When it comes to writing a eulogy, finding the right closing words can be the most difficult part. Writing the final words of a eulogy might feel like a final goodbye to someone you love. During the writing process, you may find yourself reminiscing over special memories.
(For more help with all of the complicated tasks you might be facing after losing a loved one, check out our post-loss checklist.)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Use an Inspirational Quote
- Inject Some Humor
- Share Their Words
- Play a Song
- Share a Poem
- Be Spontaneous
- Examples of Great Closing Lines for a Eulogy
Recalling memories and putting them down on paper can become very therapeutic. When it's time to write the closing remarks, you may be unsure of what to say. Feeling reluctant to end a eulogy is normal. It's not an easy task to end something that celebrates the life of someone you love.
COVID-19 tip: If you're hosting a Zoom funeral using a service like GatheringUs, make sure to test your audio before the service, so both online and in-person guests can hear you clearly.
Here are some suggestions on how you can end a eulogy.
Use an Inspirational Quote
Sometimes it's easier to use someone else’s words to close your eulogy. Think of your loved one's favorite writer/actor and research some quotes by them. Using a quote for the ending will help relieve the pressure of “saying the right thing.” You can read a few quotes and invite the audience to reflect upon them.
Pro Tip: Find a quote that represents your loved one. After reading each quote, try to tie in a memory or one to two sentences explaining its relevance. It might seem rather simple, but it's a lovely way to conclude a eulogy.
Inject Some Humor
Laughter can be the best medicine. If you have a funny story to tell about your loved one, now is the time. Funerals and memorials are often somber and laughter isn't always welcomed. Dare to be different. Tell a funny story about your loved one and invite the audience to share a laugh. By laughing together, you can focus on the positive details of your loved one’s life.
Pro tip: Try to tell the story as if you’re having a conversation, instead of reading from your prepared words. Help yourself by only including a reminder of the story in your notes, rather than the whole story.
You could jot down “a story about camping trip” or “the first time eating a mango” to prompt you. Tell the story organically. Imagine your loved one sitting in the audience, smiling and reminiscing with you.
If you're speaking during a virtual or online funeral, share some silly photos of the deceased with the online guests and provide some commentary.
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Share Their Words
Ending a eulogy with the words of your loved one can be quite meaningful. You might share a letter or card they wrote to you or a recipe they wrote down. Reading their words and saying them out loud, can be a beautiful way to celebrate their life.
If you’re sharing a letter they wrote to you, consider emphasizing the theme of the letter. Was there something they wanted you to know or was it a “thinking of you” note? If you read a handwritten recipe, consider printing it out for your family and friends.
Pro tip: You could consider sharing a video or recording of them talking. This creates a dynamic eulogy. And it allows your loved one to take part in their eulogy.
Play a Song
Sometimes you don’t have the words to end a eulogy. If that’s the case, consider playing a funeral song that illustrates the life of your loved one. You might say something like, "It's hard to find the right words to say about someone who made such an impact in our lives. I'd like to play a song that captures the essence of [name.]"
Music is very healing and when we listen to it together, a bit of magic unfolds. A quiet reflection of song lyrics can serve as a healing ending to a eulogy.
Pro Tip: If your loved one was passionate about music or there are a lot of songs that remind you of them, you can put together a playlist and share it with a Spotify gift card as a unique sympathy gift for someone else who was also close to the deceased.
Share a Poem
For some people, writing a poem can serve as a more informal way to express feelings. If you enjoy poetry, you might find it easier to write a poem to close your eulogy. Writing something a bit more creative may help you deal with your grief.
If writing isn’t your specialty, research poems and find one that speaks to you. It doesn't have to be death related. Find something that makes you think of your loved one. Maybe focus on how your loved one lived their life. Or what they stood for in this world. Or you could pick a poem that talks about life and love. Whatever you pick, a poem can be a moving close to your eulogy.
If writing an ending to a eulogy feels too daunting, consider speaking off-the-cuff. Trust that you are capable of sharing beautiful memories of your loved one from your heart.
People don't rehearse when they share stories around the dinner table. You may find that by improvising, you are more present in the moment. Permit yourself to express from your heart, unrehearsed. Some of the best speeches and eulogies are the ones that are genuine and not-so polished.
Pro tip: Don't push emotions down if they arise. It's human and natural to cry during a heartfelt share.
Examples of Great Closing Lines for a Eulogy
Still need some inspiration? Feel free to get inspiration from, modify, or steal the closing lines below.
Ending a eulogy for a mother or father
Ending a eulogy for a father, for a mother, or any parent can evoke a lot of emotions. Allow yourself to feel. Trust you will get through it. Here are some suggestions on how you might close your speech.
- What a legacy, what a life. I invite each of you to keep my dad/mom [name] alive in your hearts. We were each touched by their presence and we are better because of that. Thank you for being here and for making my mom/dad's life so meaningful.
- Mom/dad, you will be missed greatly. I know that your presence will always be with me. Thank you for being such an incredible role model and for loving me unconditionally. I hope that I have made you proud.
- This is not goodbye. As many of you know, my mom/dad had very strong faith. They believed [insert belief]. I know that he/she is at peace now. Now it's our turn to go live life to the fullest and keep their legacy alive.
- “Say not in grief ‘he/she is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was.” – Hebrew Proverb. Mom/dad, I will continue to celebrate your life in all that I do. I am so grateful to have had you as a parent.
Ending a eulogy for a brother or sister
Outliving a sibling can bring difficult emotions to the surface. Here are some endings to help you convey your feelings without becoming overwhelmed.
- As I conclude this eulogy, I'd like to share one of my favorite funny stories about [name]. We laughed a lot together. I will miss the silly times we shared. They might not like that I'm telling this story, but it’s one of my favorites [share funny memory].
- My sister/brother loved the song [insert title]. We used to sing it together as kids. I'd like to play it in their honor today.
- Out of all the brothers/sisters in the world, you were mine. It was an honor to be your brother/sister. I will miss our talks and silly adventures. But most of all I will miss our friendship. Thank you for being my brother/sister and my friend.
- "Brothers & sisters are as close as hands and feet." - Vietnamese Proverb. Words can't express how much I miss you. Thank you [name] for being my best friend. You will always be a part of me.
Ending a eulogy for a friend
Saying our final goodbye in a eulogy for a friend isn’t easy. Speak from the heart and trust that what you say is enough.
- [Name] always knew how to cheer me up and make me laugh. In closing, I'd like to share a few memories that still have me laughing to this day [share 1-2 memories].
- Everyone here is lucky to have known [name]. I know [name] is with us today and smiling at the beautiful memories we’ve shared. On behalf of my best friend, thank you.
- “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.” – David Tyson. We shared a lot of moments of silence. I'd like to invite each of you to take a moment of quiet reflection in honor of [name].
- Of all the people in the world, you picked me as your best friend. I wear that title with honor and gratitude. It was wonderful having you in my life. Thank you for being my partner on this grand adventure we call life.
A Eulogy Isn’t Goodbye
When people think of a eulogy, they imagine it to be the final words spoken about their loved one. While it's a method we use to honor our loved ones, it is just the beginning of their legacy. After death, we can still keep them close to our hearts by reflecting on memories or with a physical reminder like a custom urn or cremation diamond.
A eulogy is an invitation to ignite the memories of your loved one. And to keep their presence alive. Speak their name out loud, tell your friends about them, and allow this person's memory to carry you.
Grief may rise and that's okay. Remind yourself that it's a natural part of the process and welcome it. Feel your emotions and reflect on the memories of your loved one. Use it as a way to celebrate them. Though their physical body has died, they’ll continue to live on in your mind and heart. A eulogy isn't a goodbye. It's a reminder of the impact a person had on your life. By remembering, you keep the bond alive.
If you need more help, check out our guides to funeral quotes for a eulogy and how to start a eulogy.