Saying goodbye is often difficult, and it can be hard to find the words to express how you feel about a loved one who has passed. When you don’t have adequate words of your own to celebrate a life, quotes can be a personalised and uplifting choice.
Quotes chosen for a celebration of life are often different than those chosen for traditional funerals. Celebrations of life focus on finding meaning in a life well-lived, striking a more uplifting tone, and including meaningful, personal details about your loved one. Many families choose a quote from a famous author, stanza from a favourite poem or lyric from a favourite song, in addition to a selection from the Bible or other religious work. These quotes can be printed on the cover of a funeral program, engraved on mementos or used to open a eulogy or close a service.
Here are some quotes to consider for your loved one’s celebration of life, including:
Inspiring celebration of life quotes
Inspiring celebration of life quotes touch on how to live life to the fullest and remind us to love each day.
People living deeply have no fear of death.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.
It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.
The boundaries between life and death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends and where the other begins?
—EDGAR ALLAN POE
Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.
How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?
A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others.
Lives are like rivers: eventually they go where they must. Not where we want them to.
Celebration of life quotes to help with grief
You may be struggling with how exactly to manage the deep sadness that comes with losing a loved one.
Say not in grief that he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was.
Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.
Grief is the price we pay for love.
If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.
Sometimes, when one person is absent, the whole world seems depopulated.
—ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE
If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.
If you ever lose someone dear to you, never say the words they’re gone. They’ll come back.
Remembering is an act of resurrection, each repetition a vital layer of mourning, in memory of those we are sure to meet again.
To die completely, a person must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.
Uplifting celebration of life quotes
A memorial service doesn’t have to be a somber occasion. For a bright spot, look to these quotes from artists, historical figures, poets and advocates.
Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.
Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well-used brings happy death.
—LEONARDO DA VINCI
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.
The connections we make in the course of life—maybe that’s what heaven is.
I can’t think of a more wonderful thanksgiving for the life I have had than that everyone should be jolly at my funeral.
—ADMIRAL LORD MOUNTBATTEN
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
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.
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.
Every life is noted and is cherished, and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.
The comfort of having a friend may be taken away but not that of having had one.
Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.
Celebration of life quotes for Mum
She packed your lunches and sewed your costumes—and she was always the first person you called with good news. Here are some quotes that may capture her sweet spirit and everlasting impression.
You are gone, but thank you for all these soft, sweet things you left behind. In my home, in my head, in my heart.
The world changes from year to year, our lives from day to day, but the love and memory of you, shall never pass away.
She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.
Say not in grief that she is no more, but say in thankfulness that she was. A death is not the extinguishing of a light but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.
If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my own garden forever.
All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
Only a moment you stayed but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts.
Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.
There is something about losing a mother that is permanent and inexpressible—a wound that will never quite heal
Celebration of life quotes for Dad
He was your protector, your cheerleader and a guy you could always depend on. Look to some of these quotes and ideas to perfectly describe the man you miss so much.
Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.
A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.
When he shall die take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.
My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
—CLARENCE BUDINGTON KELLAND
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children.
This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments—and you get the tears at the end, too.
Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever.
There is no expiration date on the love between a father and his child.
When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him lies on the paths of men.
—HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Funny celebration of life quotes
Don’t be afraid to inject a little humour into the celebration of life. For some, that’s the most familiar way of dealing with a hard time.
I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
Immortality … a fate worse than death.
—EDGAR A. SHOAFF
I’m always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize that I’m listening to it.
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
—W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Life is stressful, dear. That’s why they say ‘rest in peace.
The idea is to die young as late as possible.
Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people live.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Religious celebration of life quotes
These verses from the Bible and words written by famous poets and writers look to a higher power to bring peace. Here are a few favourites that are used often in more traditional memorial services.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.
There is nothing easy about losing a loved one no matter the circumstance. Your heart is broken and your soul weeps for the loss BUT knowing that there are people that will handle the whole process of celebrating a life with the utmost professionalism, sensitivity, and respect is absolutely priceless.
—NADINE T., SUGAR LAND, TX
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He has me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters. He revives my soul; He guides me on paths of righteousness for His glory. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no harm, For you are with me … Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall abide in the house of the Lord forever.
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
—GEORGE S. PATTON JR.
Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.
This is my comfort in my affliction; that your promise gives me life.
If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.
They will come back, come back again, as long as the red earth rolls. He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think He would squander souls?
If God hath made this world so fair; Where sin and death abound; How beautiful beyond compare; Will paradise be found!
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.