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20 beautiful memorial quotes for funerals

Open book of funeral quotes; memorial quotes for a funeral

Finding the right words to say at a funeral can be difficult. How can you ever put into words what a loved one meant to you or what the world will be like now they’re gone?

These inspirational funeral quotes are ideal as short readings for funerals, memorial sayings, or condolence messages. From famous writers and artists, these quotes for funerals are a touching way to say goodbye to someone you love.

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. “I fall asleep in the full and certain hope that my slumber shall not be broken; And that, though I be all-forgetting, yet shall I not be all-forgotten, but continue that life in the thoughts and deeds of those I have loved.”

Samuel Butler, novelist

4. “Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize 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. “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States

Husband and wife holding hands

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. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

Washington Irving, writer and historian

Man standing on a rock looking out to sea at sunset

9. “Death is not the end. Death can never be the end. Death is the road. Life is the traveller. The soul is the guide. Our mind thinks of death. Our heart thinks of life. Our soul thinks of immortality.”

Sri Chinmoy, spiritual leader

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. “Life and death are but phases of the same thing, the reverse and obverse of the same coin. Death is as necessary for man’s growth as life itself.”

Mahatma Gandhi, civil rights leader

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

Tintern Abbey, William Wordsworth, poet

16. “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

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

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

Little Footprints, Dorothy Ferguson, poet

18. “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

19. “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.”


20. “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

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