This eulogy is to be used at a funeral or memorial service as a sermon, speech, or for remarks by friends, family, religious officiant, leader or others. It is intended to be used to memorialize a person who had severe disabilities who has died, including a disabled child, a disabled adult, a person who has been unresponsive for an extended period and a nonverbal person, when the speaker isn’t sure what to say. It’s a difficult topic. We hope our funeral service remarks can help you speak with sympathy and dignity about the person who has died. This can be modified for other uses as well by changing some of the language or examples used.
We’re here today to remember (NAME OF DECEASED) and to honor her/his life.
I remember the first time I met (NAME). (Include anecdote about first meeting of deceased, their family or other special memory here.)
As we all know, there were things that (NAME) couldn’t do. She couldn’t walk. She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t do many things other people take for granted every day. (Modify examples as needed). When
some people looked at her, that’s what they saw – the things she couldn’t do. But that’s not what we saw, and that’s not who she was.
I’m sure that when her mother, her father and her family looked at her, they seldom saw what she couldn’t do. No, they saw the many things she could do. She could smile. She could laugh. She could feel unbridled happiness. She could love without condition. She could show her love without ever saying a word. Not everyone has those abilities.
There are people who have so many blessings that (NAME) never had, and yet don’t appreciate those blessings. They have good health but they take it for granted. They can walk but they don’t know which way to go. They have arms but they can’t use them to reach out to others. They can speak but they don’t know how to tell others they love them.
That wasn’t a problem for (NAME). She could express her love with a look, with a smile, with a squeeze, (modify examples as needed). She could even express love by showing who she felt comfortable enough to fall asleep near because she trusted she’d be cared for. She could communicate her needs with crying or fussing because she knew her family would come and help her. Love isn’t only shared through words. Love is much deeper than words.
There were more things she could do. She inspired others to try harder. By seeing her work hard to overcome her own challenges, it reminded others to work harder as well. She helped teach us about our
own strengths and gifts in this way. She also taught us how to be happy because she took joy in simple things – joy in seeing her family, joy in (mention a favorite toy, song, pet or TV show - ask the family or a caregiver for these details. Tell a story about something the deceased enjoyed.)
We could look to her for an example of perseverance and inner strength, as she continued to fight battles in health and limitations that would crush many of us. She showed us what it is to be strong, because strength is not just found in being the biggest, the toughest or the fastest. Strength is found in one who keeps on going, keeps trying, day after day, long after others give up. Strength is found in one who knows success isn’t always big and flashy, but knows that sometimes the greatest success is found in the tiniest of victories. In this way, she was a hero – just like (her parents, her family, etc) who also kept on going, day after day, through the best times and through the hardest times.
Just think of all the gifts that (NAME) gave us. Through her vulnerabilities she gave us the gift of insight and showed us things we might otherwise have missed. She helped us to see the beautiful soul of her family. Her family - the ones who bore most of the caretaking tasks, day after day, month after month. It is a special kind of dedication that enables people to put their own lives on hold so they can do everything possible to care for their loved one. It shows a deep, unrelenting love for a person to say, “If you need help, I will help you. If you cannot talk, I will be your voice. If you cannot stand, I will support you. If you cannot walk, I will carry you. I am here for you and I will stay with you through it all.” That’s just what her family did, and it’s what so many families do for their loved ones every day.
(NAME) gave us the gift of perspective. She reminded us that most of our problems are not really problems, and to be grateful for what we have. We must savor the sweet, beautiful moments we have every day, because ultimately life is fragile and someday all too soon, we must say goodbye.
She taught us about kindness and patience, because it took a lot of love, patience and dedication to care for her needs day after day. To nurture someone so completely, and to do it for so long, takes a dedication and depth of love that is hard to comprehend for those who haven’t done it. It is truly loving without condition, and it is perhaps the most beautiful and pure example of love that exists. She made that kind of love exist. She made it possible.
(NAME) gave us the gift of unconditional love. Unconditional love is loving even when it hurts, even when it’s not easy. It’s loving because you simply can’t help but love. And that is the greatest triumph of any life. To love and be loved. And (NAME) taught us how to love without words, without limits, without reasons.
And finally, (NAME) gave us the gift of beauty. Her life wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t glamorous. There were a lot of hard times, for her and for her family and friends. But she taught us that we can see past the difficulties and find the beauty, for there is always beauty.
For instance, imagine there is a day when you have big plans, big expectations, but you get up in the morning and it’s raining. The sky is dark and it’s windy and miserable. Why did it rain today, you ask.
Of all the days, why today? Why did it mess up my plans? It’s not what I expected. It’s not what I planned for. It’s not what was supposed to happen.
But if you look hard you may still find the beauty in it all. When you look out at the rain, you may see puddles and storm clouds and mud. You may see grey skies and raindrops and dreariness. Or you might look deeper and see how the rain nourishes the earth, settles the seeds and gives them roots so they can grow. You may see how the water flows from the sky to the earth to the sea and back again to the sky in a great cycle that never ends. And you might also look up to the heavens and see the rainbow and remember that it is only because we have endured through the storm that we are lucky enough to see the rainbow.
(NAME) was our rainbow. Through the tough times, through the adversity and the challenges and the pain, she shone through with a special light. It’s not fair that she shone brightly for only a short time
and then left us. Yet we can be assured that like the rainbow, she was a blessing from above. We can both mourn the loss of her life and we can celebrate the life she led and the lessons she gave us. For the best gift she gave us, was her very life. She was a gift. For all the ways she taught us about life and love, for all the ways she inspired us to be better, and for all the love she gave while she was here with us, she was a gift to each of us. May we never forget this beautiful gift. May we give strength and support to her family as they find their way in this world without her. And may we honor her memory every time we look up to the sky, look past the clouds and see the rainbow.
***In Memory of Maya Luna***
We hope this eulogy for a person with special needs, a disabled person or a nonverbal person was helpful to you. You can use this speech as is or a funeral or memorial service or modify it to meet your needs. Check out the rest of our site for helpful tips such a condolence letters, speeches and letters of recommendation.
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