8 Of The Most Amazing Eulogies Of All TimeJune 3rd, 2013
When it comes to funeral services, a eulogy can be the most important element that ties everything together. A eulogy captures the life story, starts conversations, helps us remember the times we shared, and (usually) makes us laugh or cry.
As a funeral director, you might sometimes feel numb towards the delivery of eulogies, mostly because you see them every day.
But, I want to show you these eulogies so you can laugh, cry, and maybe learn something from them so you can help your families create the best eulogy they’ve ever imagined for their loved one.
Without further ado, lets look at 8 eulogies that changed my life (and might change yours too):
1. Brooke Shields’ Eulogy for Michael Jackson
Brooke Shields, longtime friend of Michael Jackson, delivered this emotional eulogy at his public memorial service on July 7, 2009. I can still remember where I was while watching Michael Jackson’s memorial service. I remember it was raining all day – I thought it was to match my mood. Devastated by the loss of such a musical genius, Brooke Shields’ eulogy for Michael made me, as she explains during this video, “smile though your heart is aching.” I will personally never forget watching Michael’s memorial service, or this memorable eulogy.
2. “For My Mother”
This is the perfect example of a eulogy that doesn’t have to be a grand, wise, long, tearful, epic event. Instead, this woman uses satire (that can be a bit morbid at times) to create a truly one-of-a-kind eulogy for her mother. What we can learn from this eulogy is that a few minutes, a good laugh and a good story is all you need to create something memorable.
3. “Beautifully Imperfect”
Sometimes the way you remember your loved one isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. This eulogy is a perfect example of that. This woman gives her husband’s eulogy in a unique way by talking about his “sounds” (coming from both his mouth and his rear end) and explains that it’s these “little imperfections” that made her husband perfect for her.
She closes the eulogy beautifully by saying “So to my beautiful children, I hope one day you, too, find yourselves life partners who are as beautifully imperfect as your father was to me.”
4. A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs
Read the eulogy by clicking here.
Not only was Steve Jobs one of the greatest innovators of our time, but he was truly a passionate man. Naturally, there are plenty of people who have many beautiful things to say something about Mr. Jobs. But, perhaps the best way anyone could ever summarize Steve Jobs’ life came from his sister, Mona Simpson.
Mona uses the literary device called stream of consciousness to truly take us back to the most defining moments she experienced with Steve. As the reader, I felt like I was right there during Steve’s final moments. So, please do take 5 minutes to read it. Trust me, it’s worth it.
5. Kevin Costner’s Eulogy for Whitney Houston
Although Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston weren’t life-long friends or relatives, Kevin still did an excellent job memorializing Whitney’s life in a memorable way. He starts out the eulogy explaining how despite popular belief, they have a lot in common. He draws out a parallel between his life and her life, and finds a way to truly capture her life story at the same time. If you love Kevin Costner, you’ll really love this wonderful eulogy he put together.
6. “I will not be moved.”
It’s not everyday that you get to attend the funeral service of someone who literally changed history. It’s even less often that we have the chance to watch one historically memorable woman commemorate another. In this instance, Oprah Winfrey delivered Rosa Park’s eulogy in a very rhetorical manner. She used the phrase “I will not be moved” several times throughout the eulogy – almost like a chorus. What we can learn from Oprah is that the power of a eulogy can lie in just one sentence. One powerful sentence is all it takes to deliver greatness.
7. “God must have needed Muppets in heaven.”
On May 21, 1990, Frank Oz (the voice of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover) gave one of the most memorable eulogies I’ve ever seen for Jim Henson. The thing that makes this eulogy so special is near the end, when Frank struggles to continue, and concludes it abruptly by saying “I think that’s when I knew he loved me and I loved him.” In my opinion, his inability to express his emotions any further is what makes the eulogy so beautiful. His eulogy truly shows us how much one person can influence others for a lifetime.
8. “The first person to say “f&%*” at a British memorial service.”
I did you a favor by putting this one last, because finally you can laugh after wiping all your tears away! In this eulogy, actor and comedian John Cleese takes just two minutes to remember the beloved Graham Chapman, famously known for his role in Monty Python. The reason why I love this eulogy so much is because, well… it’s freaking hilarious!
My favorite line is: “Well I feel I should say nonsense, good riddance to him, that freeloading bastard. And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn’t. If i threw away this opportunity to shock you all on his behalf.” What makes this eulogy so perfect is that it remembers someone’s life in the way they’d want it to be remembered, rather than the typical “norm.”
Now that you’ve watched 8 of the most amazing eulogies ever, go forth and put what you’ve learned into action! Help your families truly capture their loved one’s story, move people, and spark those life conversations. In my opinion, the best thing you can do for families is help them remember their loved one in the most unique, meaningful way possible. Good luck!
Did we miss your favorite eulogy of all time? Share your favorites in the comments below!