If a loved one has passed away, the family might ask you to give a eulogy. Eulogies are speeches that people typically give during memorial or funeral services. Regardless of your relationship with the deceased, this can be a challenging task. That is why, in a previous blog called “How to Write a Eulogy”, we offered you a step-by-step guide. If you’re familiar with the writing process and now need some inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Here you will find examples for writing a great eulogy.
Example of a Great Eulogy for a Friend
If you are the deceased’s friend and their family has asked you to speak during the funeral, you may be wondering how to approach the speech in the right way. We suggest that you make it positive, honest, and memorable. Before you get writing, you might want to think of the best memories and experiences that you shared with your friend. If you’re struggling to get started, here is a good example:
“Hello, for those of you who do not know me, my name is Raymond, and Lillian Casanova was a lifelong friend of mine. So, you can probably imagine the overwhelming sense of loss that I am feeling today and have felt every day since her passing on December 12th.
Lillian was an individual so magnificent that all words will fail to describe her, but I am going to try.
On the day that Lily was born, her mom and my mom were assigned to the same hospital room. Lily was born hours before me and it was in those hours that our mothers sealed our fates as forever-friends.
Lily and I grew up in the peripheral visions of our mothers as they gossiped over coffee in the afternoons. She shared her stuffed animals with me and I taught her how to cartwheel. We learned how to ride our bikes together, tried beer for the first time together, got tattoos together when we turned eighteen. She initiated all of these activities because she was an adventurous soul from the start, brave and curious when it came to life.
She was the one who told me Santa Clause was not real and the one who explained where babies came from. She was always ahead of me in that way. So, it came as no surprise that she also beat me to dating. Lily found a boyfriend in the very first days of ninth grade. She was so charismatic that this did not seem strange to me at all. Being the greatest friend that she was, she would set me up with girls and take me on double dates. She did this for years, refusing to give up on my romantic life. Her first date with her future husband – Ron – was actually a double date with me and Lily’s then-roommate.
Then she fell in love. Lily was as good at being in love as she was at everything else. She loved with all her heart. She was a kind wife, a devoted companion, and a fierce best friend to her husband – who preceded her in death about seven years ago.
Lily was just the kind of woman to pack up her bags and move across the country to be with the person she loved. That’s how she and Ron ended up in Boston with three children and a happy home. Whenever I went out there to visit her, I felt like my life was being filled with joy. All those shaded corners of my own troubles dissipated when Lily was around. She was more than sunshine, she was the run. She blazed with happiness.
Lily sent me postcards even when she was not traveling, she called me about interesting recipes she had found in cookbooks, she held movie-nights for her neighbors and their children.
Lily raised three daughters that will undoubtedly change the world. She gave them confidence and humility. She gave them the kind of love and care that every child deserves.
As she got older, she started to become even more energetic. She volunteered around Boston, worked part-time at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, knitted me numerous scarves and hats throughout the years. She began to tell stories, long and intricate ones; and after much encouragement from her children and me, she published a collection that was as wonderful as Lily herself.
I stayed in Boston for a while after Ron’s passing. Indeed, I stayed there for seven years. I helped her with grandmother duties, accompanied her to museums and movie theaters, teased her about doing a Ph.D. But then she went and did it!
Lily taught me to be kind, generous, daring. She showed me how to enjoy life, how to pay attention to the present. She loved all of you very much. I know this because she loved nearly everybody she ever met.
Last week, she passed peacefully in her sleep. I believe, she went back to the galaxy to shine on. No other end is fitting for a woman who was the sun.”
Example of a Great Eulogy for a Grandparent
If you have decided to speak at your deceased grandparent’s funeral service, our advice stays the same: try your best to think of the fondest memories you had with this person. What did they teach you? How do you want them to be remembered? Here is an example of a great eulogy for a grandparent:
“First, I’d like to thank everyone for coming today. Thank you for taking the time to remember and say goodbye to a wonderful human being. For those of you who do not know me, I am the deceased’s granddaughter Megan and I would like to share a couple of words about my nan – Grace.
My mother gave birth to me but it was my grandmother who taught me about myself. She was my compass. Whenever I wondered about my future path, she was there to show me where I had come from.
This week, I sat at her bedside as she passed away. All I could think of in those last moments with her was how incredibly lucky I have been to know a woman so fierce, loving, and true to herself; to have her at my side for more than thirty years. She was an inseparable part of my childhood and adult life and I would not have it any other way.
When I look around me – at my close friends and acquaintances – I rarely see relationships between grandchildren and grandparents that are as long-lasting and important as ours was. And I know why. My grandmother was an extraordinary woman. She lived her life to the fullest and kindest every single day of her life. Not many people live that way, not many people are like her.
Before her diagnosis, Grace had more interest in life than I ever did. She would go on about her day with sudden bursts of wild energy; taking spontaneous trips to national parks, attending painting lessons for the first time at age 60, learning how to dance the traditional Irish dances she had forgotten in her youth.
When I accepted a consulting position in San Francisco, she came to visit with Grandpa Joe. It was their first time in the Bay area and she wanted to see everything. We walked around the city for hours, taking in every corner and little alleyway. When evening came and I said we should head back home, she was disappointed! She wanted to see a movie at 12AM. She wanted to get ice-cream at the 24-hour market, she wanted to go to the roof of my building and watch the city from there. She wanted to live more life. And she did.
Grace lived her life as a mother, a grandmother, an educator, an undisputed leader of our family. She cooked for the next-door neighbors on Thursday nights. She fed the stray cats that would wander into her yard. She was always present, there for me whenever I needed her. She listened with compassion. She never judged me, never doubted me, never discouraged me from doing something I wanted to do.
When I told her about new trends, she picked them up quickly. She got on social media before it was cool. She dug out her film camera when I said it was coming back in style. She went thrift shopping with me and always found hidden gems in the stores. Her loving presence made me who I am now. She molded me into me.
I have yet to meet a person who knew Grace and did not like her. That’s because she found ways of liking everyone she met too. She found the good in people, accepted their flaws, understood their ways of thinking and behaving. She walked barefoot often and I used to joke that that was the reason why she could so easily jump into other people’s shoes.
And, without a doubt, she was the best cook on this side of the planet. I will miss her tomato soup and mashed potatoes dearly. I know that on Christmas Day, I’ll be sitting at the table dreaming about her apple pies.
During those years when I could not make it home for Easter, I would call her up, perch the phone on top of the microwave and follow her meticulous directions for baking a lemon marshmallow cake. The recipe was simple enough, but it was those precious hours talking with grandma that made me feel like I was home and not alone in a big city.
For more than thirty years, I got to know a woman who knew how to live. It was only in her final days that I fully understood how special that is. She is so deeply ingrained in my identity that it seems silly to be standing here, pretending like she’s gone from this world.
Nan might not waltz through her kitchen anymore or rummage in her attic for one thing or another, but she will always live in my heart.”
Example of a Great Eulogy for a Sibling
“When people asked me about my brother Fred, I used to describe him by saying “He does whatever he wants and he gets away with it because everyone likes him.”
It’s true and I was a bit jealous. Since we were little, Fred had always been the likable one. Small children loved him, dogs ran up to him to play, adults thought he was naturally funny. He played the piano better than me even though I practiced more. He got the same grades as me even though he did less work. Teachers thought I was smart but they adored Fred.
He made friends in the most peculiar places: on the street when walking his dog, on a subway platform after he had missed his train, in the hardware supplies section of supermarkets, and once, at a laundry mat after asking a stranger for change he had forgotten at home. And whatever friends he made, he always shared them with me.
Though I was his annoying younger sister, he included me in every social activity, took me to parties, drove me to violin lessons, encouraged me to quit violin lessons because he knew I hated them.
We had a lot of sibling spats but we were never rivals. Fred and I were real friends, not just siblings. The only time he got really upset at me was when I told our parents about his then-girlfriend and now wife Cassie.
That was, after all, the first part of my description of him. He did whatever he wanted. He was sometimes secretive. He kept his feelings to himself. He didn’t show love in conventional ways but he loved his friends, family, and wife dearly. He lived his life quietly, comfortably, and without much worry. After he and Cassie got married, all he ever needed was a good book, a tasty sandwich, and his wife. He knew how to live, he was the smartest person I know when it came to that.
He took pleasure in the little things: in eating biscuits with his tea, peeling potatoes for his wife’s extravagant dinners, cutting my hair with kitchen scissors when I visited him on free weekends from college. Nothing bad ever happened to him. He got himself out of any mess with a smile and an apology. I’m pretty sure he got accepted to Princeton because of a killer joke he made in his college application essay.
When I got into law school, he bought me my office supplies. When I got married, he made the decorations for the wedding. When I bought my first house, he painted my fence. He always knew what you needed and he was there to help you out. That was his real talent, along with writing. If he had written this eulogy, you all would be enjoying it a lot more than you are now.
I won’t dwell on the fact that my brother passed away so young. Even if he had lived to old age, he would have died young. He was a child at heart, finding joy in everything he did. I am devastated by his passing, so is his wonderful wife who gave Fred his happiest moments. Still, I am so thankful to have known my brother, to have been his friend. No little sister out there has ever been this lucky.
And I know, even now, wherever he is, he’s doing what he wants and he’s getting away with it because everyone likes him.”
Example of a Great Eulogy for a Parent
“My father – Sam – passed away on a Friday night last week and on Saturday afternoon, I sat down to write this eulogy for him. I wanted to have his face, voice, way of being fresh in my mind. I wanted to get him down on paper before I started to forget who he was as a human being.
The word that kept circling my brain was “good”. It kept repeating, almost on a loop in my head. I realized that when you swept away all the fancy adjectives, stories, accomplishments, my father was simply a good man.
He was a good man when it came to his wife. He loved her and respected her deeply. He trusted her, acknowledged her strength, admired her intelligence and resilience. He was a real partner to her, sharing all responsibilities and burdens. He never wavered in his devotion to her and on her last day – five years ago – he sat by her side, reading her Alice in Wonderland – their favorite book.
He was a good man when it came to fatherhood. Dad was never cold or aloof. He told me he loved me at the end of every phone call. He allowed and encouraged me to pursue my interests no matter how he, personally, felt about them. He came to my theater plays several nights in a row. He bought me an electric guitar on my thirteenth birthday because he believed in both my talent and persistence.
He was a good man when it came to friendship. His best friend was our dog. Dad loved Dexter as much as he loved us. There was never a day that he was too tired for a walk or for playing outside. He was a friend to all animals, teaching me early on to respect nature and care about the earth.
Dad always bought me ice-cream, no matter the season or weather. He listened to mom’s rants about the state of the world with interest. He gifted family members handmade trinkets for the holidays.
I don’t know how else to express what kind of person he was. I’m not sure any other word is as fitting.
My father was a good man and he will be remembered as such for years to come.”
Example of a Great Funny Eulogy
If your loved one’s personality calls for a funny eulogy, you go right ahead! This is a speech where you are trying to capture the deceased person’s spirit and if humor is what helps you do that, there’s nothing wrong with writing a funny eulogy. Here is an example of a great funny eulogy.
“It’s difficult for a husband to fit his wife into a couple of words. Though, I tried. I tried and I all I could come up with was the jokes she used to tell me, the way she used to snort when she laughed, how she loved comedies, and read David Sedaris when she was sad.
Alice was a hilarious woman, the best kind of woman I could have married. When we met, I was a brooding freshman in college and she called me “cloudy” for years. She cooked without a recipe and then was confused about why her food tasted absolutely disgusting. She stole gum from her own children. She refused to buy new socks but never remembered to mend the old ones.
She teased our son about his first girlfriend and bought him condoms for his birthday. He was so embarrassed, he didn’t talk to us for days. She would sing inappropriate songs in the shower. She pretended to fall down and faint at family gatherings just to see who would come and help her first.
I cannot remember one instance with her that I was bored. She was entertainment personified.
Alice would spend hours learning complicated dance choreographies when she had absolutely no talent for dance. She taught her kindergarten students harmless pranks they could pull on their parents. On Halloween, she would scare the living daylights out of me by jumping from behind doors and getting the children in on her antics.
She was a woman who made me laugh. And as we move on with our lives, as she continues on to her next, I know that remembering her during the quiet moments will always bring a smile to my face.”
Getting started on your eulogy speech will seem daunting. No matter how funny or emotional your writing is, it’s important to know that there are no wrong or right ways to remember a loved one. We hope that these examples of great eulogies will give you the necessary guidance and inspiration.