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Death is the permanent end of the life of a biological organism. Death may refer to the end of life as either an event or condition. In many cultures and in the arts, death is considered a being or otherwise personified, wherein it is usually capitalized as "Death".


  • Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death where is thy sting, O Grave where is thy victory?
  • Death hath a thousand doors to let out life:
    I shall find one.
  • Verse, Fame and beauty are intense indeed,
    But Death intenser – Death is life's high mead.
  • We all labour against our own cure; for death is the cure of all disease.
  • Death opens unknown doors. It is most grand to die.


Living with death - quotes and anecdotes

"Here ... is the view at issue: When we die, what’s next is nothing; death is an abyss, a black hole, the end of experience; it is eternal nothingness, the permanent extinction of being. And here, in a nutshell, is the error contained in that view: It is to reify nothingness—make it a positive condition or quality (for example, of “blackness”)—and then to place the individual in it after death, so that we somehow fall into nothingness, to remain there eternally."
Thomas Clark
"We have always been alive; we have never been dead."
August Jones
"Even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh."
Robert Bolt
"People aren't afraid of being dead, they're afraid of getting dead."
George Carlin
"If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die."
Narration; Stephen King, Christine, Part 1, Chapter 5
"It is nobody's fault. The great circle of life has begun, but you see, not all of us arrive together in the end...She'll [Little Foot's mother] always be with you as long as you remember the things she taught you. In a way, you'll never be apart because you are still a part of each other."
Rudder, The Land Before Time
"Every blade in the field,
Every leaf in the forest,
Lays down its life in its season,
As beautifully as it was taken up."
Henry David Thoreau
"In this world, one day death is going to take the life from everything that you love. So while you're able, love what you have. Takes the death from your life."
Mercy Ealing to Joe Carpenter
Dean Koontz, Sole Survivor (2000 film)
"For certain is death for the born
And certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore over the inevitable
Thou shouldst not grieve."
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2
"Death is utterly acceptable to consciousness and life. There has been endless times of numberless deaths, but neither consciousness nor life has ceased to arise. The felt quality and cycle to death has not modified the fragility of flowers, even the flowers within the human body."
Adi Da Samraj, "Prologue", The Knee of Listening
"Death is not the opposite of life; it exists as a part of them."
Toru Watanabe
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (1987)
"I am a good Christian, properly baptized and I will die... a good Christian."
Joan of Arc

Coming to terms with death

  • Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are for all - the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved.
  • Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.
  • Death is for the living and not for the dead.
  • ...when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking 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.
  • On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down.
  • I like the dead - they're so uncritical.
  • Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
  • He's not afraid of dying. He's just afraid that his soul won't make it to God.
    • Starbuck, speaking of Leoben, Battlestar Galactica
  • The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
  • Ultimately, we're all dead men. Sadly we cannot choose how. But, we can decide how we meet that end in order that we are remembered as men.
  • We do not mourn the loss of those who die fufilling their destinies
  • To die would be an awfully big adventure.
  • Death is the one thing that connects us all. It reminds us that what's really important is who we've touched, how much we've given. It makes us realize that we have to be good to one another.
  • Death, then, being the way and condition of life, we cannot love to live if we cannot bear to die.
  • Fear Death? – to feel the fog in my throat,
    The mist in my face.
  • Having a child changes every aspect of your life - for the better, of course. The sacrifices are large, but what you get in return is even bigger than the sacrifices you make. I feel, in a sense, ready to die because you are living on in your child. Not literally, not ready to die - but you know, that sort of feeling in a profound way.
  • 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 uselesss, to resist.
  • I have often thought upon death, and I find it the least of all evils.
  • Sudden death leaves an impression on one.


  • Death becomes an uncertainty when you fear it.
  • The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
  • A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died. Hakuin answered "How am I supposed to know?"
    "How do you know? You're a Zen master!" exclaimed the samurai.
    "Yes, but not a dead one", Hakuin answered
  • Death carries off a man who is gathering flowers and whose mind is distracted, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.
    • Dhammapada, Verse 47; F. Max Müller, translator
  • Death, the most dreaded of evils, is therefore of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist.
  • Despite the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise of an after-life of heavenly bliss, most of us will do anything to thwart the inevitable victory of biological death.
  • Pale Death with impartial tread beats at the poor man's cottage door and at the palaces of kings.
  • What death means is a question for somebody else. To me, death is reigate, and it's dirty when you fear it.
  • Hob Gadling: Death's a capricious thing, innit?
    Morpheus: Yes. Yes, she is.
    • Discussing Morpheus' sister, the personification of Death
    • Sandman #13: "Men of Good Fortune"
  • I find myself wondering about humanity. Their attitude to my sister's gift is so strange. Why do they fear the sunless lands? It is as natural to die as it is to be born. But they fear her. Dread her. Feebly they attempt to placate her. They do not love her.
    • Dream about Death, in SANDMAN #8: "The Sound of Her Wings"
  • Anyway: I'm not blessed or merciful. I'm just me. I've got a job to do and I do it. Listen: even as we're talking, I'm there for old and young, innocent and guilty, those who die together and those who die alone. I'm in cars and boats and planes, in hospitals and forests and abattoirs. For some folks death is a release and for others death is an abomination, a terrible thing. But in the end, I'm there for all of them.
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • When the first living thing existed, I was there, waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job is finished. I'll put the chairs on tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave.'
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • Rainie, mythologies take longer to die than people believe. They linger on in a kind of dream country that affects all of you.
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • Who am I? Just a friend. Sometimes. Maybe. Sorry I couldn't help any. Be seeing you...
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?
  • We look at death from the selfish side, like, "That guy died. Oh, it's so sad." Why is it sad? He's away from all of this bad stuff that's here on Earth. I mean, at the worst, he's just somewhere quiet, no nothing. At best, he's an angel... or he's a spirit somewhere. What is so bad about that?
  • When a tiger dies, it leaves its skin behind. When a person dies, he leaves his name behind.
  • When I die, I would like to go peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like his passengers.
  • When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
  • We may have days, we may have hours. But sooner or later, we all push up flowers...
  • Death be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
    For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
    Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
    Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
    Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
    And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
    One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
  • Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so as 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.

Death and relationships

  • You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?
  • The first day after a death, the new absence
    Is always the same; we should be careful
    Of each other, we should be kind
    While there is still time.

Death and the meaning of life

  • 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?'
  • Death and death alone gives meaning to life and this meaning is entirely negative.
  • When one considers just what a man is,
    Happy it be that short his span is.
  • I said to Life, I would hear Death speak. And Life raised her voice a little higher and said, You hear him now.
  • If man were immortal, do you realise what his meat bills would be?
  • Never the spirit was born, the spirit shall cease to be never. Never was time it was not, end and beginning are dreams.
  • Near-death experiences temporarily twist one's reality, usually providing insight to a degree that could alter one's perspective of life.
    • Aaron Ye
  • Our souls are prisoners of the terror of death, and the day is beautiful.
    • Coelho, Paulo (1998). "Chapter 1", Quinta Montanha (The Fifth Mountain), translated by Clifford E. Landers, 1st edition (in English), New York: HarperFlamingo. ISBN 0060175443.
  • The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.
  • To be, or not to be, —that is the question:—
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? —To die, —to sleep,—
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to, —'tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, —to sleep;—
    To sleep! perchance to dream: —ay, there's the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause: there's the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life;
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
    The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
    The insolence of office, and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,—
    The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
    No traveller returns,—puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know naught of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
    And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
    With this regard, their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action.
  • "Death becomes every man, therefore, it is the only just scale by which we may judge life"


  • The dead, if not separated from the living, bring madness upon them.
  • It nice it happen to you. Like you come to the island and had a holiday. Sun didn't burn you red-red, just brown. You sleep and no mosquito eat you. But the truth is, it bound to happen if you stay long enough. So take that nice picture you got in your head home with you, but don't be fooled. We lonely here mostly too. If we lucky, maybe, we got some nice pictures to take with us.
  • My uncle is a southern planter. He's an undertaker in Alabama.
  • Men only think of their past right before their death, as if they were searching frantically for proof that they were alive.
  • Death is everything.
  • Nothing will be left of me. I die utterly as unknown as if I had never been born. Nothingness receive your prey.


  • Since you are having a near-death experience, I am logically, by extension, having a near-Vimes experience. Don't worry about me, I've brought a book.
  • If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.
  • If your parents never had children, chances are ... neither will you.
  • Sometimes when I feel like killing someone, I do a little trick to calm myself down. I'll go over to the person's house and ring the doorbell. When the person comes to the door, I'm gone, but you know what I've left on the porch? A jack-o-lantern with a knife stuck in the side of its head with a note that says 'You.' After that I usually feel a lot better, and no harm done.
  • Dying can't be that bad of a thing; I mean, everybody's doing it.
  • I can't believe that I'm going to meet my end at the hands of converging red dots.
  • I intend to live forever. So far, so good!
  • Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki, but something much worse comes for you. For when you die, it will be without honour.
  • At the end of your life, you're lucky if you die.
    • Bret McKenzie, "Think About It Think Think About It" - Flight of The Conchords
  • I don't believe in an afterlife, although I am brining a change of underwear.
  • It is impossible to experience one's death objectively and still carry a tune.
  • Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up.
  • To me, funerals are like bad movies. They last too long, they're overacted, and the ending is predictable.
  • Why does Death cross the road? To get to you!
  • Death: The penultimate commercial transaction finalized by probate.
  • If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive!
  • Dead people make the best patients. You can do whatever tests you want on them and they never complain. Oh, and you can yell at them without getting in trouble.

See also

External links

Death Quotes at

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