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Quotes

Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.

—Iris Murdoch, 1974

Epitaph, n. An inscription on a tomb, showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

A god cannot procure death for himself, even if he wished it, which, so numerous are the evils of life, has been granted to man as our chief good.

—Pliny the Elder, c. 77

The play is the tragedy “Man,” And its hero the conqueror worm.

—Edgar Allan Poe, 1843

There never is absolute birth nor complete death, in the strict sense, consisting in the separation of the soul from the body. What we call births are developments and growths, while what we call deaths are envelopments and diminutions.

—Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1714

I order that my funeral ceremonies be extremely modest, and that they take place at dawn or at the evening Ave Maria, without song or music.

—Giuseppe Verdi, 1900

Anyone who’s never watched somebody die is suffering from a pretty bad case of virginity.

—John Osborne, 1956

Every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.

—William James, 1902

There is no man so fortunate that there shall not be by him when he is dying some who are pleased with what is going to happen.

—Marcus Aurelius, c. 175

Man has here two and a half minutes—one to smile, one to sigh, and half a one to love; for in the midst of this minute he dies.

—Jean Paul Richter, 1795

If a parricide is more wicked than anyone who commits homicide—because he kills not merely a man but a near relative—without doubt worse still is he who kills himself, because there is none nearer to a man than himself. 

—Saint Augustine, c. 420

When a man dies, and his kin are glad of it, they say, “He is better off.”

—Edgar Watson Howe, 1911

Whoever has died is freed from sin.

—St. Paul, c. 50