“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”― Jamie Anderson
There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, ultimately, acceptance.
In the denial phase, we are first shocked and then refuse to accept the input our brain is receiving.
We feel the abrupt emotion but we’re not sure where to put it.
We know we’re about to go through a very difficult time but we still refuse to accept that.
Deep and heavy emotions, all the heartbreak suddenly start pouring out in the shape of frustration and anger.
In the bargaining phase, we’re trying to find a logical solution, a way out of the overwhelming emotional stress we have found ourself in.
Once we finally realize we can’t avoid or stop what’s happening to us, we become depressed.
Finally, since there is nowhere to go but inside our own mind and heart, our grief changes into acceptance.
When we lose a loved one, a family member, a best friend, a lover… how do we deal with the pain of loss?
Is there anything that can help a human being go through the grieving process?
Is it true that grief is love with no place to go? What to do with all that great love? How to use it?
I feel for you. I understand your heartache. I’ve been there, I know just how you feel. Tired, sickened, furious, confused…
Loss is painful and even more so if it’s the first time you go through it but there are ways to use all the love that’s left, there are ways to help yourself move on.
See also: A Letter To My Mom – PS I Miss You
3 Crucial Steps To Accepting Grief:
Trust your intuition
High above all the blurry thoughts of sadness that are in your mind, there’ll be a voice. A thin, soft voice telling you that you will be okay.
You won’t want to listen to that voice because you will need to allow yourself to truly, deeply feel the pain in every cell of your body.
That’s perfectly okay. Moving on and keeping your mental health begins with learning to allow yourself to feel pain.
Still, pay attention to that little voice, as it’s the light at the end of the tunnel.
Know that grief brings gifts and accept them
We’ve already said that grief is love with nowhere to go. Well, use all that love. Think about the person you’ve lost.
They would want you to do something amazing with what you have left of them, even if it’s grief.
Grief teaches us to love each other more and to say, “I love you,” more.
It reminds us that life is short and that we need to bring more kindness, gratitude and empathy into this world.
Becoming better instead of bitter because of our grief is the beautiful gift our loved ones leave for us when we’re gone.
It would be an incredible shame and waste of love not to receive it and use it.
Know that the most unexpected people and things can bring you peace
Before you went through a loss, you probably had ideas about how you’d deal with it.
You maybe even thought about the people in your life who’d probably help you accept your situation.
When something bad happens, people are shocked to find out that the things or people they expected to bring them solace don’t.
Don’t let this hurt you even deeper. You’ll be surprised to see that you’ll find peace and comfort in things you never expected to find them in.
If you’re looking to read what other people have said about grief or wish to help a grieving loved one by sending them kind, inspirational words, read these grief and love quotes to bring yourself or them comfort.
1. “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
2. “Grief is a matter of the heart and soul. Grieve your loss, allow it in, and spend time with it. Suffering is the optional part. Love never dies, and spirit knows no loss. Keep in mind that a broken heart is an open heart.”—Louise Hay and David Kessler
3. “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”—J.R.R. Tolkien
4. “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”—Leo Tolstoy
5. “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.”—Helen Keller
6. “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”—J.M. Barrie
7. “Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving… the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”—Henri Nouwen
8. “People speak to me about my son – ‘I’m so sorry for you’ – but no one says, ‘I loved him so much.’ I was busy in grief, which I don’t expect to stop. Suddenly realizing that the last thing my son would want was for me to be very self-involved and narcissistic and self-stroking. It stopped me from writing. Which doesn’t mean you stop feeling the absence. It was being willing to think about it in a way that was not self-serving.”—Toni Morrison
9. “So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”—E.A. Bucchianeri
10. “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”—William Shakespeare
11. “And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh!’ And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you…”—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
12. “This is not goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy.”—Nicholas Sparks
13. “Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.”—Paulo Coelho
14. “Grief is the price we pay for love.”—Queen Elizabeth II
15. “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”—Thomas Campbell
16. “Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
17. “We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”—C.S. Lewis
18. “Life is full of grief, to exactly the degree we allow ourselves to love other people.”—Orson Scott Card
19. “Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power… that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”—Marcel Proust
20. “Accepting death doesn’t mean you won’t be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like, ‘Why do people die?’ and ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Death isn’t happening to you. Death is happening to us all.”—Caitlin Doughty
21. “Life is tragic simply because the earth turns, and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. 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, which is 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. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.”—James Baldwin
22. “There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, So just give me a happy middle And a very happy start.”—Shel Silverstein
23. “Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.”—Alphonse de Lamartine
24. “While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.”—Samuel Johnson
25. “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.”—Maya Angelou
26. “To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”—Erich Fromm
27. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”—Pierre-Auguste Renoir
28. “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”—William Shakespeare
29. “Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That’s the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what’s left, that’s the part you have to make up as you go.”—Katharine Weber
30. “Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”—Haruki Murakami
31. “There is a point at which even grief feels absurd. And at this point, laughter gushes up to retrieve sanity.”—Alice Walker
32. “Grief, no matter how you try to cater to its wail, has a way of fading away.”—V.C. Andrews
33. “We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world, the company of those who have known suffering.”—Helen Keller
34. “Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be. And when it does come, it unweaves the very fabric of our being. When love is lost, we lose the part of ourselves that did the loving – a part that, depending on the magnitude of the love, can come to approximate the whole of who we are.”—Joan Didion
35. “here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart… i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart).”—E.E Cummings
36. “Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near. Still loved, still missed and very dear.”—Unknown
37. “In the garden of memory, in the palace of dreams, that is where you and I shall meet.”—Linda Woolverton
38. “When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.”—Unknown
39. “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.”—Helen Keller
40. “An eternal memory… until we meet again: Those special memories will always bring a smile if only I could have you back for just a little while. Then we could sit and talk again just like we used to do, you always meant so very much and always will do too. The fact that you’re no longer here will always cause me pain, but you’re forever in my heart until we meet again.”—Unknown
41. “It is perfectly okay to admit you’re not okay.”—Unknown
42. “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains.”—Unknown
43. “Keep your head up. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”—Unknown
44. “And sometimes, against all odds, against all logic, we still hope.”—Unknown
45. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, a deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”—Washington Irving
46. “When it is darkest, we can see the stars.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
47. “You will survive and you will find purpose in the chaos. Moving on doesn’t mean letting go.”—Mary Van Haute
48. “Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.”—Unknown
49. “My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love.”—Unknown
50. “Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don’t deny it, don’t be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever.”—Rabbi Harold Kushner
51. “You have within you, right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.”—Brian Tracy
52. “Perhaps they are not the stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”—Unknown
53. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”—Matthew 5:4
54. “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”—A.A. Milne
Grief is love with nowhere to go. So many people are in pain. I hope I’ve inspired you to find a place for all your love and use it, as this world desperately needs it.