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Funeral quotes: 25 ways to say goodbye

Book of funeral quotes with pink flowers

A funeral is a time for people to come together and share their thoughts, but finding the right words to say at a funeral isn’t always easy. Short funeral quotes on the nature of life, love and loss can be an ideal way to express how you’re feeling when nothing seems to make sense.

These inspirational funeral and memorial quotes could be a help when you are writing a eulogy or epitaph, or looking for a quotation to include on an order of service sheet. Whether you want something that captures the experience of loss, or reflects on the meaning of life, these funeral quotes could be the right way to say goodbye.

1. “Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

Rabindranath Tagore, writer and artist

2. “Lives are like rivers: Eventually they go where they must. Not where we want them to.”

Richard Russo, author and screenwriter

Woman walking at the edge of a river

3. “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

George Sand, author, real name Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

4. “Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realise it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.”

Sai Baba, spiritual leader and philanthropist

Young man looking out across a mountain range after a long climb

5. “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”

Ernest Hemingway, author and journalist

6. “For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”

On Death, Khalil Gibran, artist, poet and author

Man standing on a rock looking out to sea at sunset

7. “The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take.”

The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien, author and university professor

8. “Life has to end. Love doesn’t.”

The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom, best-selling author and broadcaster

Husband and wife holding hands

9. “Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”

Rossiter Worthington Raymond, engineer and author

10. “How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?”

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, author

Man walking on a moor at sunset

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

Irish proverb

12. “The song is ended, but the melody lingers on…”

The Song is Ended, Irving Berlin, songwriter

Man carrying a guitar walking through a field

13. “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.”

Helen Keller, author and political activist

14. “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, author

Three friends sitting on a bench together, looking out to sea

15. “As is a tale, so is a life: Not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

Seneca, philosopher and writer

16. “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little nameless unrememberd acts of kindness and of love.”

Tintern Abbey, William Wordsworth, poet

Woman walking through a field, running her hands through the tallgrass

17. “Perhaps passing through the gates of death is like passing quietly through the gate in a pasture fence. On the other side, you keep walking, without the need to look back. No shock, no drama, just the lifting of a plank or two in a simple wooden gate in a clearing. Neither pain, nor floods of light, nor great voices, but just the silent crossing of a meadow.”

A Soldier of the Great War, Mark Helprin, author

18. “Grief is the price we pay for love”

Colin Murray Parkes, psychiatrist and grief expert

Woman walking across a sandy beach, leaving footprints in the sand

19. “Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts.”

Little Footprints, Dorothy Ferguson, poet

20. “If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.”

James O’Barr, artist

Silhouette of a man looking up at the night sky

21. “Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

Anonymous

22. “More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.”

Dirge Without Music, Edna St. Vincent Millay, poet and playwright

Couple standing together at the edge of a lake

23. “To me, you were more than just a person. You were a place where I finally felt at home.”

Denice Envail, writer

24. “Every life is noted and is cherished, and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.”

A Ring of Endless Light, Madeleine L’Engle, author

Family with young child walking across a field with sunset in the background

25. “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides, classical author

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