An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him merely seize me, and only declare me to be dead, but win me, and overcome me. When I must shipwreck, I would do it in a sea, where mine impotency might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


Who doesn't desire his father's death?


Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881, Russian novelist)


Life is a series of diminishments. Each cessation of an activity either from choice or some other variety of infirmity is a death, a putting to final rest. Each loss, of friend or precious enemy, can be equated with the closing off of a room containing blocks of nerves and soon after the closing off the nerves atrophy and that part of oneself, in essence, drops away. The self is lightened, is held on earth by a gram less of mass and will.


Coleman Dowell (1925-1985, American novelist, dramatist, lyricist)


All human things are subject to decay, and when fate summons, monarchs must obey.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


He was exhaled; his great Creator drew His spirit, as the sun the morning dew.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


Like pilgrims to the appointed place we tend; The world's an inn, and death the journey's end.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


To die is landing on some distant shore.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


I'm trying to die correctly, but it's very difficult, you know.


Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990, British author)


The last suit that you wear, you don't need any pockets.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


Death is the last enemy.  Once we've gotten past that, I think everything will be all right.


Alice Thomas Ellis (1932-, British author)


Let death be daily before your eyes, and you will never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything.


Epictetus (50-138, Phrygian philosopher)


He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Death is the king of this world: 'Tis his park where he breeds life to feed him. Cries of pain are music for his banquet.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


When death comes it is never our tenderness that we repent from, but our severity.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


And what the dead had no speech for, when living, they can tell you, being dead: the communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965, American-born British poet, critic)


Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.


Epicurus (c.341-270 BC, Greek philosopher)


It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men all live in a city without walls.


Epicurus (c.341-270 BC, Greek philosopher)


The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.


Epicurus (c.341-270 BC, Greek philosopher)


Remember man as you walk by, as you are now so once was I, as I am now, so you will be, so prepare for death and follow me.




But learn that to die is a debt we must all pay.


Euripides (BC 480-406, Greek tragic poet)


We all have to die some day, if we live long enough.


Dave Farber


It hath often been said that it is not death but dying that is terrible.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


It is not death, but dying, which is terrible.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


W. C. Fields, a lifetime agnostic, was discovered reading a Bible on his deathbed. "I'm looking for a loop-hole," he explained.


W. C. Fields (1879-1946, American actor)


Death destroys a man, the idea of Death saves him.


Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)


The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water. It flows down, clean and cool, from the heights of Herman and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. the Sea of Galilee makes beauty of it, the Sea of Galilee has an outlet. It gets to give. It gathers in its riches that it may pour them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. But the Dead Sea with the same water makes horror. For the Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets to keep.


Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969, American minister)


The pride of dying rich raises the loudest laugh in hell.


John W. Foster (1770-1843, British clergyman, essayist)


I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure in life.


Charles Frohman


Plan for this world as if you expect to live forever; but plan for the hereafter as if you expect to die tomorrow.


Ibn Gabirol


Fish die belly upward, and rise to the surface. It’s their way of falling.


Andre Gide (1869-1951, French author)


Death is the only inescapable, unavoidable, sure thing. We are sentenced to die the day we're born.


Gary Mark Gilmore


A useless life is an early death.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Death is a commingling of eternity with time. Iin the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


The reason so many people turned up at his funeral is that they wanted to make sure he was dead.


Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974, American film producer, founder of MGM)


Our repugnance to death increases in proportion to our consciousness of having lived in vain.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.


Thomas Gray (1716-1771, British poet)


We are all of us resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to.


Graham Greene (1904-1991, British novelist)


A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.


George Gurdjieff (1873-1949, Russian adept, teacher, writer)


Man has the possibility of existence after death. But possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing.


George Gurdjieff (1873-1949, Russian adept, teacher, writer)


The death of what's dead is the birth of what's living.


Arlo Guthrie (1947-, American artist)


Oh you who have been removed from God in his solitude by the abyss of time, how can you expect to reach him without dying?


Hallaj (c. 858-922 AD, Islamic mystic)


I never think he is quite ready for another world who is altogether weary of this.


Hugh Hamilton


If even dying is to be made a social function, then, grant me the favor of sneaking out on tiptoe without disturbing the party.


Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Swedish statesman, Secretary-General of the UN)


In the last analysis it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions life puts to us.


Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Swedish statesman, Secretary-General of the UN)


Your body must become familiar with its death -- in all its possible forms and degrees -- as a self-evident, imminent, and emotionally neutral step on the way towards the goal you have found worthy of your life.


Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Swedish statesman, Secretary-General of the UN)


To leave is to die a little... one leaves behind a little of oneself at any hour, at any place.


Edmond Haracourt


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Rutger Hauer


You haven't lost anything when you know were it is. Death can hide but not divide.


Vance Havner


We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864, American novelist, short story writer)


Death cancels everything but trut, and strips a man of everything but genius and virtue. It is a sort of natural canonization. It makes the meanest of us sacred -- it installs the poet in his immortality, and lifts him to the skies. Death is the greatest


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


Don't strew me with roses after I'm dead. When Death claims the light of my brow No flowers of life will cheer me: instead You may give me my roses now!


Thomas F. Healey


Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.


Martin Heidegger (1889-1976, German philosopher)


When I die, I want people to play my music, go wild and freak out and do anything they want to do.


Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970, American musician, guitarist, singer, songwriter)


Madam, Life's a piece in bloom death goes dogging everywhere: She's the tenant of the room he's the ruffian on the stair.


William Ernest Henley (1849-1903, British poet, critic, editor)


Only the young die good.


Oliver Herford (1863-1935, American  author, illustrator)


Death is like an arrow that is already in flight, and your life lasts only until it reaches you.


Georg Hermes


Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men.


Herodotus (BC 484-425, Greek historian)


The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.


Hermann Hesse (1877-1962, German-born Swiss novelist, poet)


Death has but one terror, that it has no tomorrow.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


A few can touch the magic string, and noisy fame is proud to win them: Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them!


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Our dead brothers still live for us and bid us think of life, not death -- of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and glory of Spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil, our trumpets, sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Fear of death has been the greatest ally of tyranny past and present.


Sydney Hook


'Tis after death that we measure men.


James Barron Hope


I shall not wholly die, and a great part of me will escape the grave.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


Pale death with an impartial foot knocks at the hovels of the poor and the palaces of king.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


It is the duty of a doctor to prolong life and it is not his duty to prolong the act of dying.


Thomas Horder


Death is feared as birth is forgotten.


Doug Horton


Death is the final wake-up call.


Doug Horton


To awake from death is to die in peace.


Doug Horton


To stop sinning suddenly.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


Ignore death up to the last moment; then, when it can't be ignored any longer, have yourself squirted full of morphia and shuffle off in a coma. Thoroughly sensible, humane and scientific, eh?


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


Now, a corpse, poor thing, is an untouchable and the process of decay is, of all pieces of bad manners, the vulgarest imaginable. For a corpse is, by definition, a person absolutely devoid of savoir vivre.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.


John J. Ingalls


Since the death instinct exists in the heart of everything that lives, since we suffer from trying to repress it, since everything that lives longs for rest, let us unfasten the ties that bind us to life, let us cultivate our death wish, let us develop it, water it like a plant, let it grow unhindered. Suffering and fear are born from the repression of the death wish.


Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994, Romanian-born French playwright)


The difficulty about all this dying, is that you can't tell a fellow anything about it, so where does the fun come in?


Alice James (1848-1892, American diarist, sister of William James)


I'm not afraid of death but I am afraid of dying. Pain can be alleviated by morphine but the pain of social ostracism cannot be taken away.


Derek Jarman (1942-, British filmmaker, artist, author)


We are but tenants and shortly the great landlord will give us notice that our lease has expired.


Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905, American comic actor)


I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


There is not, perhaps, to a mind well instructed, a more painful occurrence, than the death of one we have injured without reparation.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


The Father is the Giver of Life; but the Mother is the Giver of Death, because her womb is the gate of ingress to matter, and through her life is ensouled to form, and no form can be either infinite or eternal. Death is implicit in birth.


Kabbalah (BC 1200-1270 AD, Jewish esoteric doctrine)


Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


When I have fears that I may cease to be, Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


Teach me to live that I may dread, the grave as little as my bed.


Thomas Ken (1637-1711, British churchman, hymn-writer)


In the long run we are all dead.


John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946, British economist)


The essential part of our being can only survive if the transient part dissolves. Death is a condition of survival. That which has been gained must be eternalized, and can only be eternalized by being transmuted, by passing through death they must return


Pir Vilayat Khan (1916-, Western philosopher teacher, master, author)


Because of its tremendous solemnity, death is the light in which great passions, both good and bad, become transparent, no longer limited by outward appearances.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004, Swiss-born American psychiatrist)


It is difficult to accept death in this society because it is unfamiliar. In spite of the fact that it happens all the time, we never see it.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004, Swiss-born American psychiatrist)


If some persons died, and others did not die, death would be a terrible affliction.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


Death never takes the wise man by surprise.  He is always ready to go.


Jean De La Fontaine (1621-1695, French poet)


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