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Quotes

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

—Iris Murdoch, 1974

I looked and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him.

—Book of Revelations, c. 90

Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

—William Blake, c. 1790

Life is a farce, and should not end with a mourning scene.

—Horace Walpole, 1784

Whoever has died is freed from sin.

—St. Paul, c. 50

Is this dying? Is this all? Is this all that I feared when I prayed against a hard death? Oh, I can bear this! I can bear it!

—Cotton Mather, 1728

The life of the dead consists in the recollection cherished of them by the living.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 43 BC

Men have written in the most convincing manner to prove that death is no evil, and this opinion has been confirmed on a thousand celebrated occasions by the weakest of men as well as by heroes. Even so I doubt whether any sensible person has ever believed it, and the trouble men take to convince others as well as themselves that they do shows clearly that it is no easy undertaking. 

—La Rochefoucauld, 1665

I think it makes small difference to the dead if they are buried in the tokens of luxury. All this is an empty glorification left for those who live.

—Euripides, 415 BC

If a man will observe as he walks the streets, I believe he will find the merriest countenances in mourning coaches.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

I was born without knowing why, I have lived without knowing why, and I am dying without either knowing why or how.

—Pierre Gassendi, 1655

The only evidence, so far as I know, about another life is, first, that we have no evidence; and, secondly, that we are rather sorry that we have not, and wish we had.

—Robert G. Ingersoll, 1879

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

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906