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thank you notes for funeral food

After a funeral has taken place one of the things most people don’t realise is that you have to thank so many people for their help or involvement. Friends, family, florists, the funeral director or home etc. And one of those is the caterer or whoever provided the funeral food.

The food may not be the first think you think of when it comes to a funeral. But it’s an essential part, and the caterer will have worked hard to provide what you requested.

So you should try to thank them for their efforts. But what do you say in your thank you note?

If you’re having trouble finding the right words then these example thank you notes should help give you an idea of what to say.

Thank You Notes for Funeral Food

Many different people may have helped out with food after the death of a loved one. Be it family, friends or those in the community around you. So use these example thank you notes to come up with your own way of saying thanks or copy them directly as they are.

Dear Sadie,

I can’t thank you enough for bringing food to the funeral. The planning has been really stressful so having friends chip in and help with food has allowed me to grieve fully. Your support throughout this difficult time is hugely appreciated.



Dear Angela,

Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the funeral. It was so touching to see all the time and effort you had to put into preparing so much food. So many of those in attendance mentioned how tasty they found it.

On the day of the funeral my mind was all over the place and so I didn’t get the opportunity to thank you properly. It’s when times are hard that true friends really step up. I’m so grateful to have someone like you in my life.

Thank you again,


Dear David,

Thank you for the delicious food you brought to the service. Your generosity didn’t go unnoticed. We hadn’t prepared for so many people and ended up needing more so having that extra food you provided was a real life saver.
I appreciate all you’ve done to help and how lucky I am to have a friend like you.

Kindest regards,


Dear Smith family,

We wanted to thank you for the lovely meals you prepared for us. It was incredibly thoughtful, especially at a time when we needed the help most. It’s hard to express how much we appreciated all you’ve done but know that we value your friendship so much.



Dear Webster family,

Planning a funeral is both arduous and gruelling when you’re grieving someone you loved. So when friends come through with help like you did it’s so appreciated.
The food you sent was delicious and you even remembered that some of us have specific dietary needs.

Having the piece of mind to know the food side of things was sorted really did take some of the strain and stress away. So I can’t begin to thank you enough. You made a hard day that bit easier.

Warm regards,


thank you note for funeral food

READ MORE: Funeral Thank You Notes: 21 Wording Examples

Thank You Wording for the Caterers

If the funeral was catered then it’s always nice to let them know that their hard work was appreciated. So use these example thank you messages to thank them for the hard work they put in catering the funeral.

Dear [caterers name],

Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did catering my late wife’s funeral 2 weeks ago. During such a difficult time it was a real relief to know that the food was taken care of. Everyone commented on how much they enjoyed the food and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending you to friends and family in the future.

Thank you again,


Dear [company name],

Thank you for catering our funeral and getting everything spot on. We had some very specific requests and all the food was exactly as we had hoped. Although a funeral is never a happy occasion your service helped make it more bearable.

We are extremely grateful and won’t forget it. Thank you again,


To the Caterers,

On a moving and tough day it was a relief to have such professionals catering for us. The food was exemplary and we were delighted with the standard. Everyone who attended was well fed and many complimented us on how good it tasted. We are grateful for your service and will recommend you at every chance.


thank you note for funeral caterer

READ MORE: How to Write a Thank You Note to a Caregiver After a Death

Thank You Notes for Serving Food

If anyone volunteered to help serve the food at the service then it’s right to thank them for all they did.

Dear Helen,

Thank you ever so much for helping out and serving food at the funeral. On an awkward day you helped to make everyone feel at ease and comfortable. It may not seem like much it really makes a difference. I truly appreciate the help and all you did.

With love,


Dear Joe,

We were very grateful for your help with serving food at the service. It was a weight of our shoulders to not be concerned with every aspect of what was happening. You went above and beyond to assist us and we are very, very thankful.


Dear Jessie,

My family were grateful for you helping with the serving of food. During such a difficult time for all of us having a friend like you and the support you’ve shown has been a light amongst the dark. Thank you.


Thank You for Food After the Funeral

Sometimes those closest to you will bring food after the funeral as well. This can be really helpful if you’ve been overwhelmed by the funeral and don’t feel up to cooking. So you can reach out and say thanks with these notes.

Dear Jones family,

I wanted to write sooner to thank you for the casseroles you dropped off after the funeral. After such a stressful period it was such a relief to have food that I didn’t have to prepare and cook. You really came through when I need the help most. Thank you so much,



Dear Heather,

The food you sent over after the funeral was just what we needed. It was a very welcome surprise to find it in our doorstep and has all been eaten. It brought comfort and respite after a gruelling few days. Thank you,


Receiving the food you sent after the funeral was over was so welcome. I needed time to process everything that had happened and being able to have something eat close to hand that didn’t need cooking or preparing was ideal. It also offered me the opportunity to be with the kids after and make sure they were coping. All in all it was a wonderful gesture that I’m truly grateful for. I can’t thank you enough.


Dear Steve,

I can’t deny that I was feeling lost after the funeral. There were so many emotions. Having the food you brought round though was a Godsend. Being able to have something nutritious and comforting to eat when I was struggling helped immensely. Thanks for being there when I needed you.



Letting those who helped with the funeral food know you appreciated their efforts is not only the right etiquette but just a thoughtful thing to do. So sending a thank you note for help with the funeral food will show your appreciation and remind those involved of what it meant to you.

thank you notes for funeral food

Christian condolence messages

When sending a sympathy card it’s always important to keep in mind the recipients faith. Religion is extremely important to many people and plays a huge part in both life and death.

So if you are sending a card or writing a message to someone after a loss you may want to use a Christian condolence messages. This is a few words that offer them sympathy for their loss but from the perspective of Christianity.

Many example condolence messages are non-religious. This is understandable because if you’re in doubt about the recipients faith and how they would react to a religious quote, Bible verse etc. it’s safer to use more neutral wording.

But if you’re confident about the bereaved and their religion then a Christian sympathy message makes sense. They will appreciate your words that reflect their faith, be them from the Bible or your own.

So use these Christian condolences and offer your support to a Christian friend, family member or colleague who is mourning a loss.

Short Christian Condolence Messages

  • I’m deeply sorry for your loss. I’m praying God comforts you during this tragic time.
  • May God grant their soul eternity in peace as they ascend to Heaven y His side. My deepest sympathy.
  • Sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family. May God’s presence and love help you through.
  • Though it may not comfort you now remember that your loved ones soul is in Heaven and you will see them again one day. May God’s love bring you strength and hope.
  • We are praying for both you and your loved ones soul. God will be there for you.
  • I am here to pray with you if you need a friend. May God restore your spirit and bring you the peace you seek.
  • It was truly devastating to learn of your friends death. May their soul rest in peace for eternity.
  • May the love and hope your faith brings be something you can turn to during such an awful time.
  • Please accept my condolences for your loss. May the blessings of God find the deceaseds soul in Heaven.
  • Losing someone is always so hard but know that He has a greater plan. My heartfelt condolences for your loss.
  • Look to God for strength and have faith that He will bring you the love and comfort you need at a time like this. I will be praying for you.
  • As you say goodbye know that their soul will ascend to heaven and they will be with God.

Christian condolence message

READ MORE: Sympathy Prayers: 23 Christian Ways to Pray for a Loss

Christian Bible Verses for Condolences

Bible quotes and verses are a great way to express your sympathy in a condolence card. These thoughtful verses should offer those grieving some comfort.

  • “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help” – Psalms 72:12
  • “For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones” – Isaiah 49:13
  • “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” – Matthew 5:4
  • “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” – John 16:22
  • “My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life” – Psalms 119:50
  • “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” – Psalms 23:4
  • “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” – Romans 14:8
  • “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” – Psalms 73:26
  • “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” – Revelation 21:4
  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” – Joshua 1:9

Bible verse for condolences

READ MORE: 18 Prayers for the Dead: Catholic & Christian Prayers for Loss

Christian Condolence Messages for Loss of a Friend

  • My heart goes out to you at this time. I am praying for the soul of your friend and sending my love.
  • Please accept my condolences. I only hope that my prayers will bring you some comfort and help the journey of your friends soul to heaven be quicker.
  • It may not mean much but we are sure he/she is watching over you from heaven. You are never truly alone. Our condolences.
  • My deepest condolences go out to you. May your friends soul rest in peace and you be able to find strength in the arms of God.
  • We are praying that in God you will find the courage to face the days ahead. May the love of friends, prayer and your faith bring you comfort and peace in such terrible circumstances. Our deepest sympathy for your loss.
  • May the Lord comfort and bless you as you mourn your departed friend. You are in my thoughts. I’m so very sorry.
  • Those who are asleep will awaken on the day the Lord comes for us all.
  • It is the memories of our friends who are no longer with us we can turn to and seek comfort in. May prayers bring you hope and sustain you as you grieve.

christian sympathy message

READ MORE: 41 Funeral Prayers: Moving Scripture for Services and Readings

Christian Condolence Messages for Loss of a Husband or Wife

Losing your spouse is indescribable and will shake anyones faith. But you can support them with a gift or card to show they aren’t alone and have friends around them in such a difficult time.

  • You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am here for you if there is anything you need, be it help with chores or looking after the kids. May your husbands soul rest in peace.
  • Your wife will live on through the joy she bought to this world and the treasured memories you gave. May her soul rest in peace.
  • It is with such sadness we say goodbye to your husband. He was a man of honor and integrity who will never be forgotten. I hope that God will bring you courage and strength to get through what is a tragic loss.
  • My prayers are for you and your husbands soul. I was lucky to have known him and the happiness he brought to so many lives. May he rest in peace in heaven.
  • The Lord will bless your wife’s spirit and take her in His arms as she ascends to Heaven. May we always remember her and the light she brought to our lives. My deepest condolences.
  • May you find strength in the Lord to get through the heartbreak of losing your husband. I will be praying and thinking of you.
  • Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Nothing can hope to stop the pain but may God provide some comfort amongst the grief.
  • You are in my thoughts and my prayers. It will offer you little comfort but the whole church are praying for your wife’s soul and to give you strength. Remember we are here for you.

condolence message for christians

READ MORE: What to Say When Someone Dies: A Guide to the Best Words of Comfort

Christian Condolence Messages for Loss of a Mother or Father

Whilst there are no words to help ease the pain after losing a mother or father that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out with your thoughts. Your support and knowing they aren’t alone will give them some comfort as they mourn.

  • Your mother was a wonderful woman. I’m deeply sorry for your loss but I know that her soul will be resting in eternal peace in heaven.
  • May God lift your father up to Heaven and he rest for eternity in peace. He was a truly special man who will be missed greatly.
  • May angels lead your mom in to Heaven and she feel the fullness of God’s love. I am praying for you during this testing time.
  • I was so saddened by your fathers passing. May your pain eased by the Lords love.
  • Your wife led a life of grace and selflessness. She deserves to be remembered in the highest regard. May your faith help you to cope with her loss.
  • No one will ever be able to take the place of your father. He was a wonderful man and I am deeply sad by his passing. May his soul rest in peace.
  • Everyone who was lucky enough to know your wife was devastated to hear of her passing. We will all be praying for you and your family.
  • Sending you and your family my most heartfelt condolences for the loss of your husband. I hope you find hope and strength through your faith.

READ MORE: Words of Sympathy for Loss of Father

Christian Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Child

The loss of a child is utterly devastating. In times so hard it’s no surprise families would look to their faith for support and strength. Be there for them in whatever way you can as they come to terms with their tragedy.

  • There is nothing I could say to offer you any comfort at this time. I can only pray that God is with you and that He loves you.
  • You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. Whatever you need we will be there to help. Our deepest sympathy for your loss.
  • May the Lord help you to see through the grief and pain. Nothing can ever replace your little girl or make her memory fade but may His loving hand touch your heart and offer you strength.
  • Your little angel has her wings. I can’t begin to understand just how you must be feeling but please know I’m here for you.
  • I am praying for you and your family. You have experienced a loss very few could ever understand and I only hope you find something to offer you hope.
  • My heart breaks for you. There are no words. Just know how deeply sorry I am.

READ MORE: Words of Sympathy for Loss of a Child

We hope these Christian condolence messages have helped you to offer your sympathy to those of the Christian faith. When we lose a loved one it can be extremely difficult but having the support of friends and family, as well as faith, can help us to find a way through the grief.

Christian condolence messages

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what is a sympathy card

If you know someone who has lost a loved one then you are probably aware that sending a sympathy card is a kind thing to do. But you might also be wondering: what is a sympathy card?

Not everyone is absolutely sure what a sympathy card is and why you should send one. Or where the tradition for sending them started.

So if you’re not exactly sure what a sympathy card is and how and why to send one then keep reading.

What is a Sympathy Card

A sympathy card is a greeting card that you send to someone after they have experienced a loss. It will usually contain a message of sympathy or condolence that says how sorry you are for their loss.

The message you choose will usually reference whoever passed away and may reflect on what they meant to you. Sympathy messages can be short and brief or contain longer sentiments and even stories of the deceased.

Sympathy cards can be sent or given to family members and close friends through to colleagues and acquaintances we don’t know very well. All will appreciate the gesture of receiving a sympathy card and message.

example sympathy card message for a card

What is the Difference Between a Sympathy Card and a Condolence Card?

There isn’t really any difference between a sympathy card and a condolence card. They are both cards sent to those grieving a loss to express your sadness and sorrow.

The words “sympathy” and “condolence” mean different things, though. Condolences are specific expressions of sympathy for when someone has experienced something painful or bad. It is usually after a death but could be for the loss of a job or breakup of a relationship.

Sympathy is a feeling that we experience. We feel sympathy when something bad happens to someone, like those mentioned above – loss of a job, relationship, a death etc. These major events that cause people pain and upset illicit sympathy from both those who knew them and even those who didn’t.

READ MORE: Empathy vs Sympathy: The Difference Explained Simply

Why do we Send Sympathy Cards?

We send sympathy cards because we want to show we care about those grieving a lost loved one. After losing someone it can be such a painful and lonely time. So having friends and family reaching out with a thoughtful message or words in a sympathy card is going be warmly received and appreciated.

Sending a sympathy card also demonstrates you’ve put some effort into showing you care. It’s very easy to send a quick text message or put something on Facebook.

But picking out a sympathy card (or hand making your own) and handwriting a message before posting or delivering it to the bereaved is a clear sign of you thinking of them. It may not be a huge gesture but it will mean a lot to those grieving.

Especially now that so much is done online or digitally, a sympathy card may seem like a throwback but the fact that it’s a tangible keepsake the family can hold and read makes it extra special. Some families even keep the notes, cards and letters they received as a reminder of their passed loved one and how many people truly cared about them.

When do you Send a Sympathy Card?

You should send a sympathy card after a death. Ideally the sooner the better. Try to get the card to the family of the deceased within a few weeks of them having passed away.

This isn’t set in stone though. If for some reason you can’t get your card to them within the first few weeks that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send one. You can’t really be too late with sending a sympathy card.

READ MORE: Etiquette Tips when Sending a Sympathy Card

When Should you Not Send a Sympathy Card?

If too much time has passed, and too much would be many, many months (even years), then it might be seen as a little odd to send a sympathy card so late. We never recover fully from losing someone but people do eventually move on. So receiving a sympathy card so late would be a little strange.

example condolence message for a card

How do you Give Someone a Sympathy Card?

If you prefer to give someone a sympathy card rather than send it then you can do so. Hand delivering a note or sympathy letter will be seen as a touching gesture by the bereaved.

You can accompany your sympathy card with a gift or flowers. Flowers could be sent by a florist or flower delivery service and would likely have a note to go with them. A gift may also have a note that the company you bought it from includes.

Alternatively you can have the flowers or gift sent to yourself and then buy a card separately before delivering them together.

Where did Sympathy Cards Come From?

Greeting cards can be traced back to Ancient China and Egypt, although they didn’t really become a part of European culture until into the 1500’s. The history behind sympathy cards is more recent however.

Originally sympathy cards were just death announcements that may have contained “in loving memory” or some variation of that at the end. These cards from the Victorian era were almost like tickets as they were required to attend the funeral, rather than actually showing any sympathy for the loss.

Over time these sympathy cards became what we know today. Hallmark, probably the best known card maker, began producing sympathy cards in the 1920’s.

As technology has moved on so has the way in which we express sympathy. eCards and emails have become popular ways of sending condolences as well as text messages.

However hundreds of millions of sympathy cards are still sent every year. They relish extremely popular amongst those sending and receiving them.

Are Sympathy Cards a Good Idea?

Yes, they can offer comfort and support to those coping with the grief of losing someone. Receiving a card that shows how much the deceased was loved and knowing you have friends or family to offer support if you need it is very reassuring.

It’s not so much the card itself but the thought behind it. Loneliness after a loss is very common and so it’s important to make it clear that those dealing with their grief needn’t do so alone. A sympathy card can do this.


Hopefully you’re now more familiar with sympathy cards, their history and why we send them.

They are a really loving gesture and you should never feel always about sending one. Whoever is grieving a loss will cherish receiving a thoughtful sympathy card.

what is a sympathy card

how to say happy birthday after a loss

When someone has experienced a loss it can feel strange and wrong to also say happy birthday. But birthdays occur every year regardless of other events.

So those grieving a loss will still have a birthday and you may want to reach out and acknowledge it.

But what do you say? Does it need to be different to a usual birthday greeting? Do you mention their grief and the person they lost?

Navigating the correct etiquette when saying happy birthday after a loss can be difficult. It’s understandable to not be sure of the right thing to say or what to avoid.

So hopefully this guide and the example birthday wishes after a loss provided here will help you to find the words to wish someone a happy birthday in an appropriate way even though they are coping with a bereavement.

How to Say Happy Birthday After a Death in the Family

Examples of what to say:

  • I know it’s hard to celebrate at a time like this but I’m sending my birthday wishes and thinking of you today.
  • I don’t know if you want to be alone this birthday but if you’d like a friend I’ll be there for you.
  • This has been such a hard year for you and you may not feel like doing much this birthday but please remember we all care about you so much.
  • I wasn’t sure if you wanted a present this year but I’ve got you one anyway. I’ll drop it off whenever is best for you. Happy birthday and I hope you can find a little bit of joy amongst the darkness.
  • This will be a tough birthday but I promise it will get better from here.
  • Sending you my birthday wishes and letting you know I’m here if you want to do anything this year. I’ll understand if you’d just like to forget this birthday though.
  • I’m so sorry for your loss and for your birthday to have come at such a tragic time. I’ll be thinking of you.
  • May you find some happiness this birthday. All my love.
  • My condolences and sympathy on your birthday. Losing someone is always awful bits it’s especially painful around a birthday.

happy birthday after a death

More tips for the etiquette around a birthday after a death:

When and Where

If you’re going to say happy birthday to someone after they’ve lost a loved one then be mindful of when and where you say it. Many people going through grief want to be left alone.

So saying happy birthday in public – be that amongst people or on social media – may lead to an outpouring of other people doing the same. This can be overwhelming for the bereaved and only make the situation worse.

It might be better to do it in a private setting away from others, on or offline. Or alternatively send a card, speak on the phone or send an email or text message to keep it between just yourselves.

Be there for them

Wishing them a happy birthday is important but more so is being there for support. During such a difficult time having the support of friends and family is essential to those grieving. And emotions will be heightened during a birthday.

So make an effort to be there for whoever’s birthday it is. Go and see them, get in contact in some way and help them to feel loved.

Sending a Gift

You can still send a birthday gift even after a loss. But it may require a little more thought than a regular present.

If you’re not sure what would be appropriate then try to think about what they would like but what is also going to be suitable considering the circumstances. A gift can take many forms and doesn’t have to be a standard present – maybe opt to cook them a meal or comforting food, offer to take them out somewhere or spend time with them etc.

READ MORE: Happy Birthday in Heaven Messages and Wishes

What Not to Say on a Birthday After the Loss of a Loved One

The main thing is to avoid upsetting or adding to the hurt of those grieving. That means being careful with what and how you say happy birthday.

Think of whoever you are wishing a happy birthday and how they would like to receive it (if at all). It’s not a one size fits all approach. Some people will appreciate you reaching out, some will want to continue as normal as they can and celebrate their birthday, others may want to forget about it entirely.

So you need to let them decide how they want to acknowledge their birthday in such difficult circumstances. Follow their lead and do all you can to help them feel as comfortable as possible.

happy birthday wishes after loss

Happy Birthday Wishes after the Death of a Father

  • It’s your first birthday without your dad and I know you must be missing him so much. I don’t know how much you feel like celebrating but I wanted to reach out and wish you a happy birthday. I hope you’re doing ok.
  • I can’t begin to understand what you’re going through. I’m always here for you though. Happy birthday.
  • I’m so sorry your father isn’t with you to celebrate this birthday. I hope you can find some positives today.
  • As you deal with the tragic passing of your father I hope you can still have a birthday that isn’t only bad memories.
  • My most heartfelt birthday wishes. May your fathers memory be a blessing.

Birthday Wishes after the Death of a Mother

  • I know going through a birthday so soon after losing your mom must be just awful.
  • Sending big hugs and thoughts to you on this birthday. I know it will be so difficult after your moms passing but we are all here for you whatever you need.
  • Happy birthday my friend. I hope the loss of your mom doesn’t ruin today. She would have wanted you to carry on and enjoy yourself.
  • I can only imagine how tough today is. Happy birthday, anyway, and may you find the strength to get through.
  • Even though everything is so hard at the moment I wanted to wish you a happy birthday. May you find a little light amongst the darkness today.

READ MORE: Happy Birthday in Heaven Mom Messages

Happy Birthday Wishes after the Loss of a Child

  • I know that this must be so painful but we wanted to be there for you this birthday. Whatever you need know that you have the love and support of all of us around you.
  • I completely understand if the last thing you are thinking about is your birthday but I still wanted to say I remembered and am thinking of you.
  • Happy birthday, and may you find some peace today amidst the pain.
  • No one should ever lose their child. I can’t even come close to imagining how heartbreaking it must be for you. A birthday is unimportant now but I am thinking of you and remembering it’s your day.
  • Sending birthday wishes and prayers for you. Nothing will ease the pain but may you find better days in the future.

Birthday Messages after the Death of a Brother

  • My most loving birthday wishes. I know you must still be hurting over your brother so understand if you’d rather forget this birthday.
  • Your brother was such a great guy. Facing a birthday so soon after losing him must be dreadful. I’m so sorry for your loss and not sure it’s appropriate but wanted to wish you a happy birthday as well.
  • A first birthday without your brother will be so hard. But remember you have the support and love of those closest to you. We will always be here. Happy birthday.
  • Happy birthday and please accept my condolences for the recent loss of your brother.

Birthday Messages after the Death of a Sister

  • No one will ever replace your sister. May you find some peace after a terrible loss and not remember this birthday for all the worst reasons.
  • May you find some comfort on your birthday even whilst mourning the loss of your sister.
  • I will never forget your sister. She was such an amazing person. I hope on your birthday you can remember the good times with her.
  • I don’t know if wishing you a happy birthday is the right thing to do so soon after your sisters passing but I am hoping you can find even a little joy today.

How to wish Someone a happy Birthday after the Loss of a Husband

  • I can only imagine you won’t want to face your birthday this year and understand completely why. But I wanted to send this quick message to say I’m thinking of you.
  • Losing someone so special is beyond heartbreaking and makes a birthday seem irrelevant. All I wanted to say was I’m here for you if you need someone.
  • Your husband was such a wonderful man. I hope your birthday doesn’t bring back too many unhappy memories and you can still enjoy your day.
  • May the memory of your husband be with you on this birthday.

Birthday Wishes after the Death of a Wife

  • Wishing you a happy birthday but with the knowledge that after your wife’s passing you may just want to be left alone.
  • Thinking of you today and praying for you find some comfort. Your wife would want you to have a lovely birthday.
  • Happy birthday and I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your wife.
  • No one will be upset if you’d prefer to forget this birthday. You’ve experienced the worst thing that could possibly happen and the idea of celebrating at a time like this is understandably the furthest thing from your mind. Know that I am thinking of you though.

What to Say on the Birthday of a Deceased Loved One

  • On the first birthday of [name] since they passed away I wanted to reach out to you and say I’m thinking of and here for you if you need anyone.
  • I know that today will be almighty difficult for you. Any day that reminds you of a lost loved one will always be hard. But know that I’m here for you.
  • Today would have been [names] birthday and we all miss him/her terribly. May the memories you so cherish be a blessing today and always.
  • These big days that remind us of the important people we have lost from our lives are so hard to deal with. I know you will be remembering [name] today and wanted to send a note to say I’m thinking of you too. Stay strong.

Saying happy birthday after a death can be awkward. And knowing what the right thing to say tricky.

So hopefully these examples and tips will have helped you to find the right words to wish someone a happy birthday even after they have lost a loved one.

how to say happy birthday after a loss

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happy birthday in heaven mom

After you’ve lost your mom and her birthday comes around it can be really difficult. Although the grief of losing a parent never passes it does lessen with time.

But when those big days that you would have celebrated with your mom – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas etc. – arrive it can bring that grief and pain all back. We remember those we loved dearly the most during the special times.

But a way to help and mark the occasion is to say ‘happy birthday in heaven mom’ as a way of paying tribute to and remembering your departed mother. It’s a way to celebrate the day even though she isn’t with you anymore.

So if you’re missing your mom on her birthday and want to send a message to her in heaven try these examples.

How do you Say Happy Birthday in Heaven to your Mom

1. Happy birthday, mom. I miss you more than I could possibly say and think about you all the time. I know you’re in heaven watching over me though and it brings comfort to know I’ll see you again.

2. It’s days like today that I miss you the most. I can’t help but think back on the amazing times we had and how much fun your birthdays were. It hurts so much you’re gone but it won’t stop me celebrating and remembering your birthday. I miss you mom.

3. Happy birthday to the most wonderful mother. You may be up in heaven but you’re always in my heart. I won’t ever forget you.

4. I wish that we could spend your birthday together. Instead I am going to light a candle and spend today thinking of all those treasure memories I have of you. Happy birthday mom, all the way up there in heaven.

5. Every year your birthday comes around I think it will be easier and every year it’s just as hard. My heart still breaks knowing you’re not here. I hope you’re up in heaven looking over me, mom. Happy birthday.

6. I don’t want to cry today but it’s so hard without you here. Happy birthday in heaven, mom. Even though you’re gone you still

7. Even in the hardest times like today I do all I can to remember those cherished moments us we had together and it helps me through. The happiness and laugher we shared – that’s what I think of when I remember you. Happy birthday in heaven.

8. Even though you’re no longer with me I feel your presence wherever I go. You’re still the one who guides me and I turn to. Happy birthday mom, I’ll never stop missing you.

9. I can’t say how special you were to me mom. Years may pass but your spirit will never truly be gone. Happy birthday.

10. Your memory is a blessing, mom. I keep you in my heart always. Wishing you a happy birthday in heaven and hoping we will be reunited again.

mom in heaven happy birthday

70 Happy Birthday in Heaven Quotes with Images

Happy Birthday in Heaven Mom Messages

11. You were more than just my mother, you were my best friend. Your birthday is so hard for me but I want to remember you in the best way possible and celebrate your life. Happy birthday, mom.

12. To my darling mother – I can’t count the tears I have shed since you left us. Your birthday another reminder of how much I miss you. But I will celebrate your life today and all you meant to me.

13. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed I will always remember you mom. Your memory is eternal. Happy birthday.

14. To the most amazing woman – you may be gone but I shall never forget you. Happy birthday my darling mother.

15. As we celebrate your birthday today I wish you eternal happiness and peace. Rest well mom.

16. It brings me comfort to know that your soul is in heaven watching over me. Happy birthday mom.

17. I will leave flowers on your grave today mom, and light the candles like I always do. It won’t stop me hurting but keeping your memory alive is important to me. Your birthday deserves to remembered.

18. You are with me in spirit and that’s enough to celebrate your birthday. It’s not the same without you but any way I can feel close to your presence and remember the love you brought I will take. Happy birthday mom.

19. I gaze skyward and see the stars, knowing you are there among them. As I mark your birthday I will wish for you to keep me safe and always be with me, no matter what.

20. If I close my eyes I see your smiling face. I know your somewhere looking over us all. Happy birthday.

wishing you a happy birthday mom in heaven

Words of Sympathy for Loss of Mother

Happy Birthday to Mom in Heaven from your Daughter

21. Today I remember my wonderful mother. No one was as kind and loving as her, and I look back on what she did for me with such happy memories. I miss you more each year mom, happy birthday from your daughter.

22. No one could ever replace you. You may be gone but your memory is never far away. From your only daughter, happy birthday mamma.

23. On your birthday I feel your absence more than ever. Whatever you are, mom, I hope you’re happy. Just know that your daughter loves you and always will.

24. Today I wish my mom a happy birthday. She was taken far too soon and I am left bereft by her absence. I hope she is in peace in heaven.

25. No one was as good a mom as you were and I so wish you were here to celebrate your birthday. Instead I’ll take today to remember all the best moments we had together and hope you know how much your daughter loves you.

26. I try to focus on those amazing memories I have of you mom but I can’t stop hurting and missing you. Until we are reunited – happy birthday.

27. It’s your unconditional love and support that helped me to become the person I am. I owe you everything mom. Happy birthday – you are never far from my thoughts.

28. Please know that your daughter will never stop missing or loving you. I feel you with me every single day and want your birthday to do justice to the incredible mom you were. Happy birthday in heaven, mom.

29. We had a bond that was special. Mothers and daughters often do. And that’s why I miss you so much. I want you back mom, but I know it can’t be. So I will wish you a happy birthday and remember just how amazing you truly were.

30. From your daughter – happy birthday, mom. You were so loved I hope you know how much we miss you now you’re gone.

missing you in heaven mom

Happy Birthday in Heaven Mom for Facebook

31. You never stop loving som eone, you just learn to live without them. Happy birthday in heaven, mom.

32. Today would be my mom’s birthday. It’s brings back both good and bad memories, but I will be remembering just what she means to me and celebrating the amazing life she had. Happy birthday up in heaven mom – I miss you.

33. On my mom’s birthday I’m remembering her and the woman she was. Her memory will live long in my heart. Happy birthday mom

34. Sadly missed along life’s way, quietly remembered every day. No longer in our life to share, but in our hearts, you’re always there. Happy birthday mom.

35. Even after all this time I still expect my mom to walk back through the door. I miss her so much, especially today on her birthday. But I know she’s looking down and keeping me safe. Happy birthday in heaven mamma

36. Remembering you is easy mom, I do it every day. Missing you is a heartache, that never goes away. Wishing you a happy birthday in heaven.

37. Saying happy birthday to my mom who’s no longer with us. I know she’s in heaven looking over me. Happy birthday mom.

38. My mom was more than a parent: she was my best friend. My heart breaks all over again every year her birthday comes round. The pain won’t ever pass but the love she left was real and I remember just how special she truly was.

39. I’ll never forget you mom. Happy birthday in heaven, I’ll see you again one day.

40. The hard part wasn’t losing you, it was learning to live without you. Happy birthday mamma, I love you dearly.

Mom’s First Birthday in Heaven Quotes

41. It’s your first birthday since heaven gained a new angel. It’s so hard not having you here but nothing would stop me remembering your birthday. You are as loved just as much as you are missed.

42. I won’t let today be a sad day. It may be the 1st birthday since you left us but we will gather to celebrate your life and the amazing impact you had on so many people. Happy birthday mom, and I hope you’re happy in heaven!

43. There will be tears today, the 1st birthday since you were taken from us. But we will be honoring your memory and celebrating your birthday the way you would have wanted.

44. On the first birthday after your death I am raising a glass to you, my mother, and wishing you peace.

45. Today I mark your 1st birthday after your passing with such sadness. I want to see you one last time and tell you how much I love you.

46. It’s so hard to think of your birthday so soon after you left us. You are missed more than I could possibly say.

47. You will forever have a place in my heart and as I commemorate your 1st birthday since you were tragically taken I can say that your memory won’t ever fade. I love you mom, happy birthday.

48. I can still remember your last birthday and how much joy it brought us all. I don’t want to face the 1st since you’ve been gone but know I can’t avoid it. Wishing you a happy birthday mom and that you were still with us.

49. Your 1st birthday in heaven since your passing is making me so sad. I want to remember all the best of you but can’t seem to stop myself missing you and wishing you weren’t gone. Happy birthday mommy.

50. Happy first birthday in heaven mom. May you find some peace and rest amongst the angels.

51. To my mom in heaven – it’s been less than a year since I lost you and as the 1st birthday since I am filled with such sadness. You are greatly missed and although I will mark today and remember you birthday it will be in sorrow.

The major days after losing someone like your mother – holidays, birthdays etc. – are always the hardest. You miss them more than ever during those moments.

So we hope you have found one of these messages you can use to say happy birthday in heaven to your mom and remember her on a special day.

happy birthday in heaven mom

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in lieu of flowers etiquette and alternatives

If when an obituary is written the family would prefer an alternative to flowers – a gift, donation to charity etc.- then the phrase “in lieu of flowers” is used. But as it’s not a phrase that is very well known it is often misinterpreted to mean don’t send flowers, rather than what the family may have intended.

That’s why knowing the etiquette of using “in lieu of flowers” is important. For both the family of the deceased who are making the request and also those attending the funeral/wanting to send their condolences it makes sense to be familiar with what it genuinely means.

That way you can be sure you do the right thing: be that making the request you want for your deceased loved one or sending the correct memorial that the family has asked for.

So we’ll take a look at the etiquette surrounding “in lieu of flowers” and then some alternatives wordings you can use instead to ensure everything is as clear as possible.

What Does In Lieu of Flowers Mean?

‘In lieu of flowers’ is another way to say “instead of flowers”. It is used by families after a loss to request alternatives to flowers that are sent to the funeral.

It is often used in obituaries or funeral invitations. It lets those planning to attend a memorial or funeral to do something other than send flowers.

One common request is for a charitable donation rather than flowers. But families may also prefer a different sort of gift or expression of sympathy – something like financial help towards the funeral service.

Flowers hold different meaning to different people. Some may not be able to imagine a funeral without lovely arrangements and bouquets, others may prefer that money to go to something they see as more worthy. Some would like a mixture of both.

There is no wrong or right in this situation. As a funeral is a deeply personal event and it comes down to the families preference.

If you are planning a funeral then and would prefer something ‘in lieu of flowers’ then it’s perfectly acceptable to ask.

If you aren’t sure of the etiquette surrounding the asking for alternatives to flowers and how to go about it then keep reading as we will discuss it further.

In Lieu of Flowers Etiquette

There is some etiquette around the use of ‘in lieu of flowers’. If you aren’t exactly sure how to use it or the correct way then follow the rules below to ensure you get things right.

Etiquette for Charity Donation Requests

The most common request in lieu of flowers is for charitable donations. Follow these etiquette tips to make sure you get everything right:

  • The amount of money you donate to a charity should be at least the same as you would have spent on flowers. If you feel like you can or want to donate more then do so.
  • When you send your donation to the charity let them know that it is being made in the name or memory of the deceased.
  • The charity will want to notify the family of the deceased that a donation has been made in their name. Give them the address of the next of kin or closest relative.
  • Be sure to also let the charity know your name and address so that the family knows it was from you and can send a thank you note or card if they want to.

Etiquette for Both Flowers and a Donation

You may decide to do as the family request and make a charitable donation but also send flowers to the funeral. If so then follow these tips:

  • Stick to the etiquette for donations as listed above. It all still applies.
  • When you send your flowers include a note or sympathy card that makes it clear you also made a donation too. This will show the family that you followed their wishes as well as sending flowers.
  • Before you send the flowers be absolutely sure the family will be ok with you doing both. A request of in lieu of flowers can sometimes be because they don’t want any flowers, full stop. In which it’s best to respect their wishes.

In Lieu of Flowers Wording Examples

If you aren’t sure what words to use when writing in lie of flowers and how to make your requests then these examples should help.

  • The family welcomes donations to [charity’s name] in lieu of flowers.
  • Any donations made in lieu of flowers will go to [deceased name’s] chosen charity that was close to their heart.
  • Whilst flowers are appreciated the family would also welcome donations both charitable and toward the funeral costs.
  • In lieu of flowers the family asks that any memorial donations or contributions be made to [receiver].
  • We are choosing to honor [deceased’s name] with donations to charity rather than flowers.
  • To guarantee that the funeral pays proper tribute to [deceased’s name] the family is foregoing flowers and asking for financial assistance to cover the funeral expenses.
  • Instead of flowers the family would be grateful for help with the funeral costs.
  • In lieu of flowers if you would like to offer anything towards the funeral please get in contact with the family.
  • In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate it if you would use the digital guestbook to share a memory of [deceased’s name].

in lieu of flowers wording example

What to Say Instead of ‘In Lieu of Flowers’

If you prefer to use something other than in lieu of flowers as part of your obituary or funeral invitation then these alternative wording examples should help:

For Charitable Donations

Requesting donations to a charity in lieu of sending flowers is one of the more popular alternatives. These phrases and examples can be used in an obituary.

  • [deceased’s name] wished that any tributes be made in the firm of a charitable donation, preferably to [charity’s name].
  • It is the family’s request that anyone wishing to express their sympathy please do so by making a donation to a charity of their choosing.
  • In memory of [deceased name] we would prefer donations to [charity name] rather than flowers.
  • The family requests that in remembrance of [deceased name] please send donations to your favorite charity.

For Help with Funeral Expenses

Some families ask for a donation to help with the funeral expense instead of flowers. Not having the necessary insurance or being unprepared by a sudden death may mean the family left behind can’t meet the costs of a funeral. If that’s the case then the following wording examples ask for assisting with the funeral expenses:

  • Any donations towards the funeral expenses will be greatly appreciated. They can be made to [receiver].
  • The family requests any tributes or donations be made in name of [deceased’s name] funeral fund.
  • If you feel able to donate to the funeral fund of [deceased’s name] then you can do so through [receiver].
  • The family appreciates any donations to assist with the funeral expenses and they can be made through [receiver].

in lieu of flowers example

For Multiple Choices

You can also leave it open to those attending the funeral or sending their sympathy to decide whether they want to send flowers or do something else.

  • Any expression of sympathy can be made however you wish.
  • Contributions to the funeral, charitable donations or flowers are all equally appreciated and welcomed.
  • Cards, contributions or donations and flowers will be warmly welcomed.
  • Whatever expression of sympathy you see fit, be that flowers, donations or cards will be greatly appreciated.


‘In lieu of flowers’ etiquette snd wording can cause problems for both the deceased’s family and those attending the funeral.

As the family it’s important you decide how you want people to memorialize your passed loved one. So choose your words carefully and be sure that is how the deceased would have wanted to be remembered.

As a guest or mourner it’s safest to follow the wishes of the family and whatever they have asked for. However, sending flowers alongside their requests is usually acceptable too.

in lieu of flowers etiquette and alternatives

how to write a thank you note to a caregiver after a death

Unfortunately because of declining health with age or illness we sometimes require a caregiver to assist us. Quite quickly they become invaluable to both the family and the person in need.

So when those needing the care pass away it’s understandable to want to thank the caregiver. They have been there to help and look after our loved ones during such a difficult time.

And they do so with a positive attitude and friendliness that those dealing with their failing health so need.

In fact very strong friendships are often formed with those caring for our sick loved ones. Both the patient and the family come to see them as more than carers, but beloved extended members of the family.

So sending a caregiver a thank you note after a death is a small gesture in return for all they did.

But what do you say? And how can you express just what they meant to you and your deceased loved one. To have someone so kind and comforting during a time of fear and facing the unknown – it’s difficult to truly reflect that in a short note of thanks.

So if you’re finding it hard to write your own thank you note or message to a caregiver then follow the steps below. This guide will show you how to write your own thank you note as well as providing examples and short messages you can use in any way you want.

How to Write a Thank You Note to Caregivers

If you want to write the note yourself rather than using the examples further down then you can follow these steps and tips:


Begin your note by making it out to either the specific caregiver or the team who looked after your loved one. Use their name if it’s a single person – “Dear [name]”.

  • Dear [name]
  • Dear [hospital name] staff
  • Dear Dr [name]
  • Dear nursing staff

Say Who it’s From

It’s important to say early on in your note who is sending the note or on who’s behalf. As caregiver’s see and care for many different patients it may not instantly be obvious to them who the note is from.

  • “I can’t thank you enough for the care and love you provided my grandmother, Lorraine, with during her final weeks.”
  • “you looked after my dad, David, and I wanted to say how much I appreciate all you did.”
  • “My grandmother Angela, who passed last month, was looked after by you and I wanted to send this little note to say how thankful I was for your care.”

Express your Thanks

This is the whole point of your note or letter. You should clearly say why you are so grateful for all they did.

If it was the care they provided, talk about that. If you appreciated how comfortable they made you or your loved one then explain why that was

Perhaps they were exceptionally helpful at explaining what was happening or made you feel more at ease at the hospital.

Whatever the reasons for writing your note don’t hesitate in letting them know just how much you appreciated all they did. A caregiver is an incredibly selfless job and one that whilst rewarding is tough. Receiving a few kind words to show that people are really grateful for what you do will be so warmly received.

  • “I know that my mom was made to feel more comfortable and well looked after in those final months. That is down to you and your committed care and love for your patients. I am devastated she is gone but it brings me some comfort to know she had someone there at the end and by her side to make sure everything was as she would have wanted.”
  • “My dad would talk about how you and he chatted for hours and helped take his mind off things. He saw you as more than a carer but as a friend. I know that meant the world to him and I am so grateful for that.”
  • “your dedication to my grandmothers well being in her final few months was so appreciated. I can’t begin to thank you for everything you did.”

Mention Their Service

You should express your thanks but it’s also a good idea to be specific about what you are so grateful for. Receiving feedback on certain aspects they did really well or you really appreciated is not only going to make them feel better but also help them to know what works well when dealing with patients and their families.

So you could focus in on something you felt really helped or that they did that you noticed the most. Or talk generally about how their care was so important and the difference it made.

Definitely include anything your loved one who passed away said about them. Knowing the people they cared for appreciated and felt more comfortable because of their care is what makes it all worthwhile for caregivers.

Invite them to the Funeral

Whilst you don’t have to it is a touching gesture to invite a caregiver, hospital staff or doctor to the funeral. They develop bonds and close relationships with the people they look after and would no doubt appreciate the chance to say goodbye.

However, you may not feel completely at ease with this. Really it comes down to the type of funeral you are having and whether you feel comfortable having someone who isn’t a close relative or friend there.

If you would like to invite them then a good time to do so is in your thank you note.

  • “As you were so important to my mother at the end of her life I would be honored if you would come to her funeral.”
  • “I know my dad would have wanted you at his funeral after how close you became.”
  • “We are having a memorial service for Angela on the 24th May and would be delighted for you to come.”

Include a Gift or Flowers

This should be considered on a case by case basis as sometimes it won’t be right, nor should you feel you have to. But a small token of your thanks to show your appreciation for all they did is a lovely gesture.

This could be something like flowers which are a common and acceptable way to thank someone. A small gift basket or personalized gift would also be a very lovely way to say thanks. Maybe even some homemade food if that’s something you’re able to do.

Alternatively you could make the effort to leave a glowing review with their superiors. Telling their boss or management about how they went above and beyond to help you and your loved one will reflect well on them and is a simple way to say thank you for all they did.

Sign your Note

As mentioned earlier it’s important to let the recipient know who the note is from. Dealing with many patients makes it difficult for caregiver’s to instantly remember each individual.

So sign your card with your name and anything else that might identify you.

  • “Yours sincerely”
  • “kind regards”
  • “yours truly”

READ MORE: Thank You Messages for Doctors After a Death

Sample Thank You Notes to Caregivers

Dear Jane,

I just wanted to reach out and thank you for the amazing care you provided my mom over the last 6 months. I know I speak on behalf of the whole family when I say that your devotion and kindness made those final months far more bearable for her. It’s a great comfort to know that she was so well looked after up until the end. I am and always will be truly grateful for that and for all you did. Thank you again.


example thank you note for a caregiver


Dear Robert,

I shall never forget the unwavering care and sensitivity you gave my father at the end of his life. It wasn’t just my dad you helped through such a traumatic and difficult time – it was the whole family. All our questions were answered with patience and the support we needed never faltered. It’s down to you that we were able to get through such an incredibly difficult time. Thank you for all you do.

Yours truly,

example thank you note for caregiver after a death


Dear Anne,

I couldn’t have wished for a better carer for my grandmother. With her health failing and life becoming more difficult you were there to provide the support she needed. I saw how close you two grew and know that she considered you a true friend by the end. I won’t forget the reassurance you gave her near the end and how vital you were to making the remaining time she had left comfortable.

Thanks you so much,

Thank you Messages for Caregivers

1. It’s rare to find someone as caring and devoted as you. I am indebted to all you’ve done and will forever be grateful.

2. Thank you for your years of care. The love and help you give your patients is beyond amazing. What you do deserves far more credit.

3. During peoples hardest moments you are there with warmth and support. I will always appreciate all you do. Thank you.

4. You have been such a lifesaver. I couldn’t have coped without the care you provide for my mother. Thank you so much.

5. The dedication and commitment to your patients and the support you give them is truly amazing. Thank you so much for your wonderful care.

6. Your patience never wavers and your smile is always there. Everyone is so grateful and in awe of the job you do. Thank you.

7. You are a modern day Florence Nightingale. If there were more people like you it would be a better place. I can’t express how much you are appreciated.

8. You gave my father some his happiest days. He always talked about you with such fondness. It means everything to us that he had you to care for him.

9. Sending our thanks for your continuous support and care. My mom loved you and we now understand why. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.

10. We can’t express our gratitude to you for the care my grandmother received. She left this world in comfort because of you. Please accept our deepest thanks.

When is the Right Time to Send your Note?

There is no perfect time to send your note. There isn’t really a wrong time either.

The most usual period will be in the few weeks after the death. But if you are busy with funeral arrangements or just don’t feel up to it because of dealing with your grief then that’s fine too.

Sending your note even months after the death of your loved one is perfectly fine.

Remember that it’s important to send it at some point, rather than feeling pressured to do so in a specific timeframe. The carer will appreciate you reaching out regardless of when it is.

how to write a thank you note to a caregiver after a death

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empathy vs sympathy the difference explained

When talking about bereavement and loss “sympathy” is a commonly used word. For example – “we offer or extend our sympathy to someone for their loss”.

But what exactly is sympathy? What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? And how can understanding those differences help with the way we support and are there for those grieving.

What is the Difference Between Sympathy and Empathy

The main difference between sympathy and empathy is that with empathy, you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and experience exactly what they are experiencing. You feel everything they are feeling.

The use of the word sympathy is most commonly used when people have something bad happen to them which may be unfair (though there is nothing to say that all misfortune is unfair). You regard someone with sympathy when they have experienced something tragic or upsetting and you can see how difficult it is for them.

What is Sympathy

Sympathy is the feeling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. It can also refer to a state of partial agreement with the sentiments expressed by another, usually in an argument or debate.

Basically, it is when you feel bad for someone and want to help them out. The word is often used in response to tragic events that have happened to someone else, such as losing a loved one, illness, job loss etc.

What is Empathy

Empathy is a quality that involves the ability to understand the feelings of another or others and to share those feelings.

It is a special ability that everyone has, but some people have greater capacity for empathy than others.

Empathy is a feeling, an emotional response. So, it can be compared to other feelings such as sadness and anger, although these two do not involve emotions such as sympathy.

The term ’empathy’ was coined by the 19th-century German psychiatrist, Edward Titchener.

When to use Sympathy

You should use sympathy when you are talking about a situation where someone has been or is being badly treated.

You should also use sympathy when you need to sympathise with someone, such as someone who has experienced a loss.

If you need to offer someone your sympathy then try our selection of sympathy messages and condolences.

When to use Empathy

You should use empathy when trying to understand how another person feels.

If you want to be more empathetic, you can put yourself in the shoes of the person who has been treated badly and feel what they are feeling. This enables you to support them with whatever they are going through.

The more empathetic you become the better you will get at helping those suffering and being able to offer them support or assistance, hopefully improving their situation or mood.

It can be daunting to first show empathy. Like many things for some people it requires work.

The key is to seeing the world from other peoples perspective. This something you can work on.

we hear you empathy

Why Sympathy is Important

Sympathy is important because it means you can understand what someone is feeling and know that they are hurting or suffering because of it. On top of that it not only means you understand it but you feel their pain or hurt.

Often it’s expressed as a means of saying sorry to someone. Sorry for their loss or sorry for a situation they’ve encountered.

With sympathy though you are somewhat detached. In comparison to empathy whereby you put yourself in the persons shoes and understand what they are going through sympathy doesn’t require that.

Sympathy is just an acknowledgment of something bad rather than an understanding of it.

Why Empathy is Important

Empathy is important because it allows us to see other peoples perspective. We can put ourselves in their position and try to understand what they may be thinking or feeling.

Without empathy we wouldn’t be able to understand what others are going through and be there for them. You need to be able to relate to people to form connections and bonds. Otherwise you’re just a selfish individual who thinks only of themselves.

A lack of empathy is likely to result in you finding it hard to connect with people or maintain relationships.

Sympathy Examples

The most obvious example of sympathy is after a loss. We feel sympathy for someone who has lost a loved one.

But loss can take many forms:

  • When someone is ill
  • The loss of a job
  • The breakdown of a relationship
  • Loss of of valuables (car being stolen, losing a treasured item etc)

Really any situation where someone feels bad or has been hard done by we often feel sympathy towards.

Empathy Examples

Empathy is taking sympathy a step further. When you empathize with someone you often take on the hurt and emotions they are experiencing.

You may try to offer solutions to the problem or offer your support in different ways. That might be spending time with them, listening, helping with an activity etc.

Empathy involves a lot more action than sympathy.

Some examples of empathy:

  • A friends breakup – even if you found your friends partner awful, didn’t like them and thought they were the completely wrong for each other being a friend and having empathy means you set aside your dislike for their partner and offer comfort to them. They are upset and need a friend for support and you make time to listen and be there for them, understanding that even though you didn’t approve of their partner they are still sad the relationship has ended.
  • Grief after a loss – having sympathy after someone loses a loved one is natural for most people. But demonstrating empathy would be understanding what it’s like to grieve and be in pain after that loss. You use that understanding to be there for whoever it is grieving, offering the support they need through listening, kind words or any help they might need.
  • If a friend or colleague is forced to work on a weekend you could stop by for some company or with their favorite snack. You’re doing more than just feeling sorry for them, you’re empathizing with the fact that working on a weekend isn’t fun and knowing that having a friend come by to cheer you up or for company is going to make them feel better.

Can Empathy be Developed or Taught?

Yes, you can develop empathy and improve your emotional intelligence. Most learn or are taught to be empathetic as a child but you can still learn to increase your empathy as an adult.

It isn’t easy though. It requires hard work and getting outside of your comfort zone. Understanding others perspective is key which means putting yourself in their shoes.

To do this you can:

  • Listen – just listen to everyone. Hear what they are saying, pay attention and think about what it is they experience or feel.
  • Volunteer – this will have you interact with and get to know a wide range of different people from different walks of life. It will also expose you to those with different life experiences to yourself.
  • Talk to new people – but do more than just small talk. Ask proper questions and show interest in their lives. Learn about them and what they think.
  • Work with others – being part of a project and working with people will help you to understand the better and become more in tune with how other people and feel.
  • Read books – it’s proven that reading fiction helps people to become immersed in other worlds and peoples lives, even if they’re not real. This again helps to understand others feelings and thoughts and put yourself in their position.
  • Do Research – documentaries and articles, be it in papers, magazines or online expands your mind and let’s you learn of others experiences.


For more help on understanding empathy and sympathy as well as how to learning it and why try these websites:


Sympathy and empathy are both extremely important but also very different. Knowing and understanding those differences and how you should use both will help you to have better relationships and people will appreciate you’re emotional intelligence.

Hopefully you now understand the differences between empathy and sympathy and will feel more comfortable using them.

empathy vs sympathy the difference explained

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eulogy examples and samples

Writing a eulogy is really difficult. Finding the right words to express your feelings about the deceased, remembering those special moments and memories of them, not getting overwhelmed by the emotions – that’s before thinking about the things you need to avoid saying and making sure it’s appropriate for the family.

There’s so much involved. And it can be very challenging.

So it’s understandable to be struggling. What can help is some eulogy examples and samples.

An example eulogy can inspire you in what you want to say or guide you in the type of eulogy you’re going to write. It just gives you an idea of what a eulogy actually looks and sounds like.

So that’s why we’ve compiled these moving eulogy examples. Some are prewritten eulogies whereas others are readings given by famous

Hopefully they will provide you with some inspiration if you’re writing your own eulogy. Alternatively you can use the examples as they are or edit and change them so they fit your situation.

What is a Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech or reading that is given at a funeral. It is to pay tribute to and remember the deceased.

A eulogy is usually given by a family member or a close friend of the deceased. It gives them a chance to share what they remember of the departed, tell their stories and memories of them and let others know just what type of person they were.

It can also help those grieving to mourn but also focus on the positive aspects of the deceaseds life, remembering the good times and not just the pain that comes with losing someone.

Writing a Eulogy

The process of writing a eulogy is probably the hardest part. It doesn’t come easily to anyone and requires a lot of thought and planning.

It’s best to try to organize memories you have of the loved one first. Maybe speak to family and friends to get their thoughts and what they remember most of the deceased.

Write it in stages, with a beginning middle and end. Remember to speak from the heart and with sincerity.

If your prefer to write your own eulogy and would like some easy steps to follow then try our guide of how to write a eulogy.

Eulogy Examples

Writing your own eulogy is very tricky. It can help to see other eulogies to give you an idea of what they’re like and the type of things to say.

The below example eulogies for all types of family members and loved ones should help you to compose your own.

Short Eulogy Examples

These example eulogies are short and quick for if you want an idea if very simple and straightforward readings for a funeral.

I’ve been lucky enough to know Rob my entire life. We grew up living in the same street and as kids would play out in the road. We even went to school together. As the years went by our friendship grew and we became really close. We would do everything together, from sports to chasing the same girls! Rob became more than a friend and just like a brother to me.

Even when life took us in different directions we stayed in touch and kept our friendship alive, seeing each other as often as we could. Rob was just a great guy. Humble, kind and always there for everyone.

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say he won’t be forgotten and the warmth and joy he brought to us all will live on forever.


I want to thank you all and say how pleased I am to see so many people here to give Denise the send off she deserved.

I met Denise over 10 years ago when we worked together and we instantly bonded over our love of
She was someone who didn’t want any fuss or attention and so I know would hate the fact that I’m eulogizing her now.

Denise was kind and generous though and loved her friends and family more than anything. Her sense of humor and the fun she bought to the lives of those lucky enough to know her will live on long after she is gone.

She really was an inspiration and someone I considered a true friend. Goodbye Denise.

Eulogy Examples for Mother

Writing a eulogy for a mother is always going to be so difficult. How can you possibly sum up the life of someone so important to you in a mere few paragraphs. The example eulogies below will hopefully show you the sorts of things you can say to pay tribute to your mom.

Today we honor the life of my mom, Rachel. She was a truly amazing woman who was the kindest and most loving person in the world.

I can honestly say she was my best friend and to try and do justice right her in this short eulogy will be impossible. She dedicated her life to family and making sure we were supported in whatever we did and that we never felt anything other than loved.

She sacrificed more than I’ll ever know and even when she was putting everyone else before herself she still made time to listen to all our problems.

Everyone who was fortunate enough to know her was in awe of everything she achieved. And the warmth and happiness she bought to us cannot be overstated.
I loved her more than words could possibly say and she will live on in my heart forever more.


I can’t think of anything I’ve ever had to do as hard as give this eulogy for my mom. Saying goodbye to her is a pain I will never get over.

My mother was compassionate and loving. She put everyone before herself – friends, family, even her pets. That attitude meant we never felt anything other than loved and safe.

Mom loved to teach. It was her passion and she never grew tired of it. I’ve had so many former students reach out to me to say how she was their favorite teacher. After close to 40 years teaching, all at the sane school, she finally retired happy with all she’d given.

Teaching may have been her passion but it also gave her greater opportunities to spend time with family. The school holidays meant for weeks she could do things with us without interruption. Some of my best memories come from those times and I cherish them like no other.

Moms legacy will live on forever in the hearts of those who knew her best. She was a truly inspirational woman who leaves behind a huge hole in so many lives.

eulogy example for mother

Eulogy Examples for Father

Much like your mother losing a father and having to write a eulogy for him is extremely hard. Use these example eulogies to help you find the right words for remembering your dad.

No one was like my dad. He was my biggest inspiration and a true hero to me. Our family leant on him during any tough times and he was a rock that never let us down.

That strength he possessed wasn’t flashy or in your face. In many ways he was a quiet, unassuming man who just got on with things. But it was beneath the surface that his principles and determination lay. That was most evident in how he put us, his family, first and the way he made sure we were protected no matter what.

I’ll always remember the good times as well. The fishing trips we would take to take together and how much he would make me laugh.

It’s hard to imagine a life without him and I will miss him dreadfully. I will hold on to memories we made forever though.


Seeing all these faces, some of them familiar others not as much, it just makes me realize how much my dad was loved. It also makes you remember how much he loved a good party. If he could see first-hand, everybody that came here for him today I know he’d be thrilled.

So I want to thank you all on his behalf for coming out, honouring his memory, and just being here with us today. It really means a lot to me. It means a lot to my mom and our extended family that’s here with us.

I will keep it brief but I really could probably go on for hours with everything that dad and I had together. On that note, those of you who knew me and my father personally, you knew the kind of great relationship we had but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, I think it started probably how most teenage boys and their fathers start out a little something like this.

I swear there were a couple of years during my teens when dad and I must have butted heads just about everything. Now I mentioned this primarily because most of you out here in the crowd have to have had a good enough relationship with my dad.

He was a very opinionated man, to put it politely. He voiced his opinion pretty regularly – a quality I also inherited from him. However, the element with my dad that I don’t think anybody could argue is if he had a point.

If there was logic behind what he was saying, you just couldn’t fight it there’s no way of going against it and, as a kid, I always kind of kept it in the back of my mind.
It was that quality really that led him to become my best friend and my confidant in my grown adult life. I went to him for anything when he had you been around. When I was 18-year old when I truly made that realization and from that point on I maintained a very close, very steady relationship with him. When I moved out to Pennsylvania five years ago, we talked over the phone almost every single day.

It didn’t matter what it was that day at work gave him a call. There was a little success in my life. I sent him a text message. He knew everything that was going on. On that note, he always had something to say. He always had something, usually a positive motivational tone. If it was something that I was talking about that was negative, he had a spin on it to keep me going and truthfully that’s going to be the biggest adjustment for me. But at the same time, one of the biggest motivating forces is that he always inspired me to do better than my best. He was always so openly proud of my accomplishments and kept pushing me to do more and more, but not in any sort of negative forceful sense of course. It was always something that was very uplifting and inspirational to me and in having done that I think he passed something on to me that’s a very difficult thing to do.

He got me ready to be a strong, upstanding man who can lead a good quality life in the world. And I don’t even know he might have been unwittingly on his part just might have been doing his thing, but he really imparted that to me.

Going forward from today I’m going to just keep on pushing his memory, keep on getting better, living a good name, keeping the Camaro untarnished doesn’t work. And you know to that end that’s what I’m going to miss!

I bet that he’ll be looking down and seeing it, I would have loved to have as we all would. More years, more time but you know that gets him to be a little bit of a selfish end. He’s in a great place now, very much at peace and you know he is happy to be looking down on all of us today.

So, goodbye, dad.

I’m going to miss you. I love you and thank everybody for coming here today, listening to me babble for a few minutes.

eulogy example for father

Eulogy Examples for Brother

Losing a sibling is utterly heartbreaking. So finding the words to write a eulogy for your brother is awful. Use these examples to help make it a little easier.

I can’t believe my big brother has really gone. We have lost someone so special far too soon. Dan was just a one of a kind and loved by everyone. That live-wire, fun spirit he had was infectious and charmed everyone who met him.

He may have been my bigger brother but I never felt left out by him. In fact he would take me a long with him and his friends when they got up to mischief. It was so exciting for me to be included by the brother I always looked up to and was the “cool one” to me.

We didn’t always see eye to eye though. There were definitely arguments! But it was the usual sibling stuff, and as we got older we grew out of any stupid rivalry or jealousy we had towards one another. We actually became really close as we grew out of our adolescence and a true bond formed.

That’s what makes this even more difficult. My brother became my best friend. I just can’t and don’t want to imagine my life without him. But he leaves behind such a legacy and one that I will keep alive with my memories of him.


“My name is Len Leatherwood and I am Ray’s sister-in-law and Jim and Kevin’s aunt. Let me say on behalf of our entire family that we appreciate that you are here today to help commemorate the life of our beloved Ray. I am certain everyone in this church has been touched by his amazing spirit and we are grateful that we can come together to pay our collective respects to this wonderful man.

I met Ray when I was nine-years-old, right after he graduated from the University of Colorado as a young engineer and just before he was going to marry my sister, Leslie. I liked his quick smile and gentle manner right away, even though I found his language odd. Growing up in a small Texas town, I had little occasion to hear any accent besides a drawl and I found Ray’s pronunciation of Nevada (long a) versus Nevada (short a) or Colorado (long a) versus Colorado (short a) very strange. Plus, he referred to me as a gal and whenever he was excited he would shout out, “Gad!” or “Egads!” Yes, all of this made my soon-to-be brother-in-law slightly foreign and distinctly unique. Of course, little did I know then exactly how unique Ray would prove to be, or what a profound impact he would have on my life.

I was the flower girl when Leslie and Ray got married in an all-white wedding save for a single red rose in the middle of the maid-of-honor’s bouquet. Over the fifty-three years since that event, I have periodically thought of the symbolism of that color scheme. The white for me signifies the goodness of these two wonderful people as well as the kindness that characterized their interactions with others; the red rose seemed to portend the trials each would face in the years to come. And they both did face tribulations.

Leslie and Ray’s marriage lasted only twelve years; however, in that time, they produced and parented two of the loveliest people I will ever know, their daughter and son, Kevin and Jim. Over time, Kevin and Jim have created their own families. Kevin has Scott, her sweet husband and her step-children, Ellery and Derek; and Jim has Karri, his darling wife, and their children, Eli and Sophie, who are two of the brightest and nicest kids on God’s green earth. These people have been the foundation for Ray’s life and he was exceedingly proud of each and every one of them.

Ray’s story has many chapters and is one of transformation. He started out as that earnest young engineer who worked very hard at his job at Chicago Bridge and Iron. For the first ten years of his marriage to Leslie, they moved to a different city every two years for his job. Finally, they settled in Salt Lake City, which was Ray’s home, and he worked at Industrial Supply, the company where his father was president. About this time, his marriage to my sister failed and later he remarried another woman, Mary. He also formed Agutter Engineering, which he headed from 1979 – 1998, at which point he retired. About this same time, unfortunately, his second marriage failed. Also, he had been battling severe mood swings for quite some time and he knew he was in trouble.

Ray was a journal keeper and on these pages he poured out his worries, concerns, hopes and dreams. In one of his journals, he revealed that he felt lost and alone, not sure how to proceed with life. In another, he wrote out a list of what he wanted to change: 1) To travel more; 2) To gain more meaning from life; 3) To love himself more, 4) To be a better man. He knew he needed to change; he just wasn’t quite sure how to make that happen. Two things occurred about this time: the birth of his grandchildren, Eli and then Sophie, which helped refocus his life on family with constant visits and shared activities. Also, he found Burning Man.

I haven’t been to Burning Man personally, but through Ray’s photos and stories of the thirteen straight years he attended, I feel as if I have a fairly clear picture of how he saw this experience. Cooperative community, creativity, love, joy, peace, kindness. These were all words that peppered his accounts of his exploits there. Most importantly, friendship. Connection with amazing people from all over the world that was evidenced on a daily basis by innumerable texts, phone calls, emails and Facebook interactions. “This is an instrument of peace,” he would say holding up his I-phone. “This single device has the capacity to unite people to save our planet.” (I am sure I am not the only person who heard Ray’s awe over the unifying power of technology.) However, I watched Ray’s phone become a conduit of connection for him; a true instrument of change, not only for what concerned him about the planet, but also for himself. He was no longer lost and alone. He was on track and connected to a bigger purpose for his life. To spread love wherever he went. And he did just that.

Ray made it his goal to be emotionally available not only to his children and grandchildren, but also to his wide network of relatives and friends. He travelled all over the world and made friends wherever he went. He cultivated true love relationships with women in his life and is the only man I know who could have five girlfriends come together to celebrate his birthday just this past year. He also battled cancer with a grace that is hard to describe. He brought hope, joy, and peace to that process and touched the lives of countless people with his positive attitude and endless optimism. In short, he transformed himself from an ordinary man to an extraordinary human being and many of us in this room have witnessed this firsthand.

I believe that single red rose at Ray’s all-white wedding symbolized not only the trials he would face, but also the singular beauty that comes when living a life that is ablaze with color. And Ray’s life can only be described as one that was on fire with passion, love, and joy. We are all better off from having known this man; we would do well to emulate his example when facing our own trials. He would encourage each of us to always remember, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Ray loved Salt Lake City, the Utes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Episcopal church, and the oatmeal at McDonald’s. He also held in high esteem the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the doctors and staff there. In addition, he loved his Mind and Body support group at Huntsman, so much so that a group that should have ended in six weeks has continued on for the past 2 ½ years, with plans to continue on in the future. He referred to all these as “world class,” and, certainly, they all are.

Again, our family appreciates your presence. Even on this sad occasion Ray would remind us, “This is the best day of my life!”

My only response is to say, “Amen, brother. Amen.”

Thank you.”

Written by Len Leatherwood for her brother in law.

eulogy example for brother

Eulogy Examples for Sister

Sisters are such important family members and they deserve a fitting eulogy. May these sample eulogies inspire you to write a touching eulogy for your sister.

My sister Joanna was a beautiful, vivacious young woman. She had a gentleness that you so rarely find and saw the best in everything and everyone. So to have lost her is like losing a limb. I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my soul.

We were always close, partly because we were only a year apart, but also because we shared such a bond. Growing up I idolized her – from the clothes she wore to the music she listened to. I must have been such an annoying copycat but it came from how much I looked up to and wanted to be like her.

As we got older we became an amazing duo. I will always remember the fun nights out together and spa days away where we could relax and gossip. I knew I had someone who would listen to any problem I had and be there for me whatever.

I loved her like no other and she was the best sister anyone could have ever wanted. Not a second goes by when I don’t think of her, and I am forever grateful for the treasured memories I have that will never be forgotten.


“Is it possible to sum up Lisa’s life in just a few short words? No, it is not. So what should I say about my beautiful little sister? Should I speak of her constant smile and sunny disposition? She kept her spirits high even in the darkest of times and hardest tribulations that she experienced. The death of her beloved baby daughter Madison something she always held close in her heart. Should I speak of her strength of character? The way she took charge in most situations, even as a small child, and led everyone forward towards better times or new places, earning her the nickname “The Captain.” 

Maybe I should mention her wicked sense of humour or her great sense of adventure or her everyday joy at the interaction with her customers at work. Perhaps I should talk about her love for everyone she knew, her husband, her boys, her mum and dad, her sister and brother, a genuine, warm, radiant love that we all basked in. The way she ended every call to me with a sincere, “I love you Mike.”

All of these aspects of Lisa and many more combined to make her a unique and wonderful human being. Lisa was caring, kind, energetic and vivacious, filled with life and love and an unselfish need to care for everyone she knew, earning her the love and respect of her peers, her numerous friends and her family as is evidenced here today by all who are present. Although Lisa is now lost to us, she has left behind an everlasting legacy for all of us who she has touched and loved, guaranteeing that she will live forever in our hearts and minds.

There will never be another Lisa and we are all a little poorer now that she has left us. So let us now all try our best to be a bit kinder, a bit more sincere, a bit stronger and a bit more loving just like my beautiful little sister Lisa. 

Thank you.”

eulogy example for sister

Eulogy Examples for Grandmother

The relationships with our grandmothers are some of the strongest we develop. Find the way to express what she meant to you with these examples.

Today I’m here to pay tribute to my beloved grandmother. She was a remarkable woman who brought love and happiness to so many.

I had a connection with my grandmother that was like no other. She was the one who could always provide the wisdom and advice you needed at just the right time. When things were tough I knew I could turn to her and she would do what she did best: be my nana and make things better.

But she also had an amazing life. From surviving the war as a nurse and then working so hard to provide for her family. She did all of that and more without ever complaining despite the challenges she faced. She embodied the attitude of just ‘getting on with it’, and that strength and determination was evident in every adjective of her life.

I know she was so highly thought of not just by me, or those in attendance today, but by the whole community. She will be missed dearly and we are all worse off without having her in our lives.


Our parents give us life.

Our grandparents give us a sense of who we are and where we came from.

This week, as we said goodbye to Grandma Sheila, it hit me how incredibly lucky I have been to have my lovely grandmother with me for 42 years.

Not only with me, but an integral, close part of my life.

It is rare for a grandparent-grandchild relationship to be so essential and so long-lasting, but then, Grandma Sheila was that exceptional kind of person every single day of her life.

Until the last couple of years, my grandmother had more energy and interest in life than anyone I’ve ever known.

When I was living in Washington, D.C. in my 20s, she and Grandpa Artie came to visit.

They must have been in their 70s at the time, and we went all over town – shopping, dinner, movies.

After seeing a Hitchcock film that Saturday night, Grandma and Grandpa said, “Ok, where are we going now?”

I was so exhausted that I insisted it was time for bed. They looked at me with surprise – and disappointment – because they would have gone for dessert, coffee, more living, more life.

My grandmother was an incredible matriarch. Really, she was the regal leader in our family.

She baked and cooked and babysat and took us shopping and saw our new clothes when we were little. She was always present, part of our everyday lives in such a tangible way.

As a child, I had friends whose grandparents had retired to Florida and I remember feeling that while they were lucky enough to get a yearly trip to warmer weather, I was even luckier, because I had my grandparents all the time.

That constant loving presence really shapes a person.

From our grandparents, we learn where we come from, we learn our history, we learn who we are.

Once, when I was 12, my grandmother took me for a day of shopping at Fairlane Mall. I was so excited to share with her my favorite music – early 1980s rap. She agreed to play my radio station in her car as she drove us carefully down the Southfield Freeway.

As we came up over a hill, we didn’t know there was a car stalled in the center lane. Grandma reacted quickly, extended her arm in front of me to protect me, and with the other arm, masterfully steered around the car, spinning out across the three freeway lanes onto the shoulder. It was terrifying. The first car accident I had ever been in.

The car stopped, she checked to make sure we were both ok, then leaned over and shut off the radio.

I felt terrible that my music caused my grandmother to get in an accident. Of course, it didn’t, and she told me that later, but she never said a harsh word.

She simply pulled back onto the road and took us quietly to the mall and we spent the afternoon shopping and talking as if nothing had happened.

What made my grandmother special? So wonderful? Her elegance. She always looked the picture of perfection and grace.

She knew everyone in Detroit, and everyone knew her. Even better, no one ever had a bad word to say about my grandmother.

She loved deeply and fully, all of us. She was the kind of person who just had more love in her heart for the more people who joined our lives.

This story of my grandmother wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t pay homage to her incredible cooking. It seemed anything she made was delicious – even my children thought her Campbell’s vegetable soup was amazing!

When I lived in New York, Grandma Sheila sent me Jacobson’s boxes full of her double-chocolate brownies and once, I made the mistake of bringing them to work – I barely got one for myself.

She taught me to make gefilte fish from scratch. I took this very seriously, as quite an honor, and showed up on a Sunday before Passover one year to help her chop the fish in her big wooden bowl, twice, so it came out extra fluffy.

There were fish heads bobbing in a pot of boiling water and carrots cooking and so many steps in this assembly line process.

The apartment reeked of cooking fish and by the time we were done, so did I—my hair, my clothing, everything.

I went home and showered to rid myself of the smell – but the next day at work, when I unzipped my purse that had been with me at Grandma’s apartment, out wafted the scent of fish. For a week I carried that smell with me!

One year when I couldn’t make it home for Passover, I called Grandma Sheila for her matzo ball soup recipe.

The secret, she said, was fresh dill. I wrote down everything she said and drove all over town looking for a whole pullet cut into eighths, parsnip, parsley root, everything she listed.

In my apartment, which I shared with one friend, I spent half a day cooking and when I finally sat down at our little table by myself with a steaming bowl in front of me, that first bite, full of dill, made me feel like I was at my grandparents’ Passover table, rather than alone in another city.

My grandparents were a large part of the reason I moved back to Michigan. After all, what is life without family to support you, to love you unconditionally, to be at your side through good and through bad?

As I have shared the news this week of my grandmother’s state, friends and colleagues have mentioned how old they were when they lost their grandparents. The oldest was late 20s.

I come back to this notion that for 42 years, my grandmother has been an influential and important part of my life. Until this last week, I hadn’t realized how truly exceptional that is. Many marriages never last that long!

She is so much a part of who I am that even though I knew she would one day leave us, I can’t quite believe she is gone.

Grandma Sheila – you impacted my life in so many ways. You shaped who I am. You shaped who my children are. You influenced all of us so greatly.

I will always love you and save a special corner of my heart to keep you with me.

And I know we will miss you every day of our lives.

Written by journalist and business woman Lynne Meredith Golodner.

eulogy example for grandmother

Eulogy Examples for Grandfather

Think of your favorite memory with your grandfather. Use that as a basis for his eulogy. Hopefully these examples will be of assistance in finishing your eulogy.

It feels weird to be giving this eulogy. I know how private my grandfather was and averse to being the focus of any attention. He would have absolutely hated all this! He’d be telling us all to get on with life and not wallow or feel sad about losing him.

And that was the type of man he was. Unassuming, unselfish and far more keen to put others ahead of himself. But that didn’t mean he didn’t have a more fun side too. Grandpa loved a joke, mostly practical jokes, and would play them on the most unsuspecting people! No one was spared and I will never forget the cheeky, mischievous look in his eyes when he was planning something.

Family was so important to granddad too. He adored his grandchildren and i know he treasured spending time with them more than anything else.

I’m heartbroken he’s gone and will carry with me everything he taught me. The love and guidance he showed me will live on in my heart.


“For those who don’t know me, my name is Michael Werneburg. I want to say a few words in memory of my grandfather.

Kenneth McKenzie Johnston lived a remarkable life, one that inspired me greatly. His adventurous attitude, his broad range of interests, and his happy demeanor made him a wonderful person to know. He was patient, and generous with his time and affection.

He always took an interest in the people he met: there were few people he wouldn’t engage at any time or place. I introduced him to many of my friends over the years, and they always told me how interesting he’d been.

My grandfather pursued his many endeavors diligently, and always rose to meet a challenge. I always felt that he expected the same of me, too.

He was philosophical in his approach to life. He especially had a great perspective when it came to the little things, never displaying anger or impatience. Instead, he showed a great dignity and humor.
He extended this philosophy no matter what obstacle he faced. I have always admired this trait as it doesn’t seem to have been handed down.

The strength of his character showed even in criticism. With a few wry words, my grandfather could be far more damning than most people could achieve with any strong language.

I’ll miss the news of his strange adventures, and I’ll miss the stories from the seven continents he visited; I’ll miss the tales of evil two-year-old grandchildren; about his old friends; and his ‘child bride’. Stories he told again and again, in the same exacting detail with every telling.

I’ll miss his perspective and his gentle humor. I’ll miss the surprising depth and scope of his knowledge. I’ll miss the warmth he extended to everyone he met.

I will miss my grandfather dearly. But I will treasure his memory forever.”

Written by Michael Werneburffor his Grandfather’s funeral.

eulogy example for grandfather

Eulogy Examples for a Friend

Losing a friend brings a grief that is hard to fathom. Writing or even thinking about their life whilst grieving their death is going to be a real task. Make it simpler with these helpful examples.

I still haven’t come to terms with Lee’s passing and I doubt I ever will. Life is not going to be the sane again. He was my best friend and we spent so much time together. To think I’ll never see him again is almost too much to bear.

Lee and me were inseparable for years. If we weren’t on the soccer field we were playing video games. I have so many good memories of our childhood and that lasted all the way through until we were adults (or just overgrown children!).

He was funny, kind and just a great guy to be around. I always considered him one of my best friends and he could make you laugh at the most inappropriate times.

Lee will be remembered for everything I’ve mentioned and more. His legacy will be the joy he brought to our lives and the true friend he was.

Funny Eulogy Examples

Some people prefer to write a light hearted eulogy and see the funnier side of death. If that’s the way you want to go then try these examples.

William Ziegler escaped this mortal realm on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the age of 69. I think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election.

He leaves behind four children, five grand-children, and the potted meat industry, for which he was an unofficial spokesman until dietary restrictions forced him to eat real food.

William volunteered for service in the United States Navy at the ripe old age of 17 and immediately realized he didn’t much enjoy being bossed around. He only stuck it out for one war. Before his discharge, however, the government exchanged numerous ribbons and medals for various honorable acts.

Upon his return to the City of New Orleans in 1971, thinking it best to keep an eye on him, government officials hired William as a fireman. After twenty-five years, he suddenly realized that running away from burning buildings made more sense than running toward them. He promptly retired.
Looking back, William stated that there was no better group of morons and mental patients than those he had the privilege of serving with (except Bob, he never liked you, Bob).

He was never one for sentiment or religiosity, but he wanted you to know that if he owes you a beer, and if you can find him in Heaven, he will gladly allow you to buy him another. He can likely be found forwarding tasteless internet jokes (check your spam folder, but don’t open these at work).

Expect to find an alcoholic dog named Judge passed out at his feet.  Unlike previous times, this is not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends. He assures us that he is gone. He will be greatly missed.


I remember Dzia Dzia’s retirement party when I was about 7 years old. When the then state minister for education Tom Roper gave a speech I realised the Dzia Dzia must’ve been pretty important. Then growing up, hearing the stories and reading his book, I came to learn what a brave man he was, considered a hero by many. 12 years ago, at the age of 82, he was proof reading my masters thesis and advising me on some pretty hard-core statistical analysis, I really became aware of what a sharp and intelligent guy he was.

But those aren’t the things that define Dzia Dzia for me.

When I think of Dzia Dzia, I think of what a generous, loveable and unself-consciously quirky person he was. And to be honest, it’s always been hard to reconcile the guy that evaded the Nazis for 5 years, but was barely able to change a light-bulb, let alone a tyre.

I think of Dzia Dzia the swimmer, well into his 70s banging out 800m a day in the Brighton Sea baths, and swimming deep into the colder months. But if you’ve got the image of Dzia Dzia slicing through the water like a seal, I’ll have to shatter that illusion. His was more a hybrid of breast stroke, and, let’s face it, dog paddle. But he didn’t care about the aesthetics. He just loved swimming and that’s the point. He kept swimming in the sea baths until getting rescued became such a regular occurrence that the life guards politely insisted he look at other options.

I don’t think Dzia Dzia ever owned a pair of Reeboks, but their old slogan “Life is not a spectator sport” suited him perfectly. For him, sport is about participation, not watching.

But not all sports were created equal. I remember once he walked in when we were watching cricket, he watched for a minute, and then he said “I don’t see the point of this game, sometimes they hit it, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they run, sometimes they don’t”. And he walked out leaving us dumbfounded. After such a brutally succinct dismissal, cricket has never been the same for me.

I think of Dzia Dzia’s infatuation with the Centre Road shopping center in Bentleigh, which he claimed was the best in Melbourne. Multiple fruit shops, multiple butchers, and each with their specialty. And a shopping trip would consist of a visit to whichever had the cheapest price of whatever he needed. If that meant green apples at one shop, and red apples at another, so be it. And if he had to sacrifice quality for price, that’s wasn’t an issue either.

Not that he saw it that way. Dzia Dzia was always adamant that expensive wines, whiskeys and perfumes were a waste of money. Why spend $100 on bottle of Channel No 5 when you can get a perfectly good replica for $15. But getting mum a bottle of Channelette perfume for Christmas was a mistake he only made once. And whether or not he really believed this, it was a good way to torment my dad and uncle Peter – I don’t think you guys ever did manage to arrange the double blind whiskey test.

I think of Dzia Dzia’s massive repertoire of jokes. A couple stand out, but not as much as Babcia’s immortal observation: “with these jokes you can hang yourself.”

And his driving?

Well, I had a bit here about his driving. But before the service I noticed that as the funeral director was wheeling the coffin through the door back behind me, he miscued and bumped the coffin into the door frame. I thought that was a lovely tribute. Especially the way he sheepishly checked to see if anyone had noticed, and then continued as if nothing had happened.

Remarkable for the fact that he kept his license deep into his 80s, as much as that he got it in the first place. Mum says you’ll take 1000 reversing dings over one serious accident. But I say, just turn around and have a look.

But lastly, wherever Dzia Dzia may have moved onto now, I hope the waitresses have been forewarned not to bring out his tea before his dessert. Dessert can wait, but the tea goes cold and you’ve got nothing to wash down your dessert with. And if the waitresses haven’t been forewarned, they’ll find out pretty quickly.

So Dzia Dzia, I know you were a hero to many, but you weren’t to me. You were our Dzia Dzia, I love you for that. And I say with deep affection, there will never be another like you.


Famous Eulogy Examples

There have been some amazing eulogies given by some of the most famous people over the years. Here are a few to give you find inspiration.

Former US President Barack Obama’s eulogy for Senator Ted Kennedy

Your Eminence, Vicki, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy.
The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the United States Senate—a man who graces nearly 1,000 laws, and who penned more than 300 laws himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Grandfather. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, “The Grand Fromage,” or “The Big Cheese.” 

I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, as a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. 

He was the sunny, joyful child who bore the brunt of his brothers’ teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. 

When they tossed him off a boat because he didn’t know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. 
When a photographer asked the newly elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, “It’ll be the same in Washington.”
That spirit of resilience and good humour would see Teddy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. 

He lost two siblings by the age of 16. He saw two more taken violently from a country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his life. 

He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.
It’s a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. 

And it would have been easy for Ted to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that. 

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, “…[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in — and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves.” 

Indeed, Ted was the “Happy Warrior” that the poet Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.
Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and the suffering of others—the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. 

The landmark laws that he championed—the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children’s health insurance, the Family and Medical Leave Act—all have a running thread. 

Ted Kennedy’s life work was not to champion the causes of those with wealth or power or special connections. 
It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. 

He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers’ rights or civil rights. 

And yet, as has been noted, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that’s not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw Ted Kennedy. 

He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and platform and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect—a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that’s how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. 

He did it by hewing to principle, yes, but also by seeking compromise and common cause—not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humour. 

There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch for support of the Children’s Health Insurance Program by having his chief of staff serenade the senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas Committee chairman on an immigration bill. 

Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manilla envelope, and showed only the chairman that it was filled with the Texan’s favourite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the chairman.
When they weren’t, he’d pull it back.
Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick’s Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support of a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote.  I gave my pledge, but I expressed scepticism that it would pass. 
But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes that it needed, and then some. 

I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how had he done it. He just patted me on the back and said, “Luck of the Irish.”

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy’s legislative success; he knew that. 

A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. 
Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, “What did Webster do?”

But though it is Teddy’s historic body of achievements that we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. 

It was the friend and the colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “I hope you feel better,” or “What can I do to help?” 

It was the boss so adored by his staff that over 500, spanning five decades, showed up for his 75th birthday party.

It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank-you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. senator of such stature would take the time to think about somebody like them. 

I have one of those paintings in my private study off the Oval Office—a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who had just arrived in Washington and happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office. 

That, by the way, is my second gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. 
And it seems like everyone has one of those stories—the ones that often start with “You wouldn’t believe who called me today.”

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked not only after his own three children, but John’s and Bobby’s as well. 

He took them camping and taught them to sail.  He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. 

Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, “On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to been spared.  We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love.”

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted’s love—he made it because of t heirs, especially because the love and the life he found in Vicki. 

After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted to risk his heart again. 

And that he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn’t just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. 

She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.  
We cannot know for certain how long we have here.

We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way.  
We cannot know what God’s plan is for us.
What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and with love, and with joy. 

We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. 
We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures.  

And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. 

He once said, as has already been mentioned, of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death because what he was in life—and I imagine he would say the same about himself. 

The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy’s shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. 

We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. 

We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy—not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country that he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. 

But he didn’t stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counselling. 

He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along.  

To one widow, he wrote the following:
“As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved ones would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us.”

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost. 

At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image—the image of a man on a boat, white mane tousled, smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. 

May God bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.


Charles Earl Spencer’s eulogy for his sister, Princess Diana

I stand before you today, the representative of a family in grief in a country in mourning before a world in shock.

We are all united not only in our desire to pay our respects to Diana but rather in our need to do so.

For such was her extraordinary appeal that the tens of millions of people taking part in this service all over the world via television and radio who never actually met her, feel that they too lost someone close to them in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It is a more remarkable tribute to Diana than I can ever hope to offer her today.

Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty.

All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality.

Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.

Today is our chance to say thank you for the way you brightened our lives, even though God granted you but half a life.

We will all feel cheated always that you were taken from us so young and yet we must learn to be grateful that you came along at all.

Only now that you are gone do we truly appreciate what we are now without and we want you to know that life without you is very, very difficult.

We have all despaired at our loss over the past week and only the strength of the message you gave us through your years of giving has afforded us the strength to move forward.

There is a temptation to rush to canonize your memory, there is no need to do so. You stand tall enough as a human being of unique qualities not to need to be seen as a saint.

Indeed to sanctify your memory would be to miss out on the very core of your being, your wonderfully mischievous sense of humor with a laugh that bent you double.

Your joy for life transmitted where ever you took your smile and the sparkle in those unforgettable eyes. Your boundless energy which you could barely contain.

But your greatest gift was your intuition and it was a gift you used wisely.

This is what underpinned all your other wonderful attributes and if we look to analyze what it was about you that had such a wide appeal we find it in your instinctive feel for what was really important in all our lives.

Without your God-given sensitivity we would be immersed in greater ignorance at the anguish of AIDS and H.I.V. sufferers, the plight of the homeless, the isolation of lepers, the random destruction of land mines.

Diana explained to me once that it was her innermost feelings of suffering that made it possible for her to connect with her constituency of the rejected.

And here we come to another truth about her. For all the status, the glamour, the applause, Diana remained throughout a very insecure person at heart, almost childlike in her desire to do good for others so she could release herself from deep feelings of unworthiness of which her eating disorders were merely a symptom.

The world sensed this part of her character and cherished her for her vulnerability whilst admiring her for her honesty.

The last time I saw Diana was on July 1, her birthday in London, when typically she was not taking time to celebrate her special day with friends but was guest of honor at a special charity fund-raising evening.

She sparkled of course, but I would rather cherish the days I spent with her in March when she came to visit me and my children in our home in South Africa.

I am proud of the fact apart from when she was on display meeting President Mandela we managed to contrive to stop the ever-present paparazzi from getting a single picture of her—that meant a lot to her.

These were days I will always treasure. It was as if we had been transported back to our childhood when we spent such an enormous amount of time together—the two youngest in the family.

Fundamentally she had not changed at all from the big sister who mothered me as a baby, fought with me at school and endured those long train journeys between our parents’ homes with me at weekends.

It is a tribute to her level-headedness and strength that despite the most bizarre-like life imaginable after her childhood, she remained intact, true to herself.

There is no doubt that she was looking for a new direction in her life at this time. She talked endlessly of getting away from England, mainly because of the treatment that she received at the hands of the newspapers.

I don’t think she ever understood why her genuinely good intentions were sneered at by the media, why there appeared to be a permanent quest on their behalf to bring her down. It is baffling.

My own and only explanation is that genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.

It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest was this—a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.

She would want us today to pledge ourselves to protecting her beloved boys William and Harry from a similar fate and I do this here Diana on your behalf. We will not allow them to suffer the anguish that used regularly to drive you to tearful despair.

And beyond that, on behalf of your mother and sisters, I pledge that we, your blood family, will do all we can to continue the imaginative and loving way in which you were steering these two exceptional young men so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition, but can sing openly as you planned.

We fully respect the heritage into which they have both been born and will always respect and encourage them in their royal role.

But we, like you, recognize the need for them to experience as many different aspects of life as possible to arm them spiritually and emotionally for the years ahead. I know you would have expected nothing less from us.

William and Harry, we all cared desperately for you today. We are all chewed up with the sadness at the loss of a woman who was not even our mother. How great your suffering is, we cannot even imagine.

I would like to end by thanking God for the small mercies he has shown us at this dreadful time. For taking Diana at her most beautiful and radiant and when she had joy in her private life.

Above all we give thanks for the life of a woman I am so proud to be able to call my sister, the unique, the complex, the extraordinary and irreplaceable Diana whose beauty, both internal and external, will never be extinguished from our minds.


Eulogies are tough. Tough to write, tough to deliver and hard to deal with the emotions they evoke.

But they’re worth it. Having that opportunity to pay tribute to and help others remember whoever it is that has passed the way you want them to be remembered.

So use these eulogy examples to help you compose the perfect eulogy to remember a loved one.

eulogy examples and samples

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how to write a eulogy

When someone you know sadly passes away it’s likely there will be a funeral held for them. This is a chance to remember their life, pay your respects and say goodbye.

If it was a family member or a close friend then you may be asked or want to give a eulogy for the deceased. Having the chance to express how much they meant to you or to highlight the many achievements and good things they did throughout their life is a wonderful way to commemorate them.

But how do you write a eulogy? How do you compose something as emotional and moving as a funeral reading? And what are the right things to say in a eulogy and what should you not say?

Understandably most people aren’t sure of what to include in a eulogy or how to go about writing one. It’s not something you have to do very often, if at all.

So if you’re struggling with how to write a eulogy and need some help then this guide is for you. It will go through who gives a eulogy, what you should and shouldn’t say in a one, how long it should be and tips for writing it.

As well as that we’ve put together an easy to us eulogy template and some example eulogies that will hopefully inspire and help you with writing your own.

Table of Contents
What is a Eulogy
Who Gives a Eulogy
Why Are Eulogies Important
What Should you Include in a Eulogy
How Long Should a Eulogy Be?
How to Write a Eulogy
- Think of the Audience
- Decide on a Tone
- Organize your Thoughts
- Talk to Family and Friends
- Choose your Structure
- Edit and Reword
Delivering Your Eulogy
- Practice First
What you Should NOT Say in a Eulogy
Eulogy Template
Eulogy Example
- Can you Say No to Giving a Eulogy?
- Can a Eulogy be Funny?
- Is it OK to Cry?

What is a Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech or reading that is given at a funeral. It tends to focus on remembering the deceased and their life and is usually given by a friend or family member.

Multiple eulogies or readings can be given at a funeral. Eulogies offer those grieving the chance to reflect on and remember their friend or loved one and pay tribute to their life.

Being asked to give a eulogy by the family of the deceased is an honor. But it’s also understandable to feel the pressure and be nervous about making you’re eulogy, and what you say, just right.

Who Gives a Eulogy

The eulogy is given by someone close to the deceased. It could be a very good friend or a family member.

Sometimes multiple eulogies are given and you see many people from across the deceaseds life paying tribute to them.

As a funeral is such a difficult time to the family of the deceased they may feel unable to give a funeral speech or resting themselves. In this instance they may request either another family member or a close friend to give reading.

Why Are Eulogies Important?

A eulogy gives people who knew the deceased the chance to say goodbye and pay respect to their life. Often those close to whoever has passed away want the opportunity to remember and speak fondly of them.

The eulogy gives them that chance. The opportunity to say a few words about the deceaseds life, recount stories and generally remember them with the fondness and love they had during life.

It also allows for those attending the funeral and hearing the eulogy to remember the life of the passed. Maybe learn about them things they didn’t know and come away with a new understanding of the deceased.

Funerals are emotional for everyone involved. A well written eulogy can help to make sense of those emotions, provide some closure and chance to let go and maybe even bring some levity with happy memories to what is a very difficult time.

The Book Of Eulogies
The Book of Eulogies by Phyllis Theroux

What Should you Include in a Eulogy

A eulogy should include whatever the person giving it wants to include. There are obvious areas you should avoid and certain things you shouldn’t say (see further down) but there is a freedom within a eulogy to talk about the deceased in the way you would like.

If you are writing a eulogy or funeral speech then you can approach it from the point of view of informing those in attendance about the life of the deceased. Making it mostly fact based. Or you might prefer to remember treasured memories or tell funny stories you have involving the deceased.

It can be as formal or informal as you like (unless the family specifically requests a certain style or tone) and include as much personal detail as you choose.

How Long Should a Eulogy be?

Whilst there aren’t any actual rules most eulogies are no more than 10 minutes, and usually less than 5 minutes. Longer than this might

Some funeral venues actually specify how long the entire funeral should be and so may even have a block of time marked for the eulogy. If that’s the case then the funeral director should be able to tell you how long you have and you can then plan your eulogy to fit that timeframe.

If you’re writing your eulogy and are worried about a word count then try not to. The timing is far more important than the number of words you say, mostly because the speed you make your speech will be a much bigger factor than the word count.

How to Write a Eulogy

Writing a eulogy is a very individual task and what would work for one person may not for another. Each person who has passed away is unique. Those writing a eulogy for them will have interacted and had experiences of them that will be different to other people.

That’s why every eulogy is unique. It’s you’re memories and feelings about someone and what they meant to you.

There are some things that are usually part of a eulogy though. You may choose to include some or all of them:

  • The deceaseds date of birth and where they were born
  • Any nicknames they might have had
  • Names of close family members
  • Their education or where they attended college/university
  • How they met their partner/spouse
  • How you knew them
  • General accomplishments
  • Favorite hobbies
  • Contributions to their community or charity work they have done
  • A favorite song or song lyric, poem or quote they especially liked or meant a lot to them
  • Alternatively a poem, quote etc that you have chosen as you feel it is fitting
Our 95 Funeral Quotes for Eulogies are ideal for this situation

A good way to plan and then write a eulogy can be followed with these steps:

Think of the Audience

You need to always keep in mind who you are delivering the eulogy to. Its easy to get swept up in the writing process. But remember that the eulogy isn’t for you, it’s for the people who are attending the funeral. That’s going to be close friends and family of the deceased.

So ask yourself as your writing and composing your eulogy whether they will appreciate and like what you’re saying. Is it appropriate for them? Will it upset them or bring a smile to their face?

There will be many people grieving. They will be sad, hurt, angry and more. Your words need to offer comfort or remind them of better times.

So always have the audience you are delivering the eulogy to in the back of your mind.

Decide on a Tone

The tone of your eulogy is important. You need to make decision as to whether your eulogy will be somber or more uplifting. You might want your words to celebrate the life of the deceased and only remember the best times.

That might even be funny stories. Humor may seem taboo at a time like this but many people want to remember the good and happy moments rather than focus on the loss. So a eulogy with funny anecdotes or humor is acceptable.

A more traditional approach would be a reflection on their life and a serious, solemn tone. Both are used as eulogies and both can be fitting depending on the audience.

But you have to judge it right. Think of the audience again – are they likely to appreciate a more light hearted approach or will they find it inappropriate. You will have to be the judge of that.

Organize your Thoughts

It’s a good idea to write down notes as you begin to plan what you’re going to say. At first that might just be a mess of ideas but you can then start to arrange it into a proper eulogy and see it take shape.

Look at pictures, text messages, emails, letters etc. that you have from or to do with the deceased. Anything that helps you to remember them and the sort of person they were.

Triggering those memories and the times you spent with them will help you to capture their life and character. It will also help you to remember stories and anecdotes that you might want to include in the eulogy.

Talk to Friends and Family

It can help to speak with close friends or family members of the deceased. They can help you to fill in any spaces or any blanks you have as well as offering a different insight to them.

You can ask them what their most treasured memory of the deceased is, memorable moments, heartwarming stories or song lyrics and poems that they especially liked.

This will help you to flesh out your eulogy and bring additional details you may have missed.

For some touching poem’s and verses see our Funeral Poems: 45 Beautiful Readings for Memorial Services

Choose your Structure

Think about the structure of the eulogy as well. This will be informed by the tone and type of eulogy you’ve decided to write.

If it’s going to biographical and a more factual timeline of the deceaseds life then that will be written in a very different way to something more sentimental and that focuses on personal stories and memories. Whichever type you go with it will still probably follow a familiar introduction, middle and end structure.

The introduction should begin with your relationship to and how you knew the deceased, as well as some basic information about them. The introduction may be the trickiest part as it’s difficult to begin something as personal and emotional as a eulogy.

The middle will make up the majority of the eulogy. This will be where you talk about memories you have of the deceased, what they meant to you and maybe tell some stories. Funny anecdotes are popular as are special moments that you shared.

Finally choose how you want to finish and sum up the deceased. You may find this the most difficult part as closing a eulogy or speech about someone special to you is incredibly difficult, as well as finding the right words. A heartfelt quote or poem/verse that has special meaning can often be a good way to end a eulogy.

Edit and Reword

Once you’ve finished it’s a good idea to take step away from a while. Coming back to something you’ve written after a break can help you to see it in a new light and spot things you may have missed.

If anything doesn’t read well or sound right then change those parts until you’re happy.

If you’re struggling then further down we have a eulogy template you can use as a starting point and eulogy examples for inspiration of what to say.

Delivering Your Eulogy

Writing a eulogy may be the hardest part but the actual delivery is likely to cause the most stress and fear. A lot of people find public speaking scary in any situation, but the pressure of speaking about a loved one after they have passed away is going to be substantial.

If you’re worried about delivering a eulogy then these few tips may help:

  • Speak slowly – it’s understandable to be nervous but unfortunately when you are you produce adrenaline, which has the unwanted effect of making you speak much faster. So try to breathe, stay as calm as you can and be aware if you’re beginning to speed up your speech. If so then make the effort to slow down and take longer on each word or sentence.
  • Stay still – much like with talking too quickly adrenaline makes us fidget and move more. Try to be aware of any extra movements you’re making – drumming your fingers, shifting position a lot etc. and do your best to stop if it happens.
  • Make eye contact – whilst you shouldn’t be starting directly at people throughout your delivery there are times when you may want to look up and make eye contact. This might be when you mention certain family members or friends as a way of making them feel included.
  • Pause – rushing through your eulogy isn’t the best way to deliver it. Emotional readings require moments of silence and opportunities for reflection. Find the appropriate points in what you’ve written where a pause would make sense – be that after a very poignant section or to give the audience a chance to laugh after a very story.

Practice First

You don’t want to deliver a eulogy on the fly. Take time to practice it beforehand so you’re familiar with exactly what you’re going to say. Become familiar with the flow of the words and so comfortable with it you could almost recite it from memory.

This will also give you a chance to see how long it is and whether it’s overrun and you need to cut any out.

To get yourself ready for public speaking you could also practice in front of friends or family. That will help you with delivering to an audience and they can also give you tips about how it sounds and your delivery.

What you Should NOT Say in a Eulogy

There are topics and things you should avoid mentioning in a eulogy:

  • Anything offensive – this is quite vague but if there is anything that might offend those in attendance then leave it out.
  • A grudge – even if you did have a grudge against the deceased there’s no lint holding on to it now. Bringing it up will only make you sound bitter and be upsetting for the family.
  • Bad memories – no one is perfect and there may be things the deceased did wrong. But it doesn’t help to rehash them now. It’s best to stick to the positives.
  • Any crimes – a eulogy isn’t the time to be going over the mistakes the deceased may gave made. A criminal background isn’t something to be celebrated but it doesn’t need to be brought up in your eulogy either.
  • The details of death – it’s harrowing enough for family and loved ones to have lost someone, they don’t need reminding of how they died.
  • Bad personality traits – it would be petty to bring this up in a eulogy.
  • Old arguments or family rifts – let it go!
  • Rude or inappropriate content – a eulogy is either meant to be a somber remembrance of the deceased or a positive, uplifting look back at their life. Rude or inappropriate things aren’t going to be welcome.

Eulogy Template

This is a very basic template for a eulogy that you can use as a base for writing your own.


Today we come together not to mourn but to celebrate the life of [name]. [name] was a truly outstanding individual, one I know we all loved more than we could ever say. He/she was the most selfless and kind person I had the pleasure of knowing, and as I look out and see the smiles and heads nodding I know that is the opinion of everyone who was lucky to know him/her.

Early Life

[name] was born in [city] on [date of birth], the [1st/2nd/3rd] child of [mom and dad’s name]. They lived in [city] from [year] until [year] before moving to [city]. His/her childhood was (include some information you know about the deceased and their childhood – a story or memory you have).

Education and Work

[name] attended [name of schools] before graduating with [training qualification or name of degree]. They worked for [company name] as a [position name] before moving on to [names of companies or jobs]. He/She was (include some information about the deceased and their work life here. Did they enjoy their jobs, did they work hard etc).

Family and Marriage

In [year] [name] met the love of his/her life, [name of spouse], and in [year] they were married. They were blessed with [number] children – [names of children] who were the joy of their life.
Only last year [name] and [spouse name] celebrated [number of years, eg 40] years together with a lovely wedding anniversary. He/she (include more information about the family of the deceased, maybe a romantic moment or funny story involving the family).

Hobbies and Passions

[name] was an important active member of the [community, church, volunteer, theatre etc]. It was his/her passion and they dedicated so much time to [hobby or service]. They were known by everyone for (include more information or memories about their hobbies and what they treasured most about it).


I have so many amazing memories of [name] and also reached out to friends and family for their favorites: (include a few of those memories that meant the most to you or were especially funny/memorable and that demonstrated what sort of a person the deceased was).


We were blessed to have had [name] as part of our lives and the world has become a much sadder, less vibrant place now they’ve gone. Although we will miss [name] terribly we should treasure those memories we have, never let them go and remember just how fortunate we were that [name] touched our lives.

Thank you.

Eulogy Example

If you’d like some examples of eulogies to inspire or help guide you in writing your own then the following eulogy example should give you an idea of what they are like:

Dad was the light of my life. 

Even as a little girl, I remember him making me laugh so much I would nearly cry.  He had a wicked sense of humour that rubbed off on anyone that was near him. 

No one was upset around Dad for too long – although he did have his serious side, too, of course.

Dad grew up in the country, on a dairy farm a few hours from Melbourne called Toora and was surrounded by sheep, farm animals and beautiful landscape. 
But his love for the written word drew him to the ‘big smoke’ to study literature at Trinity College in Melbourne. 

He said his passion came from his grandfather who used read endlessly to him. 

Stories that even as an adult he loved dearly and would read to us when we were kids. His favourites were Moby Dick and Tom Sawyer. 

My parents met at Trinity College and after graduating, decided to get married. 
Two years later I was born, followed by my brother Charlie a year after that.

Dad was always so caring and giving to us children.  Even when we ran in and out of his office a million times interrupting his writing, Dad never got too angry. 

He would usher us away with suggestions of how we could occupy ourselves—always with creative and new ideas.

Dad was also inspirational to us, with his passion for music.  He loved most types, but his favourite was Neil Diamond. 

On Sunday afternoons, we would gather in the lounge room and Dad would put on his ‘album of the week’. 

He would pull Mum in his arms and dance around the room while we clapped hands and giggled—and then it was our turn. 

Dad would grab us both and swing us up and around until we were sick with laughter and dizziness.  The fun we had on those Sundays, I will never forget.
Dad was a very clever man and could be introspective at times when there were serious decisions to be made. 

He never made rash decisions, but thought long and hard before giving us advice—sound advice that has helped to shape my life profoundly. 

He was always walking around saying that “life is too short to be hunched over a desk all your life, you must go out into the world and experience its beauty and learn its mysteries”.

Even as adults Dad inspired us, although we never really told him. 

Every couple of months the family would receive invitations to one of his infamous week-ends away.  He would find a mystery location—always near a river or the ocean, and send us directions at the last minute. 
We were prepared, as we had learnt years ago what the week-end would involve.  

We would pack everything needed to go swimming, fishing, snorkelling, or if in the winter months bush walks and sightseeing – it was always a week-end of fun and activity.  

Times that we all and especially the grandchildren will never forget.
Dad: Your love, your patience, your understanding, your wisdom and your amazing sense of humour will live on inside us forever. 

You have given us gifts that are more precious than anything in this world. 
Goodbye, Dad.  

You will always live on in my heart.

For more examples see our 19 Moving Eulogy Examples and Samples


If Asked to Give a Eulogy can you Say No?

Yes, you can and in some circumstances you should. For example if you have a genuine phobia of public speaking and couldn’t physically do it, or it would be a disaster, then it’s a good idea to explain this to the family. They will understand and ask someone else.

Also if you and the deceased didn’t get on or there was bad blood between you it might be inappropriate for you to give the eulogy. Families don’t know every detail of the deceaseds life so may be unaware of any animosity between the two of you.

So sometimes you aren’t a good fit for giving a eulogy and it’s better for you to explain to the family why so they can find someone else. Rather that than it being awkward or tuning the day for everyone involved.

Can a Eulogy be Funny?

Yes. Many eulogies are more light hearted or have focused on funny aspects of the life of the deceased. Funny anecdotes and stories are very common.

However you should always consider the family of the deceased and the audience your eulogy will be delivered to. Will they appreciate a funnier eulogy or will they expect something more traditional.

Is it OK to Cry?

Yes. Emotions are expected when delivering a eulogy. Obviously you don’t want those emotions to overwhelm and stop you from being able to deliver it properly. But a few tears is absolutely fine.


Writing a eulogy is tough. There’s no getting around it. It’s emotional and difficult to find the right words.

But if you are struggling to write a eulogy then remember that those in attendance of the funeral won’t be expecting perfection. As long as you are speaking from the heart and are sincere that will shine through. They will appreciate your words and the effort you’ve taken to express how much the dreaded meant to you.

how to write a eulogy