When it comes to writing a eulogy, we all want the content to be personal and devoid of cliché, but sometimes a quote can just sum up everything you want to say in one neat little sentence. Perfect quotes have a habit of encompassing the human experience in a way that feels like it’s been written specifically for us.
Nailing the tone of your eulogy is paramount; do you want it to be poignant, humorous, or faith-based? Well, luckily for you, we’ve got all those sort of quotes plus a few more choices to inspire you.
“Be the things you love most about those who are gone” – Unknown
Perfect, right? In a single, short sentence this quote manages to make you reflect on the amazing qualities of those you’ve lost, whilst enabling you to feel like a piece of them will always be with you. Poignant, reflective and life-affirming.
“Death is not the opposite of life, but part of it.” – Haruki Murakami
This quote, from best-selling author Haruki Murakami, has a philosophical lilt to it that encapsulates the universal nature of death, making us feel less alone. In a subtle yet profound way, this guides you to focus more on the totality of life and all the joy it brings, rather than the raw sadness of death.
“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will” – Chuck Palahniuk
Sometimes, at a time of intense emotion, a little dose of positive perspective is the order of the day. In this quote, the perspective comes in the form of reflection. Reflection on what the dearly departed have left that will endure after they’re gone. Is it the kindness they’ve passed on to their children? Is it their charity work? Or their wicked sense of humour? This quote from author Chuck Palahniuk can serve as a great jumping off point to talk about all they’ve given the world around them.
As the great Samuel Butler said “If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death”, which is why the use of a humorous quote is often the perfect antidote to grief.
“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” – Winston Churchill
We’ve all known someone who’s a force to be reckoned with. Strong-willed, cheeky or irreverent, this quote sums up these people with laser guided precision. If this quote fits a loved one of yours, then they will almost certainly be a great source of stories and anecdotes about their larger than life personalities.
“I hope to arrive to my death late, in love and a little drunk” – Atticus
“Never say you know a person until you’ve divided an inheritance with them” – Johan Laveter
Now this is somewhat of a wildcard, and can really only be used if there is NO chance of any difficult discussions over the inheritance – ie it’s obviously going to their one child or they have nothing much left to inherit.
“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” – Buddha
What better place to start than with the wisest man around, good old Buddha. Fear is often a lesser-discussed emotion when talking about death, but it rears its head in many ways, be it fear for the future or fear for those you’ve lost. This quote quietly reassures you that those who have lived a good life have nothing to fear.
“God sometimes takes us into troubled waters, not to drown us, but to cleanse us.” – Unknown
Grief and the ‘troubled waters’ it brings are there not to punish us, but to show us all how strong we can be. It is these difficult moments that act as a stage to showcase our strength of character, fortitude and resilience. This quote serves as a message of hope and strength.
“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.” – Kahlil Gibran
This is essentially a poetic way of saying ‘turn that frown upside down’. It shifts focus from sadness and loss, to joy and happiness. It tells you that your sadness is just a sign that you’ve led a happy life with those you love, and that is something to be cherished.
Ask yourself what the deceased loved. A book? An author? A band? Coldplay? Seriously, Coldplay?!
Did they themselves use a quote or certain idiom regularly? Referencing something they love at the heart of their eulogy is a great way to honour their memory. So, whilst we couldn’t possibly guess what they loved, here are a few examples of usable quotes from popular culture to give you a flavour.
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” – JK. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
“Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people
and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more” – The Beatles
If all of this seems a little overwhelming, then please do consider our eulogy writing services. We’re a team of ‘Excellent’ TrustPilot rated writers and we’re here to help. Remember that standing up and giving a eulogy shows incredible bravery and, words aside, it’s that bravery which will always shine through.
Now finally, let us leave you with our favourite quote on loss:
“When we do find each other again we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two: one of you and one of me”
― Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass