16 Ideas for Celebration of Life or Funeral Cake Sayings


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When most people picture funerals, they tend to envision sad and somber events that are devoid of laughter and smiles. But our cultural attitudes towards death are slowly evolving. An increasing number of people are choosing to turn end-of-life services into more joyful occasions. 

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In a celebration of life ceremony, people meet up to grieve a lost loved one in a more uplifting manner than a traditional funeral. At a celebration of life, people might dress in bright colors, share stories about the deceased, or gather in an unconventional location. They might even eat cake or other desserts. 

Today, we’ll be sharing some lighthearted sayings that would be perfect on a cake at a celebration of life. People from some cultures and traditions also serve cake at more traditional funerals. We’ll also talk about the more serious sayings that can go onto funeral cakes.

If you need additional help navigating the entire complicated process of loss, including planning or attending a service, check out our post-loss checklist.

Celebration of Life or Funeral Cake Saying Ideas for Parents or Grandparents

Parents and grandparents are responsible for our existence in this world. Throughout our lives, they take care of us and guide us through our important milestones. When they die, we want to pay our respects to them for everything they’ve done for us. Messages like these make for a lovely tribute.  

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

1. “In loving memory.”

This short but sweet (no pun intended) saying is perfect for a funeral cake. In just three words, it encapsulates the sentiment that you will continue to cherish your memories of your parent or grandparent.

This saying is serious enough for a funeral cake, but optimistic enough for a celebration of life cake.

2. “Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words, and missed beyond measure.”

If you don’t know what to write on a funeral cake, you can always turn to words that someone else has crafted.

This saying about grief is widely attributed to Renee Wood. It’s a lovely and sweet sentiment that would fill up a larger sheet cake for a widely-attended funeral. 

3. “Joyously reunited in heaven.”

Some people are so in love, it’s difficult to think of them living apart. If your parent or grandparent previously lost their spouse, there is a silver lining to be found when they pass away.

Depending on your faith, you may take comfort in the thought of a happy couple reuniting in the afterlife. This saying would work equally well for a funeral cake or celebration of life cake. 

4. “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever.”

Poets often have a unique and beautiful way of expressing universal emotions in new ways. This line by Alfred Tennyson is a perfect example of that. This quote is equally appropriate for a cake for a funeral or celebration of life service. 

Celebration of Life or Funeral Cake Saying Ideas for Children or Grown Children

In an ideal world, parents would never have to bury their children. But sadly, we are sometimes preceded in death by our kids. Having a child changes your life in so many ways. Whether you get to spend years with your child or just a few days, you will forever be their parent. These sayings pay tribute to that unique relationship.   

5. “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts,”

This quote by children’s author A.A. Milne would be appropriate on a funeral cake for an infant or young child. It would especially resonate if the child had a fondness for the characters in Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh book series.

6. “Even the smallest footprints can leave a major impression.”

Even if a child only spends a short time on earth, their impact is immeasurable. This quote is a beautiful way to express how important a child was to you, even if your time together was too brief. 

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

7. “Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever.”

This quote is well-known, though the name of its author has been lost to time. While you often see it engraved on a child’s headstone, it would also be appropriate on a funeral cake. 

8. “I love you every day. And now I will miss you every day.”

Mitch Albom is known for writing books that are inspirational and tear-jerking. This quote from him is simple and straightforward, but still carries a lot of meaning.   

Celebration of Life or Funeral Cake Saying Ideas for a Partner or Spouse

One of the best and most memorable parts of getting married is getting to pick out a wedding cake. Obviously selecting a funeral or celebration-of-life cake for your spouse or romantic partner isn’t an equally joyous event. But a cake that celebrates your partner can still be a meaningful and beautiful gesture.

9. “I wrote your name in my heart and forever it will stay.”

Though the Persian poet Rumi lived over eight hundred years ago, these words are still incredibly relatable. This makes a beautiful tribute to a romantic partner. 

10. “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

This quote is often attributed to author Richard Puz. When you lose your partner to death, it can feel as though they have been stolen from you. But as these words convey, your love for them and your memories of them will keep them alive in your heart. 

11. “True love is a durable fire, in the mind ever burning.” 

Poetry has a unique way of capturing complex emotions and distilling them into just a few words. This sentiment is a more oblique way of saying that you’ll continue to love your partner long after they’re gone. 

12. “I’ll see you on the other side of the stars.”

Many people take comfort in the fact that they’ll reunite with their loved ones in the afterlife. If you believe that, this nondenominational quote is a lovely way to express it.  

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

Funny Celebration of Life or Funeral Cake Saying Ideas

Many of the cake sayings that we’ve talked about so far have been sincere and sentimental. But it’s okay to infuse some humor into your message. These silly sayings are best suited for a cake for an upbeat celebration of life service.  

13. “Let them eat cake.”

This quote has been famously attributed to the French queen Marie-Antoinette. Many people believe that this flippant phrase helped spark the French Revolution in 1789. Historians say that there’s no proof to substantiate the story and that it’s likely apocryphal. But it’s still such a well-known quote that would be ironically amusing in these circumstances. 

14. “YOLO!”

Back in 2012, the phrase YOLO was featured in a song by Canadian rapper Drake. The saying is an acronym for “You only live once,” and is used in the same manner as carpe diem. This message can serve as a reminder to attendees that they should live life to the fullest in a tongue-in-cheek way. 

15. “A very merry unbirthday to me!”

There’s a rising trend where people are beginning to throw themselves living funerals. A living funeral is precisely like what it sounds like: it’s a funeral held for a person who is still alive. They are often held by elderly individuals or by people who have a terminal illness and now the end of their life is near.

The principle behind this kind of gathering is that we shouldn’t wait until our loved ones have died to celebrate them. We should eulogize them while they’re still around to bear witness. In a way, it’s like throwing yourself a party to celebrate your own death. This saying, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, puts a more optimistic spin on that concept. 

16. “Death is so sad that we must laugh at it.”

This line is excerpted from the science fiction book Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. This quote would help enhance the mood and a lighthearted celebration of life service.   

Say Something Sweet with a Celebration-of-life Cake

All around the world, people from many different cultures have counted funeral cakes among their traditions. In many areas of northern Europe, including rural Sweden, special cakes were made and handed out at funerals. These spiced, shortbread-like cakes were meant to provide refreshment and also serve as a kind of funeral favor.

People used carved molds to stamp a design on the top, often in the shape of a rose or a heart. Other motifs used included religious symbols, like doves. And that’s just one of many funeral cake variations. These days, you’re more likely to see a saying on a funeral cake than you are symbolism. The sayings talked about today are just some of the meaningful messages you can include on a cake for a funeral or celebration of life.

If you're looking for more celebration of life inspiration, read our guides on celebration of life gift ideas and celebration of life party favor ideas.


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