Writing a Meaningful Eulogy
A good eulogy gets to the heart of its subject and conveys who the person was in ways that are loving and meaningful.
Listed below are suggested ideas that you may want to include along with sample eulogies that might inspire you. Select the topics that you feel are most relevant for you to tell the story of your loved one’s life.
Personal Details of Loved One
Name of Deceased: First, Middle and Surname
Did he/she have a Nickname?
He/she is my (relationship)
How old was he/she?
If married, spouse’s name? How many years were they married? Is he or she living? If not, when did he/she pass away?
What are his/her parents names? Are they living?
Where was he/she raised?
If married, when and where did they meet?
Did he/she have children? How many and their names?
Did he/she have grandchildren? How many and their names?
Did he/she have great grandchildren? How many and their names?
Any other important inter-generational relationships?
Names of siblings (Please designate whether they are living or deceased)
What stories of his/her childhood did he/she tell?
Any stories about teen and young adult years?
What education level did he/she reach? What did he/she major in?
What did he/she do for a living? For what company? For how long? Had he/she retired?
Are there any stories about his/her work life that you remember?
Was he/she involved with any clubs or other organizations?
Were there any significant events that shaped his/her life?
Did he/she have any obstacles to overcome in his/her life?
What do you think he/she would say were the biggest achievements of his/her life?
Name things he/she enjoyed doing?
What talents or skills did he/she have?
What were his/her favourite pastimes or hobbies?
Who were his/her closest friends? How did they meet? What were their favourite things to do together?
Is there some phrase or words he/she always used – some expression uniquely his/hers? What did it mean?
How would you describe his/her outlook on life?
What were his/her endearing attributes?
What were his/her less endearing attributes?
Was he/she a religious person? If so, to what extent? Did he/she have a church or synagogue or mosque?
What trait or characteristic or value do you think he or she would most like to have passed on to the next generations?
How do you think he/she most influenced the lives of those he/she knew?
What special memory of him/her do you have – something you did together or something he/she said or some quirk he/she had.
If you were granted five more minutes with him/her, what would you say?
Eulogy for a Mother
My mother, Julie Sarah Sonagol, was born on March 13 1946, in Gympie in Queensland. She was one of the seven children, four girls and three boys, who were born to my Grandma Theresa and my Grandpa Fredrick.
My mother has three children; my sister Melissa, my sister Jenell, and I am the baby, Anthony.
So all of you who knew my mother knew she was very sweet, kind, loving, caring, and generous. Sometimes I wish that everyone could be as selfless as she was. I know the world would be a much better place if we were.
My mother was so carefree and was very nonjudgmental. She accepted everyone no matter who they were, and she loved everyone from family to friends. She made friends easily and stood by them whenever they needed comfort, support or just a good laugh.
I remember asking my mother before she passed away if she was scared to go. She told me, without skipping a beat, “No, I’m not afraid to die because I know the Lord will be waiting for me.
She added, I just don’t want to leave my children and family behind!
I told her don’t worry. We will be alright and we will be there for each other the best way we know how.
All I know is my mother lit up a room where ever she went and now she is lighting up heaven with the beautiful smile she always had and her infectious laugh. She is lighting up our paths that we are walking. She is letting us know that she is OK, that she is in heaven and that she wants us to love each other and treat each other with respect.
So before I close this, I just want to thank everyone who is here today to celebrate the life of this beautiful, wonderful women and for you to remember all the good times we had with her and all the lives she changed with her love!
Eulogy for a Father
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your support and flowers and cards for my Mum over the past ten, exceedingly difficult days. It has meant an awful lot to her to know that everyone is thinking of her at this time and a comfort to me knowing that she has many dear ones around her to support her now and into the future.
I have written most of this through a veil of tears and a lump in my throat. I am still not sure that it will be me who will actually read it all out yet but I am going to do my best. My brother Brian and I discussed how hard it is for us to compose this speech and were given the advice that you are supposed to keep reading it and keep reading it and reading it and then it becomes easier to speak on the day. For the record it doesn’t.
My Dad Jason was a husband, grandad, son, friend, relative, golfer, bowler, colleague and sometimes a few other unmentionable names! But to me he was always just “Dad”, someone, I took for granted, would be around for a lot longer.
To sum up what he meant to me in a few short paragraphs is impossible; I am not even used to him being gone yet… I am not even sure what you are supposed to say at these times but these are just a few of my thoughts on my “Dad”.
He was always very strict, but brutally fair and everything was black or white. There were no grey areas with Dad. He wasn’t perfect but he was honest, reliable, dependable and a man of strong principles and always had the courage of his convictions. He was traditional, conventional, careful, immensely private and family meant everything to him.
I would never, even up to the day he died, have wanted to have disappointed him or have his disapproval and he made me a much better person.
He was very particular about exactly how he liked everything. His cars were always immaculate, which must have been quite a challenge when we were a young family. I am certain I never to this day had a drink or anything to eat in any of his cars.
Anyone who knew him knew how much he loved animals and “Pip the pup” who is actually 10 and not a pup at all, has lost her best friend and is missing him terribly probably because her constant source of snacks has now been taken away.
On his very last day Mum forgot she was supposed to going out to a Zumba class and instead spent the day with him. They looked at old haunts and went out shopping for wallpaper for the hall. It was obviously fate, and meant to be and some kind of divine intervention. Not because they had unexpectedly spent the day together but as they actually agreed on new wallpaper for the hall!
He worked hard all his life to provide well for his family and I think to begin with he found retirement difficult to adjust to. His new found interest in household matters was often quite alarming for Mum and honestly, judging by the brochures for the Chesterfield sofas I found in his office all measured up for the living room she had a lucky escape from those.
He wasn’t a man of sentimental words. I am not sure he ever told me he loved me, but I knew for sure he did. He would always hug me and say “be lucky”. That was his way of saying he loved me.
I will miss his guidance but I know that he has provided me with the courage to go on and always make him proud.
Eulogy for a Grandmother
Hello. My name is Sarah and I am Helen’s granddaughter. I want to thank you all for coming. Your attendance here speaks volumes about the impact that this wonderful woman had on all of us. Some of you knew her as Mom, Great Grandma, Aunt Helen, or simply as Helen; but to me and her five other grandchildren she was simply Grandma; and to all of us, she was a pretty amazing lady.
To highlight this, I reached out to my sisters and cousins and asked them a pretty simple and straightforward question:
“What are the 3 words that you would use to describe Grandma?”
Their responses, while simple, begin to paint a detailed portrait of the woman we all knew and loved. I will read them out to you and highlight a few of them.
Strong, snarky (in a funny way), and dedicated – always to her family.
Helen Suzanne Barton was born on August 12, 1920. She was a woman who lived through the Great Depression and World War II – a member of “The Greatest Generation”.
Patient, a listener, caring, an awesome cook.
Grandma married my late grandfather, Samuel, in 1946 and had two daughters: Joann and Jane. I know my mother definitely got her cooking skills from Grandma because Mum is also an awesome cook. My cousins and I always looked forward to dinner at Grandma’s! She would cook every one of our favourite deserts.
We celebrated the big milestones of life together: birthdays, graduations, holidays, and weddings. Grandma travelled far and wide to make it for my birth in New Zealand and my sister Liz’s in Canada, and all the while, she was also around and available for the tougher moments in life: the many military moves we made and the moves my Aunt Joann and her family made as well. Packing, stacking, moving, driving – wait, no she didn’t have a driver’s license but that woman certainly knew where she was going at all times!
It seems like the older I get, the more I appreciate my grandparents. It’s amazing how often their names have come up in conversation in recent years – I am confident that my grandmother, Helen Fenton, will live on through our memories of her always honest and poignant advice.
We love you Grandma, you will be sadly missed by us all.
Eulogy for a Grandfather
My name is Grace and I have the priveledge of being a grand-daughter to Grandpa William. He was one of the kindest men I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. His generosity was limitless. He was a smart man and he worked hard for everything he had. He did not judge others or criticize different ways of life. He would nod his head and say something like “To each their own.” He meant it. He was a role-model to me. I am sad that we will not get to have our front porch talks anymore.
I will miss Grandpa greatly. Aside from my parents, he is the only person that has known me my whole life. It is surreal to think he will no longer be here. It makes me very emotional to think about my children growing up without him. I have been very blessed to have him as a grandpa for 35 years. I will treasure the memories I have of him. I’d like to share one of my favourites with you now.
Gramps was an incredible person. Together with Grandma Lorraine he raised 5 children and helped care for 16 grandchildren! On Sunday we’d gather at his house. He shared memories of his time in the war and talk about how it shaped his life. As a child, I didn’t understand the impact of his service. But as an adult, it makes me so proud. Gramps served his country and he served his family. I was lucky to call him my grandpa.
While prepping for this eulogy, I recounted lots of memories and went through old photos. When I told my friends a few stories about my grandfather, they expressed how lucky I was. We had a special bond and he taught me so much about life.
We will all miss you dreadfully Grandpa, but know that you will remain with us in our hearts. All my love to you, until we meet again.
Eulogy for a Wife
My wife, Barbra was the loveliest woman I’ve ever known, and the only one I’ll ever truly love. Based on the number of faces here today, it is clear, that I am not the only one who loved her. In her too short, fifty years, she was a friend to many people who valued her humour and optimistic outlook.
She always hated, more than anything, to see people cry, so instead we should celebrate her life. I know I’m just happy to be lucky enough to be the guy she married.
I remember the day we met. She was young and gorgeous with long red hair. She was a friend of my sister, Paula and I was more nervous when I met her than I’ve ever been in my life. We went on our first date the following evening. We went to dinner and a movie, and we realised immediately that we had so much in common. By the end of that date I knew I’d be asking her to marry me, and she knew it, too.
We were married for twenty-six wonderful years before she was taken from me. Our two children, Gavin and Debra are all grown up now, and our first grandchild will be born in just a few months. I’m saddened that Barbra couldn’t see his little face before she passed – she was so excited when she first heard she’d be a grandmother.
I am proud to say that she was an amazing mother. She instilled reason, fairness, and responsibility in our kids, and I’m happy to say that they turned out to be kind, successful adults. I guess I may have had something to do with it, too, but I think she was a far better parent than I was.
She had many other accomplishments in her life. For the last twenty years she worked for “Kids in Crisis” in Melbourne. I know many of you know her through her work, and will remember her, particularly from her antics at your work Christmas parties!
Some of you may not know that she was also an excellent tennis player. Of course, she always called it “the only interesting form of exercise” but don’t let her fool you. I don’t think I ever saw her lose a match.
Our life together was better than anything I could have hoped for. The only arguments we ever had were about whether to watch an action movie or a chick flick, or whether to eat Mexican or Italian! She always brought me up when I was down, and the few times she was ever down, I’d be able to do the same for her. No-one will ever be able to take her place.
I know she would be very honoured to see so many of us here for her.
I love her and miss her, as I’m sure we all do, but I know that she’s in my heart, right where she has always been.
Eulogy for a Husband
Thank you for coming today to show your love for my husband. I do not have to explain how Jon was to anyone in this room. Everyone knows he was the greatest man on Earth. It only took meeting him once to remember him forever. He is and always will be my best friend and there will continually be a hole in my heart that will never heal. Jon was my soulmate. Plain and simple. It takes some people decades to find the person they were meant to be with. It takes others several tries to find them. And some, never do.
I am one of those lucky few that found him on the first try. All it took was one look and I knew he was the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. I did not get the rest of my life, but I got the rest of his. Our time together may have been cut short, but the happiness we shared together, will last a lifetime. I will mourn the loss of my husband, my best friend, my soulmate, my everything. I will find comfort in the knowledge that he loves me to no end.
Jon always said, “God has a plan. We have to accept it and go with it.” We don’t know what God’s plan is, but it is something special and that’s why He needed the heart that’s as big as the world and open to everyone.
I will miss Jon until the day God calls me home and so will our children Charles and Tony, however, we will never feel alone because Jon has left behind a love that cannot be broken.
Until we are together again, I’m not complete. I am merely here, waiting my turn. Thank you for helping me find forever. You have left me a piece of you in our boys. To the greatest husband and most wonderful friend,
I love you. Always & Forever
Eulogy for a Sister
When I sat down to write this speech, there were so many beautiful things that I wanted to say about Jessica that I didn’t know where to start. None of us have had easy lives by any means, but this is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Jessica was not only beautiful on the outside, she was a beautiful soul. She also saw the beauty in others. Jessica took her time, forming her own thoughts and opinions about the people and things around her.
For example, I love my car but when most people look at it they see an old piece of junk. Jessica could see through the beat up exterior and understood the positive energy it carries. She loved my car so much that I promised her that when she graduated I would teach her how to drive, and then it was hers. I knew she would appreciate it in a way no one else ever could.
Jessica’s philosophy was that “ Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Although incredibly difficult, this reminds me not to feel sorrow for her death, but instead to feel grateful that her presence has blessed our lives. We are all better people today because she was part of it. I am honoured to be her big sister.
When I looked at Jessica, I saw a reflection of myself, but with her own individuality and life ahead of her. I called her my cupcake because she was so cute and sweet, and she in turn called me her sugar momma because I always spoiled her and did my best to take care of her.
Jessica always made me feel like I was the coolest older sister.
Jess was always bright, colourful, creative, and lived life to the fullest. Her personality was too big for this world to contain.
I remember the very first time I held my baby sister in my arms and looked into her beautiful eyes. She was instantly the light of my life.
One of my happiest memories is of her as a little kid knocking on my bedroom door asking if we could blast my music and dance.
Whenever I was feeling down she would always find a way to make me laugh, or give me some corny inspiration like “you go girl” or “turn that frown upside down”. We’ve all experienced just how happy that girl could make us in an instant.
Words cannot describe how much she will be missed. I feel like we still had so much left to teach one another, and so many more inside jokes to create. I had always thought I’d be able to see her grow into the beautiful woman that she was meant to be.
We must remind ourselves that when we look for her, we can look to the stars at night and we can look into the eyes and hearts of everyone here and find a little piece of her. In that sense she will live on forever.
I will leave you with this last thought. Tell people you love them more times than you think they should hear it, especially if you think they already know. Learn to appreciate the good times, because you never know when they will be your last good memories of someone.
Eulogy for a Brother
Firstly, on behalf of my family and myself, I’d like to thank you all for being here, and for all your thoughts, prayers, and kindness we have received over the past few weeks. It’s a real comfort to know Jamie was loved by so many of you and had a place in each of your hearts.
I was 4 when Jamie was born. I remember being absolutely raging when my mum came home from the hospital with another brother. I wanted a sister to play with and thought it was only fair to level the playing field. I fell out with my mum for weeks and wanted nothing to do with this boy she brought back. That quickly changed when I realised Jamie was a real-life baby doll. It wasn’t long before I was trying to steal him away to put my doll’s clothes on him. Mum couldn’t turn her back for a second. From that day on I loved my younger brother.
We used to get up to all sorts of mischief. We’d pinch Mum’s fags and run up to the hut at the back of the garden or into the coal shed under the stairs to smoke them. We preferred the hut though. It had a better view point, we’d see her coming and had the length of the garden get rid of the evidence.
Jamie would do the face that you all know. The ‘been caught’ face… I used to tell him, if we get caught you take the blame coz you’re younger and she’ll not be as hard on you. Jamie did it every time.
Jamie spent a lot of time with the family. He was in his element when he was with us. Just a few weeks before he died, he helped me move house. He was lifting heavy furniture with fingers he had broken just a few days before. He loved helping out wherever he could.
It’s a real shame despite coming through all he has, that he lies here today. This isn’t supposed to happen.
I actually cannot believe I am saying goodbye to my little brother. Every time Jamie said goodbye he would say “I love you sis”. Well, today, Jamie, for the last time, I say goodbye. I love you bro.
Hope to see you again someday.
Eulogy for an Aunt
I am honored to say a few words about my Aunt Jasmine. She was a cheerful, fun-loving lady who was full of life. Her smile could light up a room and it was infectious. She made everyone around her happy. Whether it was a funny joke, her positive attitude, or her big smile, she was a delight to be around.
As a child I remember visiting my aunt almost every weekend. My mother Betty,and her sister were very close, which meant we got to spend a lot of time with my cousin, Michael and Uncle Nick. Jasmine was a kid at heart and loved to play with my cousin and I. I remember games of hide and seek in her yard, or playing with Michael’s large collection of toys.
As I got older my aunt always made an effort to stay involved in my life. She was there at my university graduation, was at my wedding and was one of the first people to visit me when my son was born. I really appreciated how much she cared and knew I could always count on her for anything I needed.
My aunt taught Michael and I a lot of valuable skills over the years. She was an incredible cook and gardener. She taught us how to grow our own vegetables and how important organic foods were. She always had a new recipe for us to try and we knew that if she was recommending it that it would taste incredible.
When my aunt was diagnosed with cancer it was a very difficult time for our entire family. Aunt Jasmine was such a positive and strong lady. She was always encouraging us to cheer up and showing us the positives. I spent a lot of time looking after her, as her disease got worse. I was happy to do whatever I could, because no matter how much I helped her I felt like it was nothing compared to everything she did for me over the years.
I will miss my aunt’s smile and positive attitude. She was an incredible sister, mother, wife and aunt. She will be missed by a lot of people here today. I wish her peace and will always love her.
Eulogy for an Uncle
I wanted to take time out to thank each and every one of you for visiting with us today to celebrate the life of my Uncle Tom. Tom was a very unusual and fastidious man. He always used to tell me that he had a plan for his life, and that if someone didn’t like the plan for his life, then they would waste so much time.
Within three years of employment at his firm, Tom became the CEO. He changed the business structure, expanded the product line, and invested in sustainability. His goal was to ensure that he would maximize his chances for success and see the world. Tom did just that. Within the ten years he worked for the firm, he visited Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, and Brazil. He always had plenty of unique stories to share with us about the way that other companies did business, and how he thought they could do better. These types of things excited Tom.
While Tom was not interested in settling down with a large family, partly because he travelled so often, he adored his wife, and during his vacations, he treated us like gold. He would visit with arms loaded with exotic gifts and trinkets. He always had incredible stories to tell, and would often surprise us with a trip of our own.
I was always surprised with Uncle Tom’s business acumen. He is the person that inspired me to excel in school and gain my own degree in international business marketing. Thanks to Tom I have a drive that I know will help me excel in anything I want to do. This is partly because Uncle Tom showed me that with proper goal setting and a commitment to success, anything is possible. Uncle Tom also showed me that even when things go wrong, you can often set them right again with a calm head, and a good sense of humour.
Thank you Uncle Tom, for remembering your family, and for showing each and every one of us that we can do anything we set our hearts and minds to. I will miss you dearly, and I know that Aunt Mary will too.
Eulogy for a Friend
Good Afternoon. My name is Simon and José was my loyal friend, my confidant, my mentor for 15 years. He was more like my older brother. We had many experiences during that time. We laughed, we cried, we fought, and laughed again. I can go on for hours talking about the kind of person he was but, I think many of you here already know. José was the friendliest, sweetest, most comprehensive, and humble person I ever met in my life. Always worrying about the welfare of others. His favourite quote was as follows:
“I shall pass through this world but once, any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
He always used to tell me “Oh Abe, I’m not a fan of new technology!” So, he always used to call me and ask for help with his computer or TV. “Abe, can you fix my computer? I think it has virus.” “Abe, my internet is not working. My power light on the modem is off, can you fix it?” I was His PC personal assistant. He was such a non-technology guy and I was shocked when he got an iPhone before me.
We spent four Christmases together at my house in Mexico: four Christmases I will never forget. They were unique. He did not wanted the regular Christmas dinner. All he wanted was Carne Asada Tacos; his “vampiros”. Oh, and fruit waters. Watermelon was his favorite. It was a ritual.
The last Christmas that we spend together I said to him, “Enough of Tacos José, I want a real American Christmas dinner” So that Christmas Eve we went and ate his tacos and on Christmas day we prepared and ate a juicy turkey.
I will never forget our vacation in Mexico City. That trip was planned with a year in advance. We spent hours designing a very detailed itinerary but when we got there, we didn’t follow any of it! I’m glad that we made that trip together. It was his idea and it was a great one. He loved to visit museums, and we did see a lot of them. I can’t forget our trip to Disneyland! We were two goofies running around the park that day.
I can keep talking about our moments together but like I said at the beginning that would take lots and lots of time.
9 days ago my best friend passed away. And he left an empty place in my heart; a place that nobody can fill. June 4 was the saddest and most painful day I’ve had in my life until now. That day I got the call that my best friend had died. It is a memory that I cannot erase from my mind, neither from my heart. Although I told him lots of time that I loved him dearly, I would give anything to turn back time and tell him that I love him one last time, to tell him that without him my life is not complete.
People say that time heals all wounds, but today I can tell you that’s not true. Till today, I feel the same pain in my heart that I felt that Thursday evening.
I know he is closer to me, that there’s no more distance or time difference that separates us now. I thank you José for those years of friendship that you gave me. Thank you for everything that you did for me. I want you to know my friend, that I love you with all my heart and that I always remember you.