30 Idioms for Grief

Grief, the uninvited companion of loss, has a language of its own. Beyond the usual expressions of sorrow, idioms add a unique dimension to our ability to convey the complexity of emotions tied to loss.

In this article, we’ll embark on a journey through the unconventional and intriguing idioms for grief, each carrying a profound meaning that resonates with the human experience of sorrow.

30 idioms for grief

Idioms for Grief

1. Kick the Bucket

Meaning: To die or meet one’s end.

In a Sentence: When Uncle Joe decided to kick the bucket while skydiving, it caught everyone by surprise.

2. Bite the Dust

Meaning: To suffer defeat or fail.

In a Sentence: After the company’s bankruptcy, its dreams of expansion bit the dust.

3. Pushing Up Daisies

Meaning: To be dead and buried.

In a Sentence: Long gone but not forgotten, Grandma now sleeps peacefully, pushing up daisies in the family plot.

4. Sleep with the Fishes

Meaning: To be killed and thrown into the water, often referring to the mafia.

In a Sentence: Crossing the wrong people in the mob might lead to a permanent nap, sleeping with the fishes.

5. Cry over Spilled Milk

Meaning: To waste time worrying about something that has already happened and can’t be changed.

In a Sentence: Rather than crying over spilled milk, she focused on finding a solution to the problem.

6. Weep Crocodile Tears

Meaning: To show false or insincere sympathy.

In a Sentence: His ex’s weeping at the breakup party seemed more like weeping crocodile tears than genuine sadness.

7. Wear One’s Heart on One’s Sleeve

Meaning: To openly show one’s emotions or feelings.

In a Sentence: Despite being reserved, Jane wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to matters of the heart.

8. Cut to the Quick

Meaning: To deeply wound someone emotionally.

In a Sentence: His harsh words cut to the quick, leaving scars that time might not heal.

9. Take It to Heart

Meaning: To take something very seriously or personally.

In a Sentence: Despite the criticism, she always tried not to take it to heart, focusing on personal growth.

10. Break One’s Heart

Meaning: To cause extreme sadness or emotional pain.

In a Sentence: The news of the pet’s passing truly broke the children’s hearts.

11. Wring One’s Hands

Meaning: To display extreme distress or anxiety.

In a Sentence: Unable to bear the pressure, he found himself wringing his hands during the crucial presentation.

12. Heavy-Hearted

Meaning: To feel deeply sad or burdened with sorrow.

In a Sentence: The farewell of a dear friend left him heavy-hearted for days.

13. Heart in One’s Mouth

Meaning: To be extremely anxious or nervous.

In a Sentence: As the plane encountered turbulence, she felt her heart in her mouth, fearing the worst.

14. Bury the Hatchet

Meaning: To make peace or reconcile with someone.

In a Sentence: After years of feuding, the families decided to bury the hatchet and rebuild their relationships.

15. Shed Bitter Tears

Meaning: To cry profusely, often due to intense sorrow.

In a Sentence: The end of the era had many fans shedding bitter tears over their beloved TV show.

16. Break the News

Meaning: To inform someone about a significant, often distressing, event.

In a Sentence: It was never easy to break the news of a family tragedy to loved ones.

17. Heartstrings Pulled

Meaning: To evoke strong emotions, especially sadness or sympathy.

In a Sentence: The documentary about abandoned animals really pulled at the heartstrings of the viewers.

18. Out of the Blue

Meaning: Something unexpected or occurring without any warning.

In a Sentence: The sudden loss of her job came out of the blue, leaving her in shock.

19. Rain on Someone’s Parade

Meaning: To spoil someone’s plans or celebrations.

In a Sentence: His untimely critique managed to rain on everyone’s parade during the festive event.

20. Cry a River

Meaning: To cry excessively or for an extended period.

In a Sentence: Breakups can be tough; she seemed to cry a river after the end of her long-term relationship.

21. Suffer in Silence

Meaning: To endure hardship or pain without expressing one’s feelings or complaints.

In a Sentence: Despite the challenges, he chose to suffer in silence, not burdening others with his problems.

22. Break Down in Tears

Meaning: To lose emotional control and start crying.

In a Sentence: The overwhelming stress finally caused her to break down in tears in the solitude of her room.

23. Down in the Dumps

Meaning: Feeling sad or depressed.

In a Sentence: After the rejection, he remained down in the dumps for weeks.

24. Face the Music

Meaning: To confront the consequences of one’s actions.

In a Sentence: After skipping work for a week, she had to face the music when her boss called for a meeting.

25. Sing the Blues

Meaning: To express or feel intense sadness or depression.

In a Sentence: The singer’s soulful performance had the audience singing the blues with her.

26. Carrying a Heavy Heart

Meaning: To bear the weight of profound sadness.

In a Sentence: The loss of their beloved pet had the family carrying a heavy heart throughout the month.

27. In the Throes of Sorrow

Meaning: Deeply immersed or overwhelmed by grief.

In a Sentence: In the throes of sorrow, she found solace in writing her feelings in a journal.

28. Feel One’s Heart Sink

Meaning: To experience a sudden and profound disappointment or sadness.

In a Sentence: As the rejection letter arrived, he could feel his heart sink with each word.

29. Lament Over Spilt Milk

Meaning: To express regret or sorrow over something that cannot be changed.

In a Sentence: Instead of lamenting over spilt milk, she focused on learning from her mistakes.

30. Bear One’s Cross

Meaning: To endure hardships or burdens with resilience.

In a Sentence: Each person has to bear their cross; for her, it was the loss of a dear friend.

Summary

IdiomMeaning
Kick the BucketTo die or meet one’s end
Bite the DustTo suffer defeat or fail
Pushing Up DaisiesTo be dead and buried
Sleep with the FishesTo be killed and thrown into the water, often referring to the mafia
Cry over Spilled MilkTo waste time worrying about something that has already happened
Weep Crocodile TearsTo show false or insincere sympathy
Wear One’s Heart on One’s SleeveTo openly show one’s emotions or feelings
Cut to the QuickTo deeply wound someone emotionally
Take It to HeartTo take something very seriously or personally
Break One’s HeartTo cause extreme sadness or emotional pain
Wring One’s HandsTo display extreme distress or anxiety
Heavy-HeartedTo feel deeply sad or burdened with sorrow
Heart in One’s MouthTo be extremely anxious or nervous
Bury the HatchetTo make peace or reconcile with someone
Shed Bitter TearsTo cry profusely, often due to intense sorrow
Break the NewsTo inform someone about a significant, often distressing, event
Heartstrings PulledTo evoke strong emotions, especially sadness or sympathy
Out of the BlueSomething unexpected or occurring without any warning
Rain on Someone’s ParadeTo spoil someone’s plans or celebrations
Cry a RiverTo cry excessively or for an extended period
Suffer in SilenceTo endure hardship or pain without expressing one’s feelings or complaints
Break Down in TearsTo lose emotional control and start crying
Down in the DumpsFeeling sad or depressed
Face the MusicTo confront the consequences of one’s actions
Sing the BluesTo express or feel intense sadness or depression
Carrying a Heavy HeartTo bear the weight of profound sadness
In the Throes of SorrowDeeply immersed or overwhelmed by grief
Feel One’s Heart SinkTo experience a sudden and profound disappointment or sadness
Lament Over Spilt MilkTo express regret or sorrow over something that cannot be changed
Bear One’s CrossTo endure hardships or burdens with resilience

Conclusion

In the tapestry of human expression, idioms for grief provide a mosaic of emotions, allowing us to articulate the profound and complex feelings tied to loss. These unconventional phrases, deeply rooted in culture and experience, transcend the ordinary and unveil the unique ways in which we navigate the realm of sorrow.

Scroll to Top