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20 Phrases to Use in a Loved One’s (or Your Own) Funeral Service or Obituary

I enjoy giving advice on how to nicely send off the dearly departed.

Closing the Book of Life, Correctly

When my mother died, the minister said everything correctly, save for one critical sentence. He said, "Barbara Ann was an ordinary woman." Immediately, my sense of anger welled up at the unexpected insult. No one is ordinary. Each person has a special gift that they have brought to life. So, in the hopes that you will be spared such an agonizing experience, I offer 20 phrases that you might like to use or have said about you at the appropriate time.

  1. X rejoins her loved ones (and you can name them) or X is now reunited with ...
  2. X died peacefully at home, surrounded by a loving family.
  3. X passed away after a brave battle (or valiant struggle) with ...
  4. X's children (or grandchildren) were the pride and joy of X's life. The legacy of X's kind spirit, passion for sports, love of reading, and zest for life will live on through them.
  5. X was an inspiration to all who knew X.
  6. X always had a smile on his face and a joke on his lips.
  7. X and their spouse had a collaborative and caring relationship. It was based on mutual support and a deep love for each other.
  8. X was a tireless and selfless volunteer at ...
  9. X was a kind and gentle person who loved spending time with family and friends.
  10. X enjoyed life, family members, and many friends. X was always there to brighten the lives of others.
  11. X proudly served his country in the (name the branch of the military service).
  12. All who knew X loved X. or X was adored and loved by all who knew X.
  13. There was nothing X liked better than an interesting conversation with a good (or new) friend. X could have an engaging conversation with anyone.
  14. X thrived on the exchange of interesting (or provocative or radical or creative) ideas with her friends (or colleagues) and X's smile would light up their day.
  15. It was often said that there wasn't a stranger that X didn't know-or a smile kept to oneself.
  16. X had a passion for .... (and then cite an example of that pull).
  17. X was committed to family, making sure that all knew of support to achieve their highest potential.
  18. X's indomitable spirit encouraged her family and friends to persist in the face of many struggles.
  19. X will be missed but not forgotten.
  20. X was a person of faith and lived a life serving others.

If you think of, hear, or read some other phrases that capture the positive spirit and joyful personality of an individual, please let me know. I will add them to my repertoire. You never know when you might need that resource. In the meantime, you might want to think about what you want to be said about yourself. After all, we each need to project one last colorful ray of light before the final sunset.

One Last Ray of Light



Kelly on August 04, 2017:

Your suggestions were just what we needed to finish our grandfather's obituary. Thank you for the inspiration. Blessings.

Cathy on February 01, 2017:

Thank you for your suggestions. They were very helpful.

How to write an obituary on June 13, 2009:

Nice hub with great ideas for ending an obituary. Just make sure this phrase conforms to your local newspaper's style guidelines. If not, they'll end up editing it or removing it.