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Writing a Eulogy for a Friend
Often, family members are tasked with writing and giving a eulogy for their lost loved one. But sometimes, a friend is so close and knew the deceased through enough shared experiences that they may be the perfect person to give a eulogy speech. If you’ve been asked to write and read a eulogy for a friend, we first want to say how sorry we are for your loss. We know this is a difficult time in your life and in the lives off all those around you.
It can be challenging when you begin to write any sort of speech, especially when you are struggling with such a wide range of emotions and feelings. The tough part may be knowing where to start as well as finding the right words to say. And just as every person is different, every eulogy is also different. With a few examples and a little professional guidance, you can write a eulogy that is both heartfelt and memorable. In this article, you will find several sample eulogies that will help you write just what you want to say.
The Difference Between an Obituary and a Eulogy
It’s important to know what a eulogy is and how it compares to an obituary. An obituary is a journalistic death announcement, or a brief history of the person’s life which typically appears on the funeral home’s website and is printed in the local newspaper or in other official news sources. The word eulogy is related to the word elegy, meaning a dedicated poem or lyrical song about a person, living or deceased.
So, a newspaper obituary amounts to a short announcement about a person’s life with information about upcoming services and memorials. A eulogy speech is given during the memorial or funeral service, and it tells a story about the deceased person’s life. A eulogy can include all or some of the following information about the person.
- Synopsis of their life history (birth, growing up, education, work/career, family, marriage, retirement)
- Short stories that describe their character and personality
- An appropriate essay, poem, song lyrics or scripture passage
- Examples of things they would say or do
- Anything quirky or notable
Sample Eulogy for a Friend
A eulogy doesn’t have to be formal, especially one for a friend. In fact, you may be more comfortable reading your eulogy as if you were having a conversation with someone, even your friend. Start by asking yourself these questions, which can help you create some thoughtful words to include in your eulogy.
- What do you wish you could have said to your friend before they passed?
- What did you like most about them?
- What is a funny story about him / her that you can recall?
- Did something drive you crazy about them, even as a friend?
- Is there a word or phrase they often said?
- What your friendship meant to you?
- How would you describe your friend?
- How will you remember him / her?
Keep these questions in mind as you read this sample eulogy given for a friend.
Amy and I lived down the street as children. I remember, she lived exactly 10 doors down from me. As kids, we always wanted to come up with a way where we could use walking talkies to talk at night or whenever we wanted. We used to rush through our homework, so we could run out and play. We tried a few times to study together or be “homework buddies.” It always ended in disaster. It didn't matter how old we were, or how easy the homework, we always wound up chatting, getting no work done and inevitably getting in trouble with our parents.
Amy was a great friend. She was the kind of friend that stood by you no matter what. I remember one time in first grade, two other girls in our class were picking on me, and I suddenly became the "unpopular" one. Several of the other girls in our class followed suit and quit talking to me. Not Amy. She stood right by me and would yell at the girls for being so mean. Of course, soon enough, the tide changed, and for whatever reason, I was no longer the one left out, but I never forgot how she stood by me.
Amy was the person I wanted to tell any sort of news to first. In third grade, she was the first one I told when I got my first crush, she was the first one I picked up after I got my license, she was my Maid of Honor at my wedding, and the first friend I told when I was pregnant. I remember when she met her husband, Michael. We were freshmen in college, and she came running into our dorm room talking about this cute boy she met in English class. They were attached at the hip from that day forward. Through the years, Michael has become a great friend of mine, and I love their children as if they were my own.
What will I remember most about Amy? Her laugh, her love for her husband and children, her kindness and sincerity, and her general belief that everyone is good and means well. What will I miss most about Amy? My friend, the person that I pick up the phone to call first, the person that I laugh and cry with, and the person with whom I both mourn and celebrate.
Amy's death was sudden, but her life was not faint. Her memory will always be with us, and her legacy will continue through her children. Amy would smile if she were here with us today. She would have some funny story to tell to make everyone comfortable, and we would for a moment forget our sadness. I will miss my friend dearly, but I am so grateful for having known her.
Sample Eulogy for a Grandmother
Grandmothers and grandchildren have special relationships. There’s something to be said for an older person spending time with a much younger person. Your grandparent is no longer raising a family. So, they can sit back and enjoy the pleasures of their grandchildren without the everyday worries of schedules, meals, chores, and more. A grandparent-grandchild relationship gives both people the opportunity to offer the other a unique perspective on life and the world around them.
If you didn’t know your grandmother very well, you can still give a proper eulogy speech. Start by doing a little digging in your family history. Talk to those who knew her now as well as those who knew her years ago. Her family members, friends, neighbors, and current or former co-workers can be great resources of information.
Honoring your grandmother with a final, loving speech about her can be a wonderful tribute to her life and memory. So, How can you best write a good eulogy speech for your grandmother? Write down your memories about your grandmother. Talk to other family members about their memories of your grandmother. Then use these questions to help jumpstart your creative process.
- What special memories did you share together?
- Did you have any fun traditions?
- What was your grandmother known for?
- How did others perceive her?
- Did she have a sense of humor? Any quirks?
- What things will remind you of her?
- What was your favorite quote of hers?
- How was your life most touched by hers?
- What will she be most remembered for?
Keep these questions in mind as you read this sample funeral eulogy given for a grandmother.
It’s the little things that seem to stand out the most—her rolled up Kleenexes, her colorful muumuus, her iced tea and fried chicken, the aroma of her kitchen or a “yoo-hoo” from the other side of the door letting you know it was all right to come in.
I’ll remember her tapping her foot to Lawrence Welk or cheering for Johnny Bench (her favorite ball player). There are so many things that I can see and feel as if they had just happened.
I’m sure everyone here has memories much like mine. They are good memories, something we’ll always have to cherish. It isn’t often in our lives that we come across someone so special that that person stays with you forever. Grandma was that kind of person.
The only way to get hurt in this life is to care. Grandma cared more than most, loved more than most and was made to suffer more than most because of just how much she cared.
But no matter how many times she was knocked down or made to endure things that no one should, she just kept coming back; caring more and loving more—opening herself up to even more pain. Yet there were never any complaints or bitterness—it was the only way she knew how to live.
The kind of love Grandma felt for us was a love without condition. She may not have approved of everything we did, may not have liked some of the decisions we made, but she didn’t lecture, she didn’t judge. She just kept loving us, letting us know that she was there and if we ever needed her, we could count on her to listen, to comfort, to help.
She lived a simple life. It didn’t take much to make her happy—a phone call, a card, a visit or a kiss before saying good night. We were the most important people in the world to her. She lived to make our lives better and was proud of us.
To think that someone like her felt that way about us should make us all feel more than just a little good. We can never forget that there is a part of her in each of us, something that she gave to us and asked nothing for in return.
Money can be squandered and property ruined, but what we inherited from her cannot be damaged, destroyed or lost. It is permanent, and it keeps her from becoming just a wonderful memory. It allows her in so many ways to remain just as alive as always—alive through us.
There have been and will be times in our lives when situations arise where we’ll want so much to talk to her, be with her or ask her just what we should do. I hope that, when those times come, we can begin to look to each other and find that part of her that she gave to each of us.
Maybe we can learn to lean on each other and rely on each other the way we always knew that we could with her. Maybe then she won’t seem quite so far away.
So, for your wisdom, your courage, your humour, tenderness and compassion, your understanding, your patience and your love; thank you, Grandma. After you, Grandma, the mold was indeed broken. Thank you so much. I love you.
Eulogy Sample for a Sibling
Losing a sibling can hit you hard, especially if your sibling was young. You expect to grow old together. And when that future is cut short, it can leave you reeling. Take this time to lean on friends and other family members for support. We also encourage anyone recovering from the loss of a loved one to seek professional counseling. Many times, talking to another person about your loss can help you work through it and continue with your life in a healthy way.
If you’ve been asked to give a eulogy for your brother or sister, it’s a wonderful way to provide a lasting memory to the mourners in attendance. You’ll never regret taking the time to put your thoughts about your sibling into some heartfelt, inspiring words. Siblings have unique relationships, and yours was probably unique too. Take the time to tell others about how special your sister or brother was to you and to those around him or her.
Here are some questions you may want to address in your sister’s or brother’s eulogy.
- What special memories do you share only with your sibling?
- What was your childhood like growing up together?
- How did you drive your parents crazy?
- Did you have any rivalries?
- How did your relationship change during adulthood?
- What could you always count on him / her for?
- Did you ever learn anything interesting about your sibling?
- What lasting impact have they made in your life?
While reading this sample funeral eulogy for a brother, write down any other questions you can add to this list.
Today is a very tragic day. My brother, Mark, lost his life far too soon. He had a lot left to accomplish and it is sad that he isn’t here with us. However, today we should not focus on the grief, but instead celebrate his life. My brother was a wonderful man who lived his life to the fullest and would want us to celebrate his accomplishments today.
My brother was only a few years older than me. We were close enough in age that we were very close and shared a lot of the same friends. Nevertheless, even though he was only a few years older he was extremely protective over me. There were times when I didn’t understand this and even resented it, but as I got older, I realized that he just wanted what was best for me.
Mark and I were best friends. We occasionally had sibling rivalries, but it was because we were both so competitive. We enjoyed playing many of the same sports and had the same passion for the outdoors. Mark and I loved to go fishing and always competed to see who could catch the largest fish. I loved to go camping with my brother and we would spend hours on the lake or around the fire chatting about life. It was fun too because we had a lot of the same friends who would join us on our adventures.
My brother was very intelligent and excelled at everything he did. He graduated high school with honors and went on to get a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He recently started a new job with Microsoft that he was incredibly excited about. Mark helped me a lot with my schoolwork and I owe him a lot. Without his guidance I would have had a lot of difficulty making it through university.
My brother was amazing husband and father. He always spoke highly of his family and loved them more than anything in life. Whenever I spent time with his family, I could tell how much they loved each other. I will always be there for Mark’s wife and son for anything they need.
I know that it will be very difficult for my family and I going forward without Mark in our lives. However, I also know that my brother would not want us to be overwhelmed with sadness. He was a very strong and positive individual and would always look for the best in any situation and would want us to do the same. Let’s remember Mark for all of his great qualities and appreciate the time we spent with him. We should make sure that his memory lives on in all of us for as long as we live.
We hope that this article helps you during your writing process. Feel free to peruse through our many other blog articles about eulogies here on Lastly.com.