Quotations About
death

Glenn: Admit it, you only came back to Atlanta for the hat.
Rick Grimes: Don’t tell anybody.
Daryl Dixon: You’ve given away half our guns and ammo.
Glenn: Not nearly half.
Daryl Dixon: For what? A bunch of old farts who are gonna die off momentarily anyhow? Seriously, how long do you think they got?
Glenn: How long do any of us?

Vatos (season 1, episode 4)
Posted in: The Walking Dead

Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars.

To die will be an awfully big adventure.

Peter Pan, Act III
Posted in: J.M. Barrie

I just gave up one day. Around the time the news about toxic shock syndrome came out. I thought, Fuck me, man, I give up. Come and get me.

Joe Jones
Posted in: Anne Lamott

He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.

I answer the question, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ with here in my heart and mind and memories.

This quote is attributed / unsourced.
Posted in: Maya Angelou

Simon: Suffocation’s not exactly the most dignified way to go. The human body will involuntarily-
Inara: Please, I don’t really require a clinical description right now.
Simon: I’m sorry. I just, uh… It was my birthday.

Out of Gas
Posted in: Firefly

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Act 3 Scene 1
Posted in: Hamlet

Lister: I remember when my dad died you know. I was only six. I got loads of presents off everyone like it was Christmas. I remember wishing a couple more people would die so I could complete my Lego set. My grandma tried to explain you know. She said he’d gone away and he wasn’t coming back. So I wanted to know where like, you know. She said he was very happy and he’d gone to the same place as my goldfish. So I thought they’d flushed him down the bog. I thought he was just round the U bend you know. I used to stuff food down, you know, and magazines and that for him to read. They took me to a child psychologist in the end because they found me with my head down the bowl reading him the football results.

Posted in: Red Dwarf

“I know it. I know everything.”
She waited a moment. “What do you know?”
“No use making more people. People die.”
His voice was very calm and quiet and almost sad.
“That’s everything.”

It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

Without Feathers (1975)
Posted in: Woody Allen

The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife — a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it’s being held. On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down.

Without Feathers (1975)
Posted in: Woody Allen

If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned.

Posted in: Will Rogers

Nothing. Not a single droplet formed. That would satisfy a doctor, that’s what they always did on television – if no mist formed on the mirror, there was no breath. Perhaps, he thought anxiously to himself, perhaps it was something to do with having heated wing mirrors. Didn’t this car have heated wing mirrors? Hadn’t the salesman gone on and on about heated this, electric that, and servo-assisted the other? Maybe they were digital wing mirrors. That was it. Digital, heated, servo-assisted, computer controlled, breath-resistant wing mirrors…

Cosmo Castorini: I can’t sleep any more. It’s too much like death.

Posted in: Moonstruck

I used to measure the heavens, now I measure the shadows of Earth.
Although my mind was heaven-bound, the shadow of my body lies here.

Self-composed epitaph, as quoted in Calculus. Multivariable (2006) by Steven G. Krantz and Brian E. Blank
Posted in: Johannes Kepler

All good biography, as all good fiction, comes down to the study of original sin, of our inherent disposition to choose death when we ought to choose life.

Time and Tide (1941)
Posted in: Rebecca West

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose

Posted in: Pablo Neruda

My favourite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantle piece, in order to prove it could be done.

Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.

Posted in: Twilight

Dowager Countess: Oh my dears. Is it really true? I can’t believe it. Last night he looked so well. Of course it would happen to a foreigner. It’s typical.
Lady Mary: Don’t be ridiculous.
Dowager Countess: I’m not being ridiculous. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house – especially somebody they didn’t even know.

Posted in: Downton Abbey

There’s somewhat flows to us in life,
But more is taken quite away.
Pray, Alice, pray, my darling wife,
That we may die the self-same day.

"The Miller's Daughter" (1832)
Posted in: Alfred Tennyson

My eyes are full of tears, my heart of love,
My heart is breaking, and my eyes are dim,
And I am all aweary of my life.

Oenone (1832)
Posted in: Alfred Tennyson

The important thing is to get yourself born. You’re entitled to that. But you’re not entitled to life. Because if you were entitled to life, then the life would have to be quantified. How many years? Seventy? Sixty? Shakespeare was dead at fifty-two. Keats was dead at twenty-six. Thomas Chatterton at seventeen.

The Clockwork Testament, or Enderby's End (1974)
Posted in: Anthony Burgess

It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books; I wish I had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago, and like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them. It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: He made the books and he died.

Letter to Malcolm Cowley (11 February 1949)
Posted in: William Faulkner

It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That’s how the world is going to end.

As I Lay Dying (1930)
Posted in: William Faulkner

I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind — and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.

As I Lay Dying (1930)
Posted in: William Faulkner

Jason: Slow painful death by disease… or watching the love of your life die a slow painful death by disease?
Julie: A. Definitely A. Much worse to be without the person you love than to have a slow painful death. You?
Jason: Oh, B.
Julie: Really? You would rather watch the love of your life die slowly and painfully?
Jason: Well, it wouldn’t be awesome, but better them than me. Got a lot of good years left.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

A Tale of Two Cities
Posted in: Charles Dickens

Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.

Posted in: Emma

I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.

Hale is said to have declared this on the gallows
Posted in: Nathan Hale

My father has asked me to be the fourth corner at the Joy Luck Club. I am to replace my mother, whose seat at the mah jong table has been empty since she died two months ago. My father thinks she was killed by her own thoughts.

The Joy Luck Club (1989)
Posted in: Amy Tan

Number Six: Are you alive?
Military Liaison: Yes.
Number Six: Prove it.

Miniseries, Part 1

William Wallace: Every man dies, not every man really lives.

Posted in: Braveheart

Adama: Are they the lucky ones? That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it? We’re a long way from home. We’ve jumped way beyond the Red Line, into uncharted space. Limited supplies, limited fuel. No allies, and now, no hope? Maybe it would have been better for us to have died quickly, back on the Colonies with our families, instead of dying out here slowly, in the emptiness of dark space. Where shall we go? What shall we do? Life here began out there.

Miniseries, Part 2

Sam: Don’t go where I can’t follow.

Haymitch: Embrace the probability of your imminent death, and know in your heart that there’s nothing I can do to save you.

Posted in: The Hunger Games

The grave itself is but a covered bridge,
Leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!

The Golden Legend (1872)

Time has laid his hand
Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it,
But as a harper lays his open palm
Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations.

The Golden Legend (1872)

Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, and care,
And death, and time shall disappear,—
Forever there, but never here!
The horologe of Eternity
Sayeth this incessantly,—
“Forever — never!
Never — forever!”

The Old Clock on the Stairs (1845)

I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life but that great consciousness of life.

Journal entry (November 1951)
Posted in: Jack Kerouac

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889).
Posted in: Oscar Wilde

The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,
Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed;
No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,
Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.

They died in their glory, surrounded by fame,
And Victory’s loud trump their death did proclaim;
They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast,
And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.

"The Battle of Lovell's Pond" (November 17, 1820)

There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

The Reaper and the Flowers (1839)

It was a lovely morning. We have not had many lovely days. And the sun was just coming through the stained glass windows and falling on some flowers right across the church and it just occurred to me that this was the day I was meant not to see.

TV Interview for Channel 4 A plus 4 (15 October, 1984), referring to the Brighton bombing in which the IRA attempted to assassinate her.

YOU HAVE PERHAPS HEARD THE PHRASE THAT HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE?
“Yes. Yes, of course.” Death nodded.
IN TIME, he said, YOU WILL LEARN THAT IT IS WRONG.

Small Gods
Posted in: Terry Pratchett

…if you opposed Thatcher’s ideas it was likely because of their lack of compassion, which is really just a word for love. If love is something you cherish, it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one’s enemies.

The Guardian, Tuesday 9 April 2013
Posted in: Russell Brand

Her death must be sad for the handful of people she was nice to and the rich people who got richer under her stewardship. It isn’t sad for anyone else.

Regarding Margaret Thatcher, The Guardian, Tuesday 9 April 2013
Posted in: Russell Brand

Fa Li: I should have prayed to the ancestors for luck.
Grandmother Fa: How lucky can they be? They’re dead.

Posted in: Mulan

And so I set these things down before the onset of the first of a thousand small physical degradations as, in a still-distant suburb, Death strides whistling towards me.

My Life as Me: A Memoir (2002)
Posted in: Barry Humphries

Gaff: It’s too bad she won’t live! But then again, who does?

Posted in: Blade Runner