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Quotes about death that inspire more life

Quotes about death probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think of inspiration. Or the second, or even the third. Quotes about death and all things related to death are usually associated with fear, sadness, and the like.

That’s completely understandable. Even though death is a natural part of life, it’s not something we typically want to talk or think about.

Looked at a different way, however, it can create a sense of urgency. Remembering that our time is limited causes us to want to make the most of it..

Consistently recognizing that there is an end has a natural effect of making us appreciate the present.

By excluding or repressing the idea of death in our daily lives, we inadvertently reduce our ability to feel gratitude for our lives.

We don’t necessarily take our lives for granted, but we don’t consciously appreciate that they are impermanent.

Quotes about death can help us not forget about this impermanence. They can also motivate, inspire, and cause us to think about things differently.  

The more you think about things differently, the more likely you are to start taking different actions.  Over time, taking different actions will change your life.

In a roundabout way, quotes can be an impetus for self improvement and change.  

For example, one of my favorite quotes about death is:

“Death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit.”

The quote is a line from the song “Heavydirtysoul” by the band TwentyOnePilots.

Dogs chase rabbits and if a rabbit sees a dog it will instantly bolt and run away. Its instinct is to keep running. The dog inspires the rabbit to run for its life.

It is a metaphor for human existence.

Like the rabbit, we can easily become complacent and caught up in the inertia of doing the same thing day in and day out.

Before long, we’re living a life lacking of substance and meaning without even realizing it.

Like the sight of the dog inspires the rabbit to run, the thought of death can inspire us to do something meaningful and worthwhile with our lives.

That particular quote about death might not have any significance for you, but chances are there are at least a few that will.

Check out the list below and see if some of the quotes about death resonate with you.  If they do, commit them to memory and be sure to draw upon them when needed.

One of them could be just what you need at just the right time to help modify your thinking.  Armed with new thoughts, have the courage to act on them and behave differently.

Over time, self improvement and change are inevitable.

Quotes about death that inspire more life

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

-Chuck Palahniuk

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The most important thing to arrive on your deathbed satisfied and grateful is to first live your life fully.”

-Maxime Lagacé

“Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

-Oliver Sacks
Quotes about death that inspire more life.  "The source of sorrows lies not in leaving life, but in leaving that which gives it meaning." -Raymond Radiguet

“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.”

-Oliver Sacks 

“There is no conclusive evidence of life after death, but there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know, so why fret about it?”

-Robert A. Heinlein

“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?”

-Leo Buscaglia

“Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth for that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.”

-Bhagavad Gita
Quotes about death that inspire more life.  "You can grieve all your life, but what's the point?  You still have your life.  Don't waste it." -Maxime Legace

“Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting point.”


“Whether or not there’s an afterlife, screw it. Just live your life right here, right now before it’s too late.” -Maxime Lagacé

“To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not. For it is to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessings of human beings. And yet people fear it as if they knew for certain it is the greatest evil.”


“You are facing death and danger and competition, but at any moment, you can decide to have a fearless mindset.”

-Robert Greene
Quotes about death that inspire more life. "Don't see death.  Death will find you.  But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." -Dag Hammarskjold

“Isn’t it sad that so often it takes facing death to appreciate life and each other fully?”

-Esther Earl

“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.”


“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”Henry David Thoreau

-Henry David Thoreau

“Do not seek death. But do not fear it either. There cannot be life without death, it is inescapable.”

-Keisei Tagami
Quotes about death that inspire more life. "Man always thinks about the past before he dies, as if he were frantically searching for proof that he truly lived." -Jet Black

“People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.”

-Haruki Murakami

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”

-Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The typical human behaviour is to seek security and certainty. We fear death because it’s the unknown and nobody can give us answers.” -Maxime Lagacé

“The more you transform your life from the material to the spiritual domain, the less you become afraid of death. A person who lives a truly spiritual life has no fear of death.” Leo Tolstoy

-Leo Tolstoy
Quotes about death that inspire more life.  "When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time." -Laurie Halse Anderson

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.”

-Henry Van Dyke

“Death is a law, not a punishment.”

-Jean Dubos

“What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying.”

-Albert Camus

“Our life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact we have no fear of death anymore, and we have no actual difficulty in our life.”

-Shunryu Suzuki
Quotes about death that inspire more life. "Death destroys a man: the idea of death saves him." -E.M. Forster

“If you are mindful of death, it will not come as a surprise-you will not be anxious. You will feel that death is merely like changing clothes. Consequently, at that point you will be able to maintain your calmness of mind.”

-Dalai Lama

“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”

-Martin Luther

“Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.”

-Alan Watts

“Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.”

-Candy Chang
Quotes about death that inspire more life. "Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen.  The worst thing is to lose your reason for living." -Jo Nesbo

“Everyone wants to be foremost in this future-and yet death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future!”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

“We must constantly remind ourselves that we are eternity, infinite, beyond birth and death.” -Frederick Lenz

“Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you’re free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in.”

-Saul Alinsky

“Everyone we cherish will, someday, get sick and die. If we do not practice the meditation on emptiness, when those things happen, we will be overwhelmed. Concentration on emptiness is a way of staying in touch with life as it is, but it has to be practiced, not just talked about.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn
Quotes about death that inspire more life. "All good is hard.  All evil is easy.  Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy.  Stay away from easy." -Scott Alexander

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

-Horace Mann

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”

-Ernest Hemingway

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

-Shannon L. Alder
Quotes about death that inspire more life. "You want to live - but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying - and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?" -Seneca

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”

-George Bernard Shaw

“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.”

-Albert Einstein

“Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day.”

-Thomas S. Monson

“Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” -Andrew Sachs

Quotes about death that inspire more life. "Take nothing for granted.  Keep in mind that it can come at anytime.  Even today." -Maxime Legace

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