33 Inspirational Quotes About Death From History’s Greatest Minds And Most Beloved Figures

Published May 15, 2018
Updated June 8, 2018

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.

Quotes About Death
“Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready.’”

— Robin Williams
Wikimedia Commons

Banksy Inspirational Quotes About Death
"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."

— Banksy
Stew Dean/Flickr

Fred Rogers Quote
“The connections we make in the course of a life--maybe that's what heaven is.”

— Fred Rogers

Harriet Beecher Stowe Powerful Quotes
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”

— Harriet Beecher-Stowe
Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Lee Quote
“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 Lee
Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

Emily Dickinson
“Unable are the Loved to die / For Love is Immortality…”

— Emily Dickinson
Wikimedia Commons

Carrie Fisher Inspirational Quotes About Death
“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 Fisher
Riccardo Ghilardi/Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Palahniuk Death Quotes
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

— Chuck Palahniuk
Terry Robinson/Wikimedia Commons

Julia Child Death Quotes
“Drama is very important in life … you never want to go out with a whimper.”

— Julia Child
Lynn Gilbert/Wikimedia Commons

Jim Morrison Death Quotes
“No one here gets out alive.”

— Jim Morrison

Stephen Hawking Quotes About Death
"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 Hawking

Winston Churchill On Meeting His Maker
“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

— Winston Churchill
Canada Science and Technology Museum/Flickr

Anne Frank Writing
“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 Frank
Wikimedia Commons

Langston Hughes Smiling
“Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.”

— Langston Hughes
Wikimedia Commons

Nelson Mandela
“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 Mandela
Wikimedia Commons

Steve Jobs
“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 Jobs

Death Quotes Charlotte Bronte
"I feel monotony and death to be almost the same."

— Charlotte Brontë
Wikimedia Commons

Stephen King
“If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.”

— Stephen King
Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Quotes About Death Edgar Allan Poe
"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 Poe
Wikimedia Commons

Death Quotes Albert Camus
"Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter."

— Albert Camus
Wikimedia Commons

Jk Rowling Reading
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

— J.K. Rowling

Mark Twain
“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 Twain
Wikimedia Commons

Eb White
“After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die.”

— E.B. White
Wikimedia Commons

Dylan Thomas On Death
“Do not go gentle into that good night... Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

— Dylan Thomas

Francis Bacon Painting
“It is as natural to die as to be born…”

— Francis Bacon
Wikimedia Commons

Anthony Hopkins
“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 Hopkins
Elena Torre/Wikimedia Commons

Oscar Wilde Reclining
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”

— Oscar Wilde
Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk
“I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”

— Elon Musk

Mitch Albom
"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 Albom
Michael L Abramson/Getty Images

Terry Pratchett
“I am death, not taxes. I turn up only once.”

— Terry Pratchett

Sylvia Plath
"Dying / Is an art, like everything else."

— Sylvia Plath

Toni Morrison On Death
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

— Toni Morrison
Radulescu/Wikimedia Commons

Jm Barrie Portrait
“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

— J.M. Barrie
Wikimedia 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.

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
Katie Serena
A former staff writer at All That's Interesting, Katie Serena has also published work in Salon.
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Kelly, Erin. "33 Inspirational Quotes About Death From History’s Greatest Minds And Most Beloved Figures." AllThatsInteresting.com, May 15, 2018, https://allthatsinteresting.com/inspirational-quotes-about-death. Accessed May 21, 2024.