We take a look at some of the greatest and most notable eulogies that have been created. A great eulogy makes a great funeral, it seems strange to consider any funeral as great, but it should be a memorable funeral, for that is what makes it great, it will stand-out in your memory amongst the many funerals you will probably attend in your lifetime.
It’s never an easy job writing a eulogy. Finding the words to condense a lifetime’s worth of love into one speech is an incredible challenge. Whether you’re attempting to write a eulogy of your own, are drafting one for a loved one’s funeral or are simply interested in what other people have come up with, read on as we look at some of the most famous eulogies and obituaries from throughout history.
Bindi Irwin at Steve Irwin aka The Crocodile Hunter’s funeral
Nothing is quite as moving as the word’s from a child after a loved one has passed away. Steve had an extremely high profile death and there was a huge amount of pressure on his daughter to live up to his wildlife loving reputation. At his funeral she delivered a moving speech that was heartfelt, sweet and endearing. “My Daddy was my hero – he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things, but most of all he was fun… When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it’s our turn to help Daddy,” said Bindi.
Oprah Winfrey at the funeral of Rosa Parks
Some eulogies are funny, some are sad and some are downright dramatic. When she stood up and spoke at the funeral of close friend Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey certainly knew how to pull off the last style. “So I thank you again, Sister Rosa, for not only confronting the one white man whose seat you took, not only confronting the bus driver, not only for confronting the law, but for confronting history, a history that for 400 years said that you were not even worthy of a glance, certainly no consideration. I thank you for not moving,” said Winfrey. A fitting tribute for a woman who did so much for racial equality.
Lee Strasberg speaking at Marilyn Monroe’s funeral
“In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.” These were beautiful words from someone who knew the real Marilyn Monroe.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eulogy delivered by Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy
One of the most poignant ways to write a moving eulogy is to quote the deceased themselves. In this passage Ted Kennedy cites words of wisdom from Jackie herself, sharing them with funeral guests for an incredibly personal tribute. “She once said that if you “bungle raising your children nothing else much matters in life.” She didn’t bungle. Once again, she showed how to do the most important thing of all, and do it right,” he says.
Goodbye England’s Rose (Candle in the Wind) by Elton John
When Princess Diana passed away the world fell into a state of mourning. While close friend Elton John didn’t speak at her Westminster Abbey funeral he did release a musical eulogy that touched the hearts and souls of the nation. Some record executives claim it’s the number one best-selling single of all time.
What’s your most memorable eulogy of all time? We hope we’ve inspired one if you have one to write.
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