grief - sadness

The source of all humor is
not laughter, but sorrow.

Mark Twain


When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.  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.

Khalil Gibran

Sorrow prepares you for joy.  It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter.  It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.  It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.  Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.


In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.

Abraham Lincoln

My sorrow, when she's here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.

Robert Frost


Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break.

William Shakespeare


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Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for
the small ones.  And when you have laboriously accomplished
your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake.

Victor Hugo


Sorrow comes in great waves. . . but rolls over us, and
though it may almost smother us, it leaves us.  And
we know that if it is strong, we are stronger,
inasmuch as it passes and we remain.

Henry James


Joy and sorrow are inseparable. . . together they come and
when one sits alone with you . . remember that
the other is asleep upon your bed.

Khalil Gibran

No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers
to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith,
fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially
when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts,
expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy
to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering,
toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire
and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.

Orson F. Whitney

No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth,
no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can
do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we
learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that
comes to us without warning.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief.  The deepest community is one of sorrow.

Cormac McCarthy
All the Pretty Horses

For the happy person prayer is only a jumble of words, until the day when sorrow comes to explain to him or her the sublime language by means of which we speak to God.

Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo

I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.

C.S. Lewis
A Grief Observed

The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow's denied.

Eddie Vedder


grief - sadness

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more
joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was
burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood
that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you
shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that
is giving you joy.
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.

Khalil Gibran

Although not a very old man, I have yet lived a great deal in my life, and I
have known sorrow too bitter and joy too keen to allow me to become
either cast down or elated for more than a very brief period
over any success or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt


If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows,
you might tell them sorrows know how to swim.

H. Jackson Brown Jr.
P.S. I Love You


When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that
you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure
you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have
moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.
'So sadness is a place?' Giovanni asked.
'Sometimes people live there for years,' I said.

Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love

It's funny, how one can look back on a sorrow one thought one might
well die of at the time, and know that one had not yet
reckoned the tenth part of true grief.

Jacqueline Carey
Kushiel's Dart


Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.

Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace

grief - sadness

Iíve noticed in my life that the people who act as my angels are not
some strange angelic creatures that seem almost untouchable, but are
more real than that. They are people who have tasted sorrow, who
have felt pain, and in a way, that makes them capable of being an
angel. In their darkest moments they have become strong.

Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a Cutter

Behind joy and laughter there may be a temperament, coarse, hard,
and callous.  But behind sorrow there is always sorrow.
Pain, unlike pleasure, wears no mask.

Oscar Wilde

Life's Harmonies
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Let no one pray that they know not sorrow,
   Let no soul ask to be free from pain,
For the gall of to-day is the sweet of to-morrow,
   And the momentís loss is the lifetimeís gain.

Through want of a thing does its worth redouble,
   Through hungerís pangs does the feast content,
And only the heart that has harboured trouble
   Can fully rejoice when joy is sent.

Let no one shrink from the bitter tonics
   Of grief, and yearning, and need, and strife,
For the rarest chords in the soulís harmonics
   Are found in the minor strains of life.

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Happiness and sorrow are twins, let them come and go like clouds.


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Sorrow's Uses
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The uses of sorrow I comprehend
Better and better at each yearís end.

Deeper and deeper I seem to see
Why and wherefore it has to be.

Only after the dark, wet days
Do we fully rejoice in the sunís bright rays.

Sweeter the crust tastes after the fast
Than the sated gourmandís finest repast.

The faintest cheer sounds never amiss
To the actor who once has heard a hiss.

To one who the sadness of freedom knows,
Light seem the fetters love may impose.

And he who has dwelt with his heart alone,
Hears all the music in friendshipís tone.

So better and better I comprehend
How sorrow ever would be our friend.


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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