From the words of Steve Jobs to the wisdom of Anne Frank, these inspirational quotes about death will speak right to your heart and your mind.
“Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready.’”
— Robin WilliamsWikimedia Commons
"They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time."
— BanksyStew Dean/Flickr
“The connections we make in the course of a life--maybe that's what heaven is.”
— Fred Rogersgalaxyfm/Flickr
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
— Harriet Beecher-StoweWikimedia Commons
“The truth I have been seeking — this truth is Death. Yet Death is also a seeker. Forever seeking me. So — we have met at last. And I am prepared. I am at peace.”
— Bruce LeeStanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images
“Unable are the Loved to die / For Love is Immortality…”
— Emily DickinsonWikimedia Commons
“I've been there for a couple of people when they were dying; it didn't look like fun. But if I was gonna do it, I'd want someone like me around. And I will be there!”
— Carrie FisherRiccardo Ghilardi/Wikimedia Commons
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
— Chuck PalahniukTerry Robinson/Wikimedia Commons
“Drama is very important in life … you never want to go out with a whimper.”
— Julia ChildLynn Gilbert/Wikimedia Commons
“No one here gets out alive.”
— Jim Morrisonzeppelin/Flickr
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail … There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
— Stephen Hawkinglwpkommunikacio/Flickr
“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
— Winston ChurchillCanada Science and Technology Museum/Flickr
“I want to go on living after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!”
— Anne FrankWikimedia Commons
“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
— Langston HughesWikimedia Commons
“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”
— Nelson MandelaWikimedia Commons
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
— Steve Jobsplasticbag/Flickr
"I feel monotony and death to be almost the same."
— Charlotte BrontëWikimedia Commons
“If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.”
— Stephen KingUlf Andersen/Getty Images
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
— Edgar Allan PoeWikimedia Commons
"Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter."
— Albert CamusWikimedia Commons
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
— J.K. Rowlingmarca-pasos/Flickr
“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.”
— Mark TwainWikimedia Commons
“After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die.”
— E.B. WhiteWikimedia Commons
“Do not go gentle into that good night...
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
— Dylan Thomasjimforest/Flickr
“It is as natural to die as to be born…”
— Francis BaconWikimedia Commons
“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It's a death trap.”
— Anthony HopkinsElena Torre/Wikimedia Commons
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
— Oscar WildeWikimedia Commons
“I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”
— Elon Muskoninnovation/Flickr
"Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out."
— Mitch AlbomMichael L Abramson/Getty Images
“I am death, not taxes. I turn up only once.”
— Terry Pratchettsteeljam/Flickr
"Dying / Is an art, like everything else."
— Sylvia Plathsummonedbyfells/Flickr
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
— Toni MorrisonRadulescu/Wikimedia Commons
“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”
— J.M. BarrieWikimedia Commons
Death — whether we like it or not, it's coming for all of us. But at least some of history's greatest minds and most well-loved personalities can provide words of wisdom on the matter that might help us feel a little better about the whole thing.
Some of these thinkers, writers, artists, and entertainers took a serious look at death while others used humor to quell the anxiety and fear that the subject brings. Whatever the approach, these sad, funny, and inspirational quotes about death shed light on one of the scariest parts of the entire human experience.
Such words are especially poignant when they come from beloved people who have since passed away themselves, from Steve Jobs to Anne Frank to Mark Twain. If only we could hear what they have to say about the experience now. But we'll just have to make do with the powerful quotes they left us with before departing. See for yourself in the gallery above.
After reading through these inspirational quotes about death, discover some of the most thought-provoking quotes about life and some of the most interesting quotes you'll ever read on any subject.