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Oh! that "eternal shore,"
When Death shall be no more!
How widely differing from this mortal state,
Where we but draw our earliest breath
To yield it up again in death,
Obedient to the unchanging laws of fate!

ANNE S. BUSHBY, "Easter Morning"

When a great life sets it leaves an afterglow on the sky far into the night.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

And death, that sits in marble silence cold,
Will furnish hope to those who may behold
The meaning in the everlasting change
Of all that dies, returning, wondrous strange.

EDWIN LEIBFREED, "The Quest for God"

To take life was to understand your own death--that the Hour of the Huntsman also came for you.

S. M. STIRLING, The Sunrise Lands

Death is ... a travelling asunder into elemental chaos. And from the elemental chaos all is cast forth again into creation. Therefore death also is but a cul-de-sac, a melting-pot.

D. H. LAWRENCE, "Love"

We're ever making plans for life,
But seldom plans for death,
Though death we know must come to us,
And life is but a breath.


It is a sad weakness in us, after all, that the thought of a man's death hallows him anew to us; as if life were not sacred too--as if it were comparatively a light thing to fail in love and reverence to the brother who has to climb the whole toilsome steep with us, and all our tears and tenderness were due to the one who is spared that hard journey.

GEORGE ELIOT, Janet's Repentance

Death is an antidote for this life, and it makes another more stable form of life which is insoluble in everything.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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.


Death makes equal the high and low.

JOHN HEYWOOD, Be Merry Friends

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!"

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

No matter who you are, you will be put abed at last with a shovel.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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

O 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!


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.


For soon, very soon do men forget
Their friends upon whom Death's seal is set.

ISAAC MCLELLAN, "The Last Night of the Year"

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.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

Death hath this also; that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy.


Is there such a thing as a humane death, a peaceful end to the pain of living?

ELIZABETH REDFERN, Music of the Spheres

Life was to these a dream fulfilled,
And death a starry night.

HERMAN MELVILLE, "Chattanooga"

Give me to die like a beast, afar, alone
With but the hawk and crow
To watch beside me while I cast my soul,
And but the sky to know
What my racked lips have uttered, what last groan,
Or curse or prayer, I breathed to heaven above.

KENNETH RAND, "Straw-Death"

Death is not an end, but a transition-crisis. All the forms of decay are but masks of regeneration--the secret alembics of vitality.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

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, Thoughts on Art and Life

Death is progress, advance, disimprisonment.

REUEN THOMAS, Thoughts for the Thoughtful

Death to the wicked is all loss, to the righteous all gain.

JOHN THORNTON, Maxims and Directions for Youth

When we pray for death we really desire a fuller life.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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.


Now can it be men die and carry thence no memory of death, only this curious lightness of the hands, only this curious darkness of the mind, only to be still changeless with the winters passing; not gray, not lined, not stricken down, but stamped forever on the moving air, and echo and an image?


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, Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death

Death happens but once, yet we feel it every moment of our lives; it is worse to dread it than to suffer it.

JEAN DE LA BRUYÈRE, "Of Mankind", Les Caractères

It is abundantly evident that, however natural it may be for us to feel sorrow at the death of our relatives, that sorrow is an error and an evil, and we ought to overcome it. There is no need to sorrow for them, for they have passed into a far wider and happier life. If we sorrow for our own fancied separation from them, we are in the first place weeping over an illusion, for in truth they are not separated from us; and secondly, we are acting selfishly, because we are thinking more of our own apparent loss than of their great and real gain.

C. W. LEADBEATER, The Science of the Sacraments

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