If you are lucky, your grandfather has been part of your life since you were born. He might have been a binding force that connected your whole family.
Perhaps his life lessons helped you grow into the person you are today. Or maybe his wisdom and storytelling set the stage for your bedtime stories. Grandfathers are an important part of family life, and losing them can have a big impact.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Step 1: Reflect on Memories
- Step 2: Recall the Stories
- Step 3: Paint a Picture
- Step 4: Express Emotions
- Step 5: Trust the Process
- Step 6: Don't Overthink it
- Step 7: Practice
- Eulogy Examples for a Grandfather
No matter how much, or how little, time you spent with your grandfather, losing him can be emotional. If you agreed to write a eulogy, you might feel nervous or unsure about how to start. That's okay.
You might also feel added pressure to write the perfect eulogy. But focus on writing from the heart rather than achieving perfection. A heartfelt message is enough.
Here are some practical tips to help you write a eulogy that will make your grandfather proud.
Tip: If you're responsible for writing a eulogy for your grandfather, you might have other complicated tasks to take care of, too. Our post-loss checklist can guide you through all of the post-loss responsibilities you might have on your plate.
Take time to brainstorm the memories you have of your grandfather. Write down as much as you can. Let your memories lead the way. You might find yourself thinking about the first time you went fishing together.
Or you might remember the weekly visits to his house. Even if something you used to do together seems small or silly, write it down. Some of the best memories are the simple ones.
If he had a favorite chair he sat in or a certain hat that he used to wear, mention that. Through the lens of your memories, his legacy will shine. If you need more guidance on where to begin, check out our guide on how to start a eulogy.
Grandfathers are some of the best storytellers. They have lived through a lot and have a lifetime of experiences. If your grandfather was a storyteller, be sure to include some of his stories in the eulogy.
Think of the stories he would tell on repeat or to the new people he met. If he told a story a lot, it was likely one of his favorites.
Even if your grandfather told the same story a thousand times, tell it again. Your family will appreciate hearing it one last time. And it might help them remember something special they loved about your grandfather.
By sharing his stories, you honor his life. Grandfathers have a lot of wisdom and it's a part of their legacy to leave some behind. Through the art of storytelling, you unravel the wisdom a little at a time.
Everyone had a different relationship with your grandfather. To some, he was a brother. Others may have cherished him as a life-long friend. This is an opportunity to share what it was like to have him as a grandfather. Were you close? Was there something special you did together? Did he let you do things your parents didn't?
In your eulogy, you get to paint a picture of what it was like to grow up with your grandfather. Your relationship was unique and you are free to express that. By sharing about life with your grandfather, you are honoring him in the best way.
It's okay if writing the eulogy makes you emotional. Don't be afraid to express those emotions in your speech. It might even make sense to write a few lines about how losing your grandpa affects you. Grief is a form of praise. Even though sometimes it’s hard, expressing emotions in words is cathartic.
Writing a eulogy is a way to celebrate and grieve for your grandfather. It might feel overwhelming at times, but remember that there's no right or wrong way to grieve. If your heart is aching, let it ache.
The emotions, both happy and sad, are a testament to how much you loved your grandfather.
If you are feeling nervous about reading your eulogy out loud, don’t worry. You are not alone. It's normal to feel nervous before sharing something vulnerable and heartfelt. It takes courage to stand in front of people and express yourself.
If uncomfortable feelings creep in, think of your grandfather. Honor his memory with your courage. Your vulnerability after his death proves how much he meant to you.
As humans, we tend to overthink things. Be gentle with yourself in this time of grief. Let yourself be free from the burden of overthinking. Don't focus too much on your mind.
Instead, let the words flow from your heart. The heart will remember the impactful ways your grandfather touched your life.
Public speaking is a special type of skill. Very few people are naturally comfortable in front of a crowd. If you are shy or nervous to read the eulogy out loud, practice it with a family member or friend. Even if you’re feeling confident, you should run through the speech a few times. Rehearsing your words will help you when it’s time to share them.
Though eulogies are a type of speech, no one in the audience is expecting you to hold it together. You are grieving and strong emotions are part of that process. Take a deep breath and commit to doing the best you can given the circumstances.
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You might be feeling flooded with memories and stories and unsure of where to start. Sometimes writing the first few sentences is the hardest part. You can also start, add in, or close with popular funeral quotes if you need more help getting started.
Here are some examples of how you can begin a eulogy for your Grandfather:
From a grandson
- For those of you who don't know me, I am [name], the grandson of [name]. We are here today to celebrate the life of this wonderful man. My grandpa watched me take my first steps, he taught me my first words, and he was there when I caught my first fish. In fact, he was there for most of my firsts growing up. He taught me so much. It feels like I learned most of what I know from him. I'd like to share a few stories that help illustrate what kind of grandpa he was [insert stories].
- Grandpa [name] was my best friend. I loved spending the weekends at his house and watching baseball together. He was one-of-a-kind. He always made me feel like I was the most important person in the room. He was my greatest supporter and he told me I could achieve anything I put my mind to. He was a courageous man who taught me the importance of discipline and hard work.
- Grandpa was a man of few words, so when he did speak, everyone listened. He was the glue that kept our family together. He worked hard to provide for his family. He never complained about how much he worked or how tired he was. I always knew if I needed something, I could count on my grandfather. He was an incredible role-model. If I turn out to be half the man he was I’ll consider myself a success.
- Pa was an incredible dude. If he was here now, he'd have a good chuckle at me using the word 'dude.' He always laughed at the lingo us kids used. We would show him our newest toys and invite him to play video games. When he was growing up the radio was his method of entertainment. He grew up in a simpler time, but he embraced our love for technology and new gadgets.
- Grandpa had the best stories. Even if I'd heard them on more than one occasion, I'd listen close for a new detail. He had an incredible heart and spirit. He was enthusiastic when it came to storytelling. As his grandson, I can only hope to tell the stories half as well as he did. I have two children now and it's important to me that they remember their great-grandfather. I'd like to share one of my favorite stories.
Examples from a granddaughter
- Grandpa was one of the kindest men I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. His generosity was limitless. He was a smart man and he worked hard for everything he had. He didn't judge others or criticize different ways of life. He would nod his head and say something like "To each their own." He meant it. He was a role-model to me. I am sad that we won't get to have our front porch talks anymore.
- I will miss Grandpa [name] greatly. Aside from my parents, he is the only person that has known me my whole life. It's surreal to think he will no longer be here. It makes me very emotional to think about my children growing up without him. I have been very blessed to have him as a grandpa for 35 years. I will treasure the memories I have of him. I’d like to share one of my favorites with you now.
- Gramps was an incredible person. He raised 5 children and helped care for 16 grandchildren! On Sunday we'd gather at his house. He shared memories of his time in the war and talk about how it shaped his life. As a child, I didn't understand the impact of his service. But as an adult, it makes me so proud. Gramps served his country and he served his family. I was lucky to call him my grandpa.
- What a blessing it has been to call [name] my grandfather. While prepping for this eulogy, I recounted lots of memories and went through old photos. When I told my friends a few stories about my grandfather, they expressed how lucky I was. We had a special bond and he taught me so much about life. I'd like to share a couple of my favorite stories with you today.
- Gramps lived his life with gusto. He grew up in a poor family. He worked hard to help his family get out of poverty. At the age of 18, he left home and started his own business. When he met my grandmother, he stole her heart immediately. She said she fell in love with a man who she knew would never give up. Gramps was relentless. Even on his deathbed, he didn't give up. He smiled and participated in life until the very end.
A Grandfather’s Legacy
Your grandfather might have played a key role in your life. Perhaps he helped shape who you are. Or was the person you turned to when you needed advice.
Regardless, remember your eulogy isn't a final goodbye. His legacy will live on in the stories and memories you pass on to your children and grandchildren.