Tough Milestones

120 Death Anniversary Quotes & Other Words Of Comfort

When you don’t know what to say, try one of these.

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
Death anniversary quotes can help comfort loved ones during a difficult time.
Urilux/Getty Images

When a loved one dies, the grieving process doesn’t end the day of the funeral, or when you go back to work — it’s something that takes time. And as time passes, it’s natural for us to pay attention to significant dates, like the person’s birthday, favorite holiday, and the anniversary of their death. Grief doesn’t quite go away and many different cultures mark a person’s passing with customs like lighting candles in their memory, holding a memorial in their honor, or even sharing death anniversary quotes that can help bring some small semblance of comfort to those grieving.

If you know someone who is about to go through this difficult loss milestone, you may be racking your brain for the right words on the anniversary of a death. It’s not like saying “Thinking of you on the anniversary of a death” screams genuine sympathy. What can you say to comfort them? What should you write in a card? Is texting even appropriate?

Whether you’re reaching out to someone who lost their mother, father, husband, or other family members, some kind thoughts can go a long way. We’ve gathered death anniversary quotes, messages, and words of comfort from all over the internet to give you the support you need on a day of remembrance.

What to Write in a Card

You (not to mention the person on the receiving end) may feel less self-conscious about a poignant message if it’s tucked inside of a card. So, this is a good medium for sharing sentimental quotes or meaningful excerpts of poetry.

  1. While your loved one may no longer walk on this green Earth, the days that they spent here were incredible. The life they lived and the people they touched will stay in our memories forever.
  2. I know that this is an extremely difficult time for you. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and my well-wishes. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling right now, but know that I am here for you no matter what. Please accept my utter heartfelt condolences on this anniversary.
  3. Since the day your loved one passed, many years have gone by, but just know that they have always been with you and will forever be at your side.
  4. I know that this anniversary is an immensely distressing period for you. Please take comfort in the fact that I am here to provide you with any assistance you want or need. I hope that my friendship and condolences bring light to your life during this difficult time.
  5. Even as you remember this painful day, I hope you think of all the beautiful times you were able to have with [name of person who passed]. [He/she/they] was/were so loving and kind, and I just know [he/she/they] would want you to smile today. I do, too. Please let me know if you want to talk or go for a walk.
  6. My heart truly goes out to you in this time of painful sorrow. Someone so uniquely special and dear to you could never be forgotten. On this anniversary, I hope that you take comfort from my love, support, and prayers.
  7. “Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.” ― Arthur Golden
  8. It takes a courageous heart to face the anniversary of the loss of a loved one with grace. I know you will have the strength to persevere and will be there with you if you need me.
  9. I cannot imagine how much pain you’re wrestling with today. Know that I will be thinking of you and your entire family, hoping you find peace and strength in this difficult time.
  10. “Those who have lived a good life do not fear death, but meet it calmly, and even long for it in the face of great suffering. But those who do not have a peaceful conscience, dread death as though life means nothing but physical torment. The challenge is to live our life so that we will be prepared for death when it comes.” — Unknown
  11. We can measure time, but we cannot measure loss. It has been a year, but there is no way to set a milestone or a limit on the grief. Take your time.
  12. There is no getting used to losing someone you love. Once you think you’ve accommodated the grief, it surprises you in new ways. But you surprise yourself, too, in your ability to withstand it.
  13. Grief is a journey that never completely ends. The scenery changes, and the terrain becomes easier, but there is no point of arrival. That’s OK.
  14. “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, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” — Washington Irving
  15. You have our deepest sympathies on the anniversary of your loved one’s passing, and just know that in our minds and hearts, they will be remembered forever.
  16. On this painful anniversary of your loved one going from this life to the next, may your good memories nourish their peaceful repose.
  17. It is only human to grieve, and at this terrible hour, we all join you to mourn and remember the life they had and the lives they touched.
  18. Although today’s grief may make you feel in pain and alone, know that you remain in our hearts and thoughts.
  19. On this anniversary of your [person’s] passing, I remember [her/him/them] and feel the grief of losing [her/him/them] all over again. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it must be for you. But I also recall the many times [she/he/they] made me laugh. I am thinking of you on this very challenging day.
  20. In remembering our loved one on this day, we all feel a terrible loss. Just know that we are here and stand by you on every step of the journey of healing.
  21. While sorrow is long-lasting and death is forever, your love conquers all darkness. Stay strong on this anniversary of your loved one’s passing, and remember that while you may no longer be together in this life, you will be reunited in the next.
  22. Though this is the day that your loved one slipped out of our sight, just know that they will forever stay in our hearts and minds.
  23. With a heavy heart and mind, we hope to comfort you in your sadness and remind you that despite today’s suffering, there’s always a brighter tomorrow.
  24. As another year comes and goes without your loved one, know that we will always stand by you and always be near.
  25. May you use the anniversary of [name of person]’s passing to remember all the joy they brought into the world.
  26. Our deepest condolences on this painful day. Please know that your loved one meant the world to us, and we are praying for you in the pain you must be feeling. We are here for you.
  27. Today is the anniversary of one who will remain in our hearts eternally. Rest assured that although they have passed from this life to the next, they will always be remembered.
  28. As you mourn the death of your [person who passed] again, I hope it comforts you to think about the life that [she/he/they] lived and the memories [she/he/they] made, surrounded by those who loved [her/him/them]. While [she/he/they] might not be with us anymore, [her/his/their] memories live on forever. [She/he/they] will always be with us.
  29. On this day of mourning, you and your loved ones are in our thoughts. Stay strong during this difficult time, and know we are always here for you.
  30. It’s been one year since we lost [name of person who passed]. I hope you know you’ve been in our thoughts and heart every day since. Wishing you peace on this day of remembrance.
  31. We were all so very lucky to know [person who passed]. Today, and every day, we miss them — and are thinking of you. If you need anything at all, we’re just a phone call away.
  32. One year down, too many to go. We all miss [person who passed] each and every day, but it brings some measure of comfort to imagine they’re watching over us.
  33. Life is fleeting, indeed. To think that it was only a year ago when we last saw [person who passed]! We know time will never truly dull the pain, but it’s our sincerest wish that you feel peace and comfort in remembering your loved one today.
  34. A year normally doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s seemed like an eternity without [person who passed]. Not a day goes by that we don’t wish we could have one more day with them. We know that feeling is tenfold for you, and we’re keeping you in our thoughts.
  35. Today, on the first anniversary of [person who passed]’s passing, we’re honoring them by remembering what a truly wonderful person they were. We hope that brings you some joy during an otherwise difficult time.
  36. We mark a year of [person who passed]’s departure with the same feelings as every other day — grief that they’re gone, and the yearning that we could tell them one last time how much we love them.
  37. Where there is deep grief, there is great love. Thinking of you on this day full of so many big feelings.
  38. You never stop loving someone; you just learn to live without them. We know this has been a difficult journey for you, and you’re always in our hearts.
  39. “A thousand words won’t bring them back; I know because I’ve tried. Neither will a thousand tears; I know because I’ve cried.” I’ve been where you are, and it’s so tough. If you need someone to talk to, you can always come to me.
  40. When someone you love dies, you never really get over it — you just learn to tuck that pain into your everyday life. Being here for each other makes that part a little easier.
  41. “She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.” — George Eliot
  42. How lucky are we to have known someone so special? It’s impossible not to miss them, but I hope that today your heart is full of all of the happiest memories of our extraordinary [person who passed].
  43. Every day without [person who passed] has been hard, but on this day especially, I can’t help but think of you. If you need a sympathetic ear or shoulder to cry on, I’m never far away.
  44. Today, we honor [person who passed]. They loved you more than words can say, and we wanted to be the reminder you need of that.
  45. The void [person who passed] left in our hearts can never truly be filled, but remembering them helps to ease the pain. Today, we’ll be thinking of them — and of you, too.

On Social Media

If the person you’re reaching out to is very active on social media, it may be appropriate to post a message on their feed. In this case, short and sweet (but heartfelt) is best. A quote could be a fitting option, as long as you choose one that is tasteful.

  1. I am thinking of you and praying for you today as you remember [person who passed]. [He/she/they] truly was/were a great person. We think about [him/her/them] often. I wish you much comfort today and always.
  2. “A grave is braced not just by a tombstone but by angels as well.” — Adabella Radici
  3. “In the gardens of memory, the palaces of dreams, this is where we will meet.” — Alice Through the Looking Glass
  4. “Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.” — Helen Keller
  5. “The dead never truly die. They simply change form.” — Suzy Kassem
  6. “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; all that we deeply love becomes a part of us.” — Helen Keller
  7. “If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.” — James O’Barr
  8. “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.” — Maya Angelou
  9. The saddest moment is when the person who gave you the best memories becomes a memory.
  10. Time heals all wounds. Until then, know that I am there for you.
  11. “When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun.” — William Shakespeare
  12. “Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” — Haruki Murakami
  13. “Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sigh.” — Rossiter Worthington Raymond
  14. “Say not in grief that they are gone, but give thanks that they were yours.” — Hebrew Proverb
  15. I’m thinking of you today on this difficult anniversary. Know that I’m here for you if you want to talk or just want some company.
  16. I hope for nothing but comfort for you on this difficult day.
  17. I thought of you this morning. It must be so hard for you on the anniversary of your [person who passed’s role in their life] passing. I hope you find relief in knowing [she/she/they] lived a wonderful life.
  18. “He spoke well, who said that graves are the footprints of angels.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  19. “When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” — Kahlil Gibran
  20. “That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.” — Sarah Dessen
  21. “If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.” — Unknown
  22. “For those of us who have lost loved ones in their prime — as I did when my father and other relatives succumbed — even one of those years would have been a precious gift.” — Michael Milken
  23. “You may not be with us in close proximity but in our hearts you are, like you had always been and forever and ever will be.” — Jean-Paul Malfatti
  24. “If there is ever a day where we aren’t together, keep me inside your heart, and I’ll be there forever.” — Winnie the Pooh
  25. “Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.” — Jack Thorne
  26. On the anniversary of the loss of [person who passed], I hope that happy memories flood your mind and heart.
  27. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss
  28. “To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die.” — Hazel Gaynor
  29. May knowing you’re in the hearts and thoughts of others help you and yours through this time of sorrow.
  30. “Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.” — Unknown
  31. “Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts.” — Dorothy Ferguson
  32. “Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” — Unknown
  33. “Precious moments are those that you cherish for the rest of your life because the people in them exist no more.” — Hermann J. Steinherr
  34. “No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.” ― Zora Neale Hurston
  35. “Fear not death; for the sooner we die, the longer shall we be immortal.” — Benjamin Franklin
  36. “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” — Vicki Harrison
  37. “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” — Emily Dickinson
  38. “What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness.” — Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  39. “Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.” — Richard Bach
  40. “While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.” — John Taylor
  41. “Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” — Mitch Albom
  42. While the passing of your loved one is a blow that cannot be softened, just know that they were too well loved to ever be forgotten.
  43. May your loved one’s strength be with you today and always.
  44. If you feel down today, please feel free to give me a call. I love hearing stories about [person who passed] and know they will lift us up.
  45. The world got a little less bright when [person who passed] left it. Sending some extra light your way today.
  46. “Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.” — Terri Guillemets
  47. “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
  48. “Loss can remind us that life itself is a gift.” — Louise Hay and David Kessler
  49. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” — Pierre Auguste Renoir
  50. Remember as many of the good times as you can today, and know your family and friends are here for you.

In Person

Only you truly know the right thing to say to a loved one mourning the anniversary of a death. Your relationship will inform whether what you say is light or serious, sentimental or even silly. The one universal piece of advice here? Speak from the heart.

  1. I want you to know that I am truly sorry for your loss. If you need me at all, I’m just a phone call away.
  2. We are all by your side. Don’t forget that.
  3. I am certain that your loved one is looking down on you from above, beaming with pride.
  4. I know today will be hard for you, but remember that you have so many people who love you and will be thinking of you.
  5. If you need me, I’m here.
  6. I sure miss [person who passed]. How are you holding up today?
  7. When the pain of the loss of your [person who passed] feels fresh today, know that I am here and you can talk to me. Or not. Anything you need, anything, please let me know.
  8. I was just thinking about all of the times [person who passed] made me laugh. I hope that thought makes you smile, too.
  9. [Person who passed] truly was one of the best.
  10. As the feelings of grief come again today, please let me know how if there is anything I can do.
  11. I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about [person who passed] this morning. Though the pain of losing [her/him/them] makes us all ache, it was a real honor to know [her/him/them].
  12. This day is important, and how you feel about it is important too. I’m here if you need to talk.
  13. Please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help you today.
  14. [Person who passed] brought so much joy to everyone. I hope you can find a little of that today, too.
  15. [Person who passed] never ceased to amaze me. If you want to share some memories, I’m here.
  16. It’s OK to cry.
  17. Whatever you’re feeling right now is valid.
  18. I know you’re hurting right now, and nothing I could say can change that. So, I’m just going to sit here with you for a while, if that’s OK.
  19. I’m going to have a drink in [person who passed]’s honor tonight. Want to join me?
  20. Remember when [person who passed] did [favorite memory]?
  21. I miss them, too.
  22. I wish I had the right words, but just know that I care. And I’m here.
  23. You can talk to me about [person who passed] anytime... whether it’s today, or 10 years from now.
  24. This f***ing sucks. I’m sorry.
  25. Be as kind to yourself today as you are to everyone else.

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