only one ending to any story. Human life ends in death. Until then, it keeps going and gets complicated and there’s loss. Everything involves loss; every relationship ends in one way or another. Charlie Kaufman
  • Principles for healthy relationships
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All stories, even happy ones, end in death

  • Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you. Ernest Hemingway
  • There really is only one ending to any story. Human life ends in death. Until then, it keeps going and gets complicated and there’s loss. Everything involves loss; every relationship ends in one way or another. Charlie Kaufman
  • All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you. Ernest Hemingway
  • All tragedies are finished by a death, all comedies by a marriage. Lord Byron
  • I will not tell you our love story, because-like all real love stories-it will die with us, as it should. John Green
  • The timing of death, like the ending of a story, gives a changed meaning to what preceded it. Mary Catherine Bateson
  • Stories
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The death of a loved one is more the affair of the people left behind than it is that of the person who died …

  • A man’s dying is more the survivor’s affair than his own. Thomas Mann
  • A couch of thorns, or an embroidered bed, / Are matters of indifference to the dead. Theognis Of Megara
  • Death fixes forever the relation existing between the departed spirit and the survivors upon earth. John Quincy Adams
  • Graves are for the living, not the dead. It gives us something to concentrate on instead of the fact that our loved one is rotting under the ground. The dead don’t care about pretty flowers and carved marble statues. Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Believe me, when you die, it’s everybody else’s but your problem. Cecelia Ahern
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The pain of death

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The death of a loved one brings great grief and sorrow …

  • Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. From a headstone in Ireland
  • There is a time in a patient’s life when the pain ceases to be, when the mind slips off into a dreamless state, when the need for food becomes minimal and the awareness of the environment all but disappears into darkness. This is the time when the relatives walk up and down the hospital hallways, tormented by the waiting, not knowing if they should leave to attend the living or stay to be around for the moment of death. This is the time when it is too late for words, and yet the time when the relatives cry the loudest for help–with out without words…. It is the hardest time for the next of kin as he either wishes to take off, to get it over with; or he desperately clings to something that he is in the process of losing forever. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • But to mourn, that’s different. To mourn is to be eaten alive with homesickness for the person. Olive Ann Burns
  • No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning. Haruki Murakami
  • The body is placed under the earth, and after a certain period there remains no vestige even of its form. This is that contemplation of inexhaustible melancholy, whose shadow eclipses the brightness of the world. The common observer is struck with dejection of the spectacle. He contends in vain against the persuasion of the grave, that the dead indeed cease to be. The corpse at his feet is prophetic of his own destiny. Those who have preceded him, and whose voice was delightful to his ear; whose touch met his like sweet and subtle fire: whose aspect spread a visionary light upon his path — these he cannot meet again. Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal – every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open – this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Washington Irving
  • GriefSadness
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… a profound sense of loss …

  • The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him or her alone and is therefore absolutely and irretrievably lost. Artur Schopenhauer
  • A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies. Gustave Flaubert
  • A piece of me is gone,” she told me once while we were bra shopping. “I think we’re made up of all these different pieces and every time someone goes, you’re left with less of yourself. Melina Marchetta
  • If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them? Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn’t be filled? Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
  • In time, in time they tell me, I’ll not feel so bad. I don’t want time to heal me. There’s a reason I’m like this. I want time to set me ugly and knotted with loss of you, marking me. I won’t smooth you away. I can’t say goodbye.  China Miéville
  • Losing people you love affects you. It is buried inside of you and becomes this big, deep hole of ache. It doesn’t magically go away, even when you stop officially mourning. Carrie Jones
  • When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part. John Irving
  • Relationships take up energy; letting go of them, psychiatrists theorize, entails mental work. When you lose someone you were close to, you have to reassess your picture of the world and your place in it. The more your identity was wrapped up with the deceased, the more difficult the loss. Meghan O’Rourke
  • Loss
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… a sense of grief that people handle in different ways

  • Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smoulders inside me. Most days, I don’t notice it, but, out of the blue, it’ll flare to life. Maria V. Snyder
  • Women were different, no doubt about it. Men broke so much more quickly. Grief didn’t break women. Instead it wore them down, it hollowed them out very slowly. Cornelia Funke
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The death of a loved one, even when you expect it, always brings a sense of surprise and a shock

  • That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking. Sarah Dessen
  • After a person dies, there is always something like a feeling of stupefaction, so difficult is it to comprehend this unexpected advent of nothingness and to resign oneself to believing it. Gustave Flaubert
  • It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things. Daniel Handler
  • The reaction to death is sometimes as violent as death itself. Shock throws a cautious coolness over your senses, but your stomach still has knots, your skin stings as if the Reaper is glaring at you as well. Tim Lebbon
  • Surprise
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The death of a loved one often brings a sense of guilt

  • the anguish of that thought that we can never atone to our dead for the stinted affection we gave them, for the light answers we returned to their plaints or their pleadings, for the little reverence we showed to that sacred human soul that lived so close to us, and was the divinest thing God had given us to know! George Eliot, Amos Barton
  • Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion to death. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Guilt is one of the most powerful negative reactions to the loss of a loved one, equalled only by anger as a common grief experience. After someone close to us dies, we think back to events, conversations, or modes of behaviour we engaged in before the death. Carol Staudacher
  • Whoever said that loss gets easier with time was a liar. Here’s what really happens: The spaces between the times you miss them grow longer. Then, when you do remember to miss them again, it’s still with a stabbing pain to the heart. And you have guilt. Guilt because it’s been too long since you missed them last. Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
  • Guilt
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Coping with grief

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You never get over grief but you learn to get through it

  • Grief reunites you with what you’ve lost. It’s a merging; you go with the loved thing or person that’s going away. You follow it a far as you can go. But finally, the grief goes away and you phase back into the world. Without him. And you can accept that. What the hell choice is there? You cry, you continue to cry, because you don’t ever completely come back from where you went with him — a fragment broken off your pulsing, pumping heart is there still. A cut that never heals. And if, when it happens to you over and over again in life, too much of your heart does finally go away, then you can’t feel grief any more. And then you yourself are ready to die. You’ll walk up the inclined ladder and someone else will remain behind grieving for you. Philip K. Dick,
  • I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence. Alyson Noel
  • My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. 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
  • You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? Jeanette Winterson
  • You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp. Anne Lamott
  • You don’t get over it, you just get through it. You don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it. It doesn’t ‘get better,’ it just gets different. Everyday grief puts on a new face. Wendy Feireisen
  • We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that a part of us shall remain inconsolable and never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it is completely filled, it will nevertheless remain something changed forever. Sigmund Freud
  • Grief
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Though it doesn’t feel like it, there will come a time when you will smile again

  • Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night’s sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn’t hear her husband’s ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great- grandchildren’s will be. But we learn to live in that love. Jonathan Safran Foer
  • You cannot die of grief, though it feels as if you can. A heart does not actually break, though sometimes your chest aches as if it is breaking. Grief dims with time. It is the way of things. There comes a day when you smile again, and you feel like a traitor. How dare I feel happy. How dare I be glad in a world where my father is no more. And then you cry fresh tears, because you do not miss him as much as you once did, and giving up your grief is another kind of death. Laurell K. Hamilton
  • You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live. Neil Gaiman
  • See, as much as you want to hold on to the bitter sore memory that someone has left this world, you are still in it. And the very act of living is a tide: at first it seems to make no difference at all, and then one day you look down and see how much pain has eroded. Jodi Picoult
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When someone dies, realise that grief has certain blessings to bestow

  • Grief can awaken us to new values and new and deeper appreciations. Grief can cause us to reprioritize things in our lives, to recognize what’s really important and put it first. Grief can heighten our gratitude as we cease taking the gifts life bestows on us for granted. Grief can give us the wisdom of being with death. Grief can make death the companion on our left who guides us and gives us advice. None of this growth makes the loss good and worthwhile, but it is the good that comes out of the bad. Roger Bertschausen
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When someone dies, let there be spaciousness and peace beneath your weeping

  • Nothing in this world of form matters absolutely. Every form is destined to dissolve.  All forms eventually collapse.  By all means grieve when they do, but let there be spaciousness beneath your weeping.  Losing forms makes the eternal, deathless, formless, timeless dimension of who we are shine all the more, bringing great peace.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Loss through death and destruction is actually benevolent. It takes away objects and creates an opening for consciousness to arise. Eckhart Tolle
  • If a form collapses through death or loss and you accept it, then there is peace and spaciousness beneath your weeping. Eckhart Tolle
  • You might find that inside the sadness, the grief, the despair lies something else too. Lies some kind of beauty, some kind of humanity, human understanding that understands that things are impermanent that nothing stays the same. That there is loss, that it’s not possible to control the whole universe, that even in terms of our bodies that this is something that is to a large extent a mystery. But it’s not all ugly it’s not all black. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • …when a loved one has just died, or you feel your own death approaching, you cannot be happy. It is impossible. But you can be at peace. There may be sadness and tears, but provided that you have relinquished resistance, underneath the sadness you will feel a deep serenity, a stillness, a sacred presence. This is the emanation of Being, this is inner peace, the good that has no opposite. Eckhart Tolle
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When someone dies, honour their spirit

  • When those you love die, the best you can do is honour their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life… it’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself. Patrick Swayze
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When someone does, celebrate their life

  • I’ve told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end. Joanne Harris
  • When someone we love dies, we get so busy mourning what died that we ignore what didn’t. Baba Ram Dass
  • The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. Thornton Wilder
  • Our dead brothers and sisters still live for us and bid us think of life, not death–of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and glory of Spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil, our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left. Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back. Or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on. David Harkins
  • Celebration
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Some things can feel like death     

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Separation from the ones we love can feel like death

  • Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair. William Cowper
  • As the presence of those we love is as a double life, so absence, in its anxious longing and sense of vacancy, is as a foretaste of death. Anna Brownell Jameson
  • She watched the gap between ship and shore grow to a huge gulf. Perhaps this was a little like dying, the departed no longer visible to the others, yet both still existed, only in different worlds. Susan Wiggs
  • Distance of time and place generally cure what they seem to aggravate; and taking leave of our friends resembles taking leave of the world, of which it has been said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible. Henry Fielding
  • Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven. Tryon Edwards
  • When you break up, your whole identity is shattered. That’s why it’s like death. It is a death. Dennis Quaid
  • Saying goodbye
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Divorce can feel like death

  • Losing a mate to death is devastating but it’s not a personal attack like divorce. When somebody you love stops loving you and walks away, it’s an insult beyond comparison. Sue Merrell
  • Divorce is probably as painful as death. William Shatner
  • Each divorce is the death of a small civilization. Pat Conroy
  • Divorce is like death without a burial. Dane Cunningham
  • Divorce
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Rejection can feel like death

  • In tribal times, being ejected from the safety of a group could have meant death. No wonder many of us like to ‘fit in’.  Mark Tyrrell
  • What are now emotional needs were once necessities for physical survival. The strength of the emotion you feel if you are rejected or belittled comes from ancient programming still resident in your modern brain. Once upon a time, loss of love, rejection, weakness and loss of territory all meant death. Now it just feels that way. Julian Short
  • There’s nothing worse than rejection. It’s worse than death. I would wish sometimes for the guy to die because at least then I could go to his grave and visit. Oprah Winfrey
  • Rejection
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Chronic anxiety can feel like death

  • Chronic anxiety is a state more undesirable than any other, and we will try almost any manoeuvre to eliminate it. Modern man is living in anxious anticipation of destruction. Such anxiety can be easily eliminated by self-destruction. As a German saying puts it: ‘Better an end with terror than a terror without end.” Robert E. Neale
  • Anxiety
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Loneliness can feel like death

  • Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Loneliness
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Dying for what we believe in

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Some argue we should all have something in our lives that is worth dying for

  • We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it. Che Guevara
  • No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • To die for others is the highest purpose a person may achieve. Christopher Golden & Nancy Holder
  • Sloth is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for. Dorothy Sayers
  • Those who are prepared to die for any cause are seldom defeated. Jawaharlal Nehru
  • A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Meaning
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Some are prepared to die for a principle …

  • ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. Thomas Paine
  • Nothing will bind the eyes of man quicker than the touch of compromise. A principle not compromised is a principle worth dying for. A dream not compromised is a dream worth living for. Ogwo David Emenike
  • PrinciplesIdeals
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… some for freedom …

  • Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! Patrick Henry
  • Freedom
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… some for love …

  • Love is my religion – I could die for it. John Keats
  • There is no greater love than this. There is no greater gift that can ever be given. To be willing to die, so another might live — there is no greater lover than this. Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Love
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… so others may live …

  • Honour from death,” I snap, “is a myth. Invented by the war torn to make sense of the horrific. If we die, it will be so that others may live. Truly honourable death, the only honourable death, is one that enables life. Rae Carson
  • I’d rather die than live by the death of others. Edward Sanchez
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… some for human dignity …

  • Human rights rest on human dignity. The dignity of man is an ideal worth fighting for and worth dying for. Robert Maynard
  • Dignity
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… some for honour …

  • Better to die ten thousand deaths than wound my honor. Joseph Addison
  • I love the name of honour, more than I fear death. Julius Caesar
  • Honor
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… some for the love of their country …

  • One question in my mind, which I hardly dare mention in public, is whether patriotism has, overall, been a force for good or evil in the world. Patriotism is rampant in war and there are some good things about it. Just as self-respect and pride bring out the best in an individual, pride in family, pride in teammates, pride in hometown bring out the best in groups of people. War brings out the kind of pride in country that encourages its citizens in the direction of excellence and it encourages them to be ready to die for it. At no time do people work so well together to achieve the same goal as they do in wartime. Maybe that’s enough to make patriotism eligible to be considered a virtue. If only I could get out of my mind the most patriotic people who ever lived, the Nazi Germans. Andy Rooney
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… some for their religion

  • A name is a label, and as soon as there is a label, the ideas disappear and out comes label-worship and label- bashing, and instead of living by a theme of ideas, people begin dying for labels… and the last thing the world needs is another religion. Richard Bach
  • To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely. Jorge Luis Borges
  • Religion
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Surely dying is overrated and it’s much better to live for something than die for it

  • Dying is overrated. Human sentimentality has twisted it into the ultimate act of love. Biggest load of bullshit in the world. Dying for someone isn’t the hard thing. The man that dies escapes. Plain and simple. Game over. End of pain…Try living for someone. Through it all-good, bad, thick, thin, joy, suffering. That’s the hard thing. Karen Marie Moning
  • Martyr: One who moves along the line of least reluctance to a desired death. Ambrose Bierce
  • Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it. C. Colton
  • To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely. Jorge Luis Borges.
  • When all the blandishments of life are gone, the coward sneaks to death, the brave live on. George Sewell
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Just because we’re prepared to die for something doesn’t make it true

  • A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. Oscar Wilde
  • Men will die for an opinion as soon as for anything else. William Hazlitt
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Some things are stronger than death    

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Love is stronger than death

  • 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. Robert Fulghum
  • I honestly do not know if love vanquishes death as our traditional faiths teach but I do know that our vulnerabilities trump our ideologies and that love leavens the purity and logic of our beliefs propelling us to connect as the fiercely gracious human beings we are. Irwin Kula
  • I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. Leo Buscaglia
  • If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever. The Crow (1994)
  • We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love. Madame de Stael
  • There are only four questions of value in life What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love. Don Juan De Marco
  • My soul defence against the natural horror which death inspires, is to love beyond it. Madame Swetchine
  • Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion. Dylan Thomas
  • It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death. Thomas Mann
  • Love
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Music is stronger than death

  • I’m wishing he could see that music lives. Forever. That it’s stronger than death. Stronger than time. And that its strength holds you together when nothing else can. Jennifer Donnelly
  • Music
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Some things in life are like a little death     

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Sleep is a little death …

  • For me, sleeping is a waste of time. I’m afraid to sleep. It’s a form of death. Edith Piaf
  • Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes, Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose. John Fletcher
  • I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death. Nasir Jones
  • We term sleep a death by which we may be literally said to die daily; in fine, so like death, I dare not trust it without my prayers. Sir Thomas Browne
  • Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit, and look on death itself. William Shakespeare
  • Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care. The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath.  Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, chief nourisher in life’s feast.  William Shakespeare
  • Sleep is pain’s easiest salve, and doth fulfil all the offices of death, except to kill. John Donne
  • Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed. Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Sleep is death without the responsibility. Fran Lebowitz
  • Death, so called, is a thing which makes men weep, And yet a third of life is passed in sleep. George Gordon Byron
  • Sleep
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… for surely sleep and death are related

  • Death’s brother, Sleep. Virgil
  • Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest. William Shakespeare
  • How wonderful is Death, Death and his brother Sleep! Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Fear is a little death …

  • Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. Frank Herbert
  • Fear
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… that causes you to die many times

  • Cowards die many times before their actual deaths. Julius Caesar
  • Cowards die many times before their deaths / The valiant never taste of death but once. William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
  • . Instead of allowing fear to scare you to death …
  • Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death, but to inspire yourself to life. Adele Brookman
  • What happens if you get scared half to death twice? Steven Wright
  • Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death. Betty Bender
  • Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. General Omar Bradley
  • Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. John Wayne
  • Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death. Harold Wilson
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Do what you’re afraid to do and the death of fear is certain

  • Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do. Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Do the things you fear and the death of fear is certain. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Orgasm is a little death

  • We rehearse for the big death through the little death of orgasm, through erotic living. Death as transfiguration. Peter Redgrove
  • Sex is kicking death in the ass while singing. Charles Bukowski
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Autumn and winter are a little death

  • A human life has seasons much as the earth has seasons, each time with its own particular beauty and power. And gift. By focusing on springtime and summer, we have turned the natural process of life into a process of loss rather than a process of celebration and appreciation.  Life is neither linear nor stagnant.  It is movement from mystery to mystery. Just as a year includes autumn and winter, life includes death, not as an opposite but as an integral part of the way life is made.  Rachel Naomi Remen
  • Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple… J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • The return every spring of earth’s first freshness would never be kept if not for the frosts and rot and ripe deaths of fall. So when I go out from the garden for the last time in autumn, I leave the gate open behind me. Michael Pollan
  • The human soul is slow to discover the real excellence of things given to us by a bountiful Creator, and not until the shadows of death begin to gather around the object that we love, do we see its worth and beauty. Autumn is the dim shadow that clusters about the sweet, precious things that God has created in the realm of nature. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. Beauty lurks in all the dim old aisles of nature, and we discover it at last. Northern Advocate
  • Winter ends; spring begins. And so it goes. Every beginning has an ending, and all endings herald a new beginning: life out of death. John Marks Templeton
  • AutumnWinter
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Causes of death

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Death has many gates and they are never at rest

  • Death hath so many doors to let out life. Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
  • Death has a hundred hands and walks by a thousand ways. T. S. Eliot
  • We are all born in the same way but we all die in different ways. James Joyce
  • The gate of death is never at rest. Edward Counsel
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Death is often caused by disease …

  • We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases. Sir Thomas Browne
  • Cancer is my secret because none of my rivals has been that close to death and it makes you look at the world in a different light and that is a huge advantage. Lance Armstrong
  • Cancer is not a death sentence, but rather it is a life sentence; it pushes one to live. Marcia Smith
  • Illness
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… but disease is often caused by unhealthy diet …

  • The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital. Neal D. Barnard
  • The Americans as a nation are killing themselves with their vices and high living. As much as a man ought to eat in half an hour they swallow in three minutes gulping down their food like the dog under the table which when a chunk of meat is thrown down to it swallows it before you can say ‘twice.’ If you want a reform carry out the advice I have just given you. Dispense with your multitudinous dishes, and, depend upon it, you will do much towards preserving your families from sickness, disease and death. Brigham Young
.

… by emotional stress and negative emotional states

  • According to 3 different 10-year studies, emotional stress is a stronger predictor of death from cancer and heart disease than smoking. Steve Pavlina
  • In most cases stress is the root cause of death; illnesses are just the wrap up. Yordan Yordanov
  • The nervous system and hormone responses of hostile people are a pathway to disease and death. Redford Williams, M.D
  • EmotionLow mood
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Euthanasia

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Some argue that we should have the right to a humane death if we have a painful terminal condition …

  • 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. Stewart Alsop
  • Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or broken heart, is excuse for cutting off one’s life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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… that death by euthanasia is far more humane than a prolonged death by terrible suffering …

  • Is there such a thing as a humane death, a peaceful end to the pain of living? Elizabeth Redfern
  • Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Mercy often inflicts death. Seneca
  • His pain was too great. He begged me for the simple mercy of death. And I could do nothing else but help him leave a world that had become a sleepless, tortured nightmare to him. Robert D. Andrews
  • In quixotically trying to conquer death doctors all too frequently do no good for their patients’ “ease” but at the same time they do harm instead by prolonging and even magnifying patients’ dis-ease. Jack Kevorkian
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… while others warn this is fraught with dangers …

  • Euthanasia is a long, smooth-sounding word, and it conceals its danger as long, smooth words do, but the danger is there, nevertheless. Pearl S. Buck
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… and morally wrong

  • This life in us; however low it flickers or fiercely burns, is still a divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives never so humane and enlightened; To suppose otherwise is to countenance a death-wish; Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other. Malcolm Muggeridge
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Suicide

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Some use death as an escape from the pain of life

  • I am stigmatized by a living death in which real death holds no terrors for me. Antonin Artaud
  • Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient. Henry Ward Beecher
  • I went down to the river, / I set down on the bank. / I tried to think but couldn’t, / So I jumped in and sank. Langston Hughes
  • Did you really want to die?” “No one commits suicide because they want to die.” “Then why do they do it?” “Because they want to stop the pain.” Tiffanie DeBartolo
  • You did not fear death. You stepped in its path, but without really desiring it: how can one desire something one doesn’t know? You didn’t deny life but affirmed your taste for the unknown, betting that if something existed on the other side, it would be better than here. Édouard Levé,
  • A man would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable, only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and over. Francis Bacon
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Death by suicide is seen as cowardly by many and even a sin by some …

  • The man who kills a man kills a man. The man who kills himself kills all men. As far as he is concerned, he wipes out the world. K. Chesterton
  • To wish for death is a coward’s part. Ovid
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… while others are more understanding

  • It is not seen as insane when a fighter, under an attack that will inevitably lead to his death, chooses to take his own life first. In fact, this act has been encouraged for centuries, and is accepted even now as an honourable reason to do the deed. How is it any different when you are under attack by your own mind? Emilie Autumn
  • They tell us that Suicide is the greatest piece of Cowardice… That Suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in this world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person. Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Suicide is not a blot on anyone’s name; it is a tragedy. Kay Redfield Jamison
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Attempted suicide brings great risks, even if it doesn’t work

  • The reality of suicide is far different from the fantasy. Most suicidal thinkers romanticize their death by suicide, failing to realize that any suicide gesture or attempt can result in permanent brain, kidney, or liver damage, loss of limbs, blindness, or even death. Susan Rose Blauner
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Suicide brings great pain and damage to the ones left behind

  • Even if those who take their own lives feel they have no choice–indeed, they often tragically believe their family and friends will be better off without them–the death rarely appears inevitable to those left behind. Feelings of anger and guilt and abandonment invade them, as if love should or could have prevented what happened. Survivors relive, over and over, the last days and months, even years, before the suicide, seeing now the signs that were missed, which they believe they should have recognized. Susan Sterling
  • In most cases, suicide is a solitary event and yet it has often far-reaching repercussions for many others. It is rather like throwing a stone into a pond; the ripples spread and spread. Alison Wertheimer
  • Suicide creates a monstrous emotional upsurge of shame and guilt. Everyone participates in feeling responsible and even shamed at knowing the suicidal candidate. If these feelings are not healed the vampire of suicidal death can strike again and again. Linda Lee Landon
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Living things are not the only things that can die…     

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Intelligence and knowledge can die

  • Belief is the death of intelligence. Robert Anton
  • Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge. Alfred North Whitehead
  • IntelligenceKnowledge
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Illusions can die

  • One sometimes weeps over one’s illusions with as much bitterness as over a death. Guy de Maupassant
  • Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion. Arthur Koestler
  • How strange when an illusion dies. It’s as though you’ve lost a child. Judy Garland
  • Illusion
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Reason can die

  • Violence in the voice is often only the death rattle of reason in the throat. John Frederick Boyes
  • Reason
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Creativity can die

  • Proximity to the crowd, to the majority view, spells the death of creativity. For a soul can create only when alone, and some are chosen for the flowering that takes place in the dark avenues of night. Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Creativity
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Dreams can die

  • The death of a dream can in fact serve as the vehicle that endows it with new form, with reinvigorated substance, a fresh flow of ideas, and splendidly revitalized color. Aberjhani
  • A person starts dying when they stop dreaming. Brian Williams
  • Dreams
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Potential can die

  • Shame is the leading cause of death of the potential for actualizing giftedness. Maria Rocamora
  • Potential
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Love and intimacy can die

  • Grumbling is the death of love. Marlene Dietrich
  • Judgement is death to intimacy. Matthew Kelly
  • Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings. Anais Nin
  • So often the end of a love affair is death by a thousand cuts, so often its survival is life by a thousand stitches. Robert Brault
  • LoveIntimacy
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Relationships can die

  • Relationships are either growing or dying. Matthew Kelly
  • When a couple gets to the last stage, one or both partners may have an affair. But an affair is usually a symptom of a dying marriage, not the cause. The end of that marriage could have been predicted long before either spouse strayed. John Gottman
  • There is a rhythm to the ending of a marriage just like the rhythm of a courtship–only backward. You try to start again but get into blaming over and over. Finally, you are both worn out, exhausted, hopeless. Then lawyers are called in to pick clean the corpses. The death has occurred much earlier. Erica Jong
  • Marriage can be viewed as the waiting room for death. Mike Myers
  • Principles for healthy relationships
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Ideas can die, especially when smothered early on, but can also endure long beyond death

  • A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death. John F. Kennedy
  • A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow. Charles Brower
  • Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death. Seth Godin
  • Ideas
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Communities, cultures and nations can die

  • A community that is growing rich and seeks only to defend its goods and its reputation is dying. It has ceased to grow in love. A community is alive when it is poor and its members feel they have to work together and remain united, if only to ensure that they can all eat tomorrow! Jean Vanier
  • A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot. Robert A. Heinlein
  • There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half- truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an instalment plan. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment. Robert M. Hutchins
  • Community
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The earth can die

  • I am the earth. You are the earth. The Earth is dying. You and I are murderers. Ymber Delecto
  • For 200 years we’ve been conquering Nature. Now we’re beating it to death. Tom McMillan
  • The forests are dying, the rivers are dying, and we are called to act. To return Earth to harmony is to restore the harmonious principles within ourselves and to act as responsible caretakers – to save the forests and the waters for future generations.   Dhyani Ywahoo
  • Care for the environment
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Final thoughts     

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You are going to die and that makes you lucky

  • We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly, those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?   Richard Dawkins
  • Luck
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Death is a process, not an event

  • Death is not an end, but a transition-crisis. All the forms of decay are but masks of regeneration–the secret alembics of vitality. H. Chapin
  • Death is a process, not an event, despite medical and legal imperatives to give it a date and hour. James W. Green
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Death hides behind statistics

  • In statistics, what disappears behind rows of numbers is death. Gunter Grass
  • Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death. Hilaire Belloc
  • A single death is a tragedy, are million deaths is a statistic. Joseph Stalin
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Thoughts on death and the stars

  • 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. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • When a great life sets it leaves an afterglow on the sky far into the night. Austin O’Malley
  • Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. Eskimo Proverb
  • There is not death! The stars go down to rise upon some other shore, and bright in heaven’s jewelled crown, they shine for ever more. John L. McCreery
  • Life was to these a dream fulfilled, / And death a starry night. Herman Melville
  • In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. Robert Ingersoll
  • The moment comes when the great nurse, death, takes a human, the child, by the hand and quietly says, “It is time to go home. Night is coming. It is your bedtime, child of earth. Come; you’re tired.  Lie down at last in the quiet nursery of nature and sleep.  Sleep well.  The day is gone. Stars shine in the canopy of eternity.” Joshua Liebman
  • Stars
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Thoughts on death and war

  • Common sense recognizes the utter senselessness of war, the irrationality of using death, suffering and destruction as a way of settling disputes. Wilferd A. Peterson
  • Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. Herbert Hoover
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Thoughts on the death of a parent

  • When my father died, I moved into the space he left inside me and found out it was where I belonged. Farland Fish
  • But she wasn’t around, and that’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going in to every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone. Mitch Albom
  • I hope you never hear those words. Your mom. She died. They are different than other words. They are too big to fit in your ears. They belong to some strange, heavy, powerful language that pounds away at the side of your head, a wrecking ball coming at you again and again, until finally, the words crack a hole large enough to fit inside your brain. And in so doing, they split you apart. Mitch Albom
  • Parenting
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Thoughts on the death of a sibling

  • If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone? Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
  • My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. 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
  • To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in- law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing–I’m sorry, I would rather not go on. Yann Martel, Life of Pi
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Thoughts on the death of a friend

  • On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfil the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world. Henry David Thoreau
  • Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • We enjoy some gratification when our good friends die; for though their death leaves us in sorrow, we have the consolatory assurance that they are beyond the ills by which in this life even the best of people are broken down or corrupted. Augustine
  • Every deceased friend is a magnet drawing us into another world. Eliza Cook
  • While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. John Taylor
  • Friendship
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Thoughts on the death of a pet

  • . . . owning a dog always ended with this sadness because dogs just don’t live as long as people do. John Grogan
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Thoughts on death and sex

  • Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent. D. Laing
  • In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death.  Sam Llewelyn
  • You never knew the last time you were seeing someone. You didn’t know when the last argument happened, or the last time you had sex, or the last time you looked into their eyes and thanked God they were in your life. After they were gone? That was all you thought about. Day and night.  R. Ward
  • Sex is kicking death in the ass while singing. Charles Bukowski
  • The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you. Woody Allen
  • When you don’t have any money, the problem is food. When you have money, it’s sex. When you have both, it’s health. If everything is simply jake, then you’re frightened of death. P. Donleavy
  • The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you. Woody Allen
  • Sexuality
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On a lighter note

  • Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it. Somerset Maugham
  • Death is a wonderful way of cutting down on your expenses. Woody Allen
  • Death is an acquired trait. Woody Allen
  • Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time. George Carlin
  • Death is contagious; it is contracted the moment we are conceived. Madeleine L’Engle
  • Death is God’s way of telling you not to be such a wise guy. Grenville Kleiser
  • Death is like an old whore in a bar–I’ll buy her a drink but I won’t go upstairs with her. Ernest Hemingway
  • Death is nature’s way of saying, “Howdy. “
  • Death is nature’s way of saying, Your table’s ready. Robin Williams
  • Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
  • Death is not the end; there remains the litigation over the estate. Ambrose Bierce
  • Death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down. Woody Allen
  • Death (funny quotes)
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