27 Idioms for Grief: The Language of Sorrow


Grief is a universal human emotion, and throughout history, people have found various ways to express the depths of their sorrow and heartache.

These idioms provide unique insights into the complex and often overwhelming emotions that accompany loss.

Join us as we delve into each idiom, uncovering their meanings and offering examples of how they can be used.

Grief is like an anchor that holds the heart down in the depths of sorrow, making it difficult to rise to the surface of normalcy. For more comparisons to describe grief, you can check this link: Similes for grief. And for a variety of metaphors related to grief, you can explore this link: Metaphors for grief.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

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Which of the following is a metaphor?

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“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

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The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

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What is an idiom for grief?

When it comes to idioms for grief, they use words and phrases that symbolize the deep pain and sorrow that individuals experience during times of loss and mourning.

Let’s examine each of these idiomatic expressions one by one, providing their meanings and using them in sentences.

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Grief-strickenOverwhelmed with sadness and griefShe was grief-stricken when she received the news of her grandmother’s passing.
HeartacheIntense emotional pain and sadnessThe breakup left him with a deep sense of heartache that took time to heal.
Heavy-heartedFeeling burdened by sorrow and griefAfter the loss of their pet, the family was heavy-hearted for weeks.
Tears of sorrowCrying due to intense grief and sadnessHer tears of sorrow flowed freely as she mourned her dear friend.
In mourningWearing black or engaging in traditional practices to signify grief and lossThe family dressed in black while in mourning for their beloved patriarch.
Wounded heartA heart deeply affected by emotional pain and lossHis wounded heart found solace in the support of friends and family.
Broken spiritA state of emotional despair and hopelessnessAfter the tragic accident, she felt like she had a broken spirit.
Weeping like a willowCrying inconsolably, like the way a willow tree’s branches droopHer friend’s departure left her weeping like a willow for days.
BereavedThe state of having experienced a loss, particularly the death of a loved oneThe bereaved family found comfort in the support of their community.
Grief like an anchorFeeling weighed down and trapped by overwhelming griefHer grief felt like an anchor, making it difficult to move forward.
Suffering in silenceEnduring pain and grief without expressing it openlyHe was suffering in silence, not wanting to burden others with his grief.
Aching soulA deep and profound sense of sadness and longingThe loss of his childhood home left him with an aching soul.
Mournful eyesEyes that reflect deep sorrow and sadnessHer mournful eyes told a story of grief and loss that words could not capture.
Deep sorrowProfound and intense sadnessThe news of the accident brought deep sorrow to the entire community.
Lost in griefOverwhelmed and consumed by feelings of griefShe was lost in grief after the sudden loss of her brother.
Numb with griefFeeling emotionally detached and unable to process the pain of lossAfter her mother’s passing, she was numb with grief and couldn’t comprehend the loss.
Tears like raindropsCrying heavily and uncontrollably, with tears falling like rainHis tears flowed like raindrops as he mourned the loss of his best friend.
Wailing and gnashing of teethExpressing intense grief and despair through loud crying and anguishThe wailing and gnashing of teeth at the funeral were a testament to the depth of sorrow.
Crushed in spiritFeeling utterly defeated and broken by griefHe was crushed in spirit after the loss of his job and his wife in the same month.
Grief that cuts like a knifeExperiencing grief that is extremely painful and emotionally piercingThe news of her friend’s betrayal brought a grief that cut like a knife.
Grief etched on the faceShowing the visible signs of sorrow through facial expressionsThe grief etched on her face was evident to anyone who saw her.
Grief that knows no boundsExperiencing grief that is limitless and all-encompassingHer grief that knew no bounds consumed her thoughts day and night.
Weighed down by sorrowFeeling burdened and heavy-hearted due to griefHe was weighed down by sorrow as he mourned the loss of his beloved pet.
Heart in piecesFeeling emotionally shattered and devastatedThe news of her friend’s sudden death left her with a heart in pieces.
Grief like a stormGrief that is turbulent, overwhelming, and unpredictableHis grief came like a storm, making it difficult for him to find peace.
Sinking into despairGradually succumbing to feelings of hopelessness and sadnessAs the days passed, she found herself sinking into despair over her loss.
Pain that runs deepExperiencing a profound and enduring emotional painThe pain of losing her childhood home ran deep, leaving a lasting impact.
idioms for grief

Idioms for Grief

1. Grief-stricken

Meaning: Overwhelmed with sadness and grief.

In a Sentence: She was grief-stricken when she received the news of her grandmother’s passing.

2. Heartache

Meaning: Intense emotional pain and sadness, often caused by loss or disappointment.

In a Sentence: The breakup left him with a deep sense of heartache that took time to heal.

3. Heavy-hearted

Meaning: Feeling burdened by sorrow and grief.

In a Sentence: After the loss of their pet, the family was heavy-hearted for weeks.

4. Tears of sorrow

Meaning: Crying due to intense grief and sadness.

In a Sentence: Her tears of sorrow flowed freely as she mourned her dear friend.

5. In mourning

Meaning: Wearing black or engaging in traditional practices to signify grief and loss.

In a Sentence: The family dressed in black while in mourning for their beloved patriarch.

6. Wounded heart

Meaning: A heart deeply affected by emotional pain and loss.

In a Sentence: His wounded heart found solace in the support of friends and family.

7. Broken spirit

Meaning: A state of emotional despair and hopelessness.

In a Sentence: After the tragic accident, she felt like she had a broken spirit.

8. Weeping like a willow

Meaning: Crying inconsolably, like the way a willow tree’s branches droop.

In a Sentence: Her friend’s departure left her weeping like a willow for days.

9. Bereaved

Meaning: The state of having experienced a loss, particularly the death of a loved one.

In a Sentence: The bereaved family found comfort in the support of their community.

10. Grief like an anchor

Meaning: Feeling weighed down and trapped by overwhelming grief.

In a Sentence: Her grief felt like an anchor, making it difficult to move forward.

11. Suffering in silence

Meaning: Enduring pain and grief without expressing it openly.

In a Sentence: He was suffering in silence, not wanting to burden others with his grief.

12. Aching soul

Meaning: A deep and profound sense of sadness and longing.

In a Sentence: The loss of his childhood home left him with an aching soul.

13. Mournful eyes

Meaning: Eyes that reflect deep sorrow and sadness.

In a Sentence: Her mournful eyes told a story of grief and loss that words could not capture.

14. Deep sorrow

Meaning: Profound and intense sadness.

In a Sentence: The news of the accident brought deep sorrow to the entire community.

15. Lost in grief

Meaning: Overwhelmed and consumed by feelings of grief.

In a Sentence: She was lost in grief after the sudden loss of her brother.

16. Numb with grief

Meaning: Feeling emotionally detached and unable to process the pain of loss.

In a Sentence: After her mother’s passing, she was numb with grief and couldn’t comprehend the loss.

17. Tears like raindrops

Meaning: Crying heavily and uncontrollably, with tears falling like rain.

In a Sentence: His tears flowed like raindrops as he mourned the loss of his best friend.

18. Wailing and gnashing of teeth

Meaning: Expressing intense grief and despair through loud crying and anguish.

In a Sentence: The wailing and gnashing of teeth at the funeral were a testament to the depth of sorrow.

19. Crushed in spirit

Meaning: Feeling utterly defeated and broken by grief.

In a Sentence: He was crushed in spirit after the loss of his job and his wife in the same month.

20. Grief that cuts like a knife

Meaning: Experiencing grief that is extremely painful and emotionally piercing.

In a Sentence: The news of her friend’s betrayal brought a grief that cut like a knife.

21. Grief etched on the face

Meaning: Showing the visible signs of sorrow through facial expressions.

In a Sentence: The grief etched on her face was evident to anyone who saw her.

22. Grief that knows no bounds

Meaning: Experiencing grief that is limitless and all-encompassing.

In a Sentence: Her grief that knew no bounds consumed her thoughts day and night.

23. Weighed down by sorrow

Meaning: Feeling burdened and heavy-hearted due to grief.

In a Sentence: He was weighed down by sorrow as he mourned the loss of his beloved pet.

24. Heart in pieces

Meaning: Feeling emotionally shattered and devastated.

In a Sentence: The news of her friend’s sudden death left her with a heart in pieces.

25. Grief like a storm

Meaning: Grief that is turbulent, overwhelming, and unpredictable.

In a Sentence: His grief came like a storm, making it difficult for him to find peace.

26. Sinking into despair

Meaning: Gradually succumbing to feelings of hopelessness and sadness.

In a Sentence: As the days passed, she found herself sinking into despair over her loss.

27. Pain that runs deep

Meaning: Experiencing a profound and enduring emotional pain.

In a Sentence: The pain of losing her childhood home ran deep, leaving a lasting impact.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Here are 10 quizzes about the idioms related to grief mentioned in the article:

Quiz 1: “Expressions of Sorrow”

  1. What does the idiom “Grief-stricken” mean?
  • a) Experiencing happiness and joy
  • b) Overwhelmed with sadness and grief
  • c) Feeling carefree and lighthearted

Quiz 2: “Heartfelt Pain”

  1. How would you define the term “Heartache”?
  • a) A sense of achievement and fulfillment
  • b) Intense emotional pain and sadness
  • c) A feeling of excitement and enthusiasm

Quiz 3: “Weighted Emotions”

  1. What does “Heavy-hearted” describe?
  • a) A light and carefree attitude
  • b) Feeling burdened by sorrow and grief
  • c) A state of excitement and happiness

Quiz 4: “Tears Speak Louder”

  1. When do we use the expression “Tears of sorrow”?
  • a) When tears are caused by laughter
  • b) When crying due to intense grief and sadness
  • c) When tears express joy and celebration

Quiz 5: “Traditional Mourning”

  1. What does the phrase “In mourning” signify?
  • a) Celebrating a joyful occasion
  • b) Wearing colorful clothing
  • c) Wearing black or engaging in traditional practices to signify grief and loss

Quiz 6: “Wounded Hearts”

  1. What does “Wounded heart” symbolize?
  • a) A heart filled with happiness and contentment
  • b) A heart deeply affected by emotional pain and loss
  • c) A heart untouched by any emotion

Quiz 7: “Spirit in Pieces”

  1. How would you describe someone with a “Broken spirit”?
  • a) Feeling strong and determined
  • b) In a state of emotional despair and hopelessness
  • c) Experiencing boundless energy and enthusiasm

Quiz 8: “Willow’s Tears”

  1. What does “Weeping like a willow” suggest?
  • a) Crying tears of joy
  • b) Crying inconsolably, similar to the way a willow tree’s branches droop
  • c) Showing tears of anger and frustration

Quiz 9: “The Grieving Term”

  1. What is the meaning of the word “Bereaved”?
  • a) Overjoyed and ecstatic
  • b) The state of having experienced a loss, particularly the death of a loved one
  • c) Completely indifferent and emotionless

Quiz 10: “Suffering Silently”

  1. What does “Suffering in silence” indicate?
    • a) Expressing emotions openly and loudly
    • b) Enduring pain and grief without expressing it openly
    • c) Sharing one’s feelings with others freely

Feel free to use these quizzes to test your knowledge or share them with others to help them understand idioms related to grief!

Conclusion

These idioms for grief serve as a testament to the depth and complexity of human emotions during times of sorrow and loss. While they may use simple language, these expressions capture the essence of the profound sadness that accompanies grief.

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