Speech at my best friend’s funeral

Posted: October 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


November 2007 – Sadly 6 weeks after reading my poem ‘The Calling’ at Helen’s wedding, she was tragically killed in a car accident. The contrast of such a high followed by such an incredible low left us all unable to cope, looking for answers where none existed. I wanted to make Helen proud and quickly decided that I would write again to try and give her the send off she so deserved. I wanted to write something that people could draw strength from and use the words that she might say if she had written this herself.

I have never seen a service so full; all pews were taken, friends lined the walls a few deep and even the corridor and beyond into the car park where they listened on speakers.

Helen, you really were the best of friends…


The last couple of weeks have been a terrible time for us all, living a nightmare that we have all struggled to come to terms with, but the one thing I can say is that Helen would be so very proud of the way that everyone has been there for each other and pulled together, united in their support. It just goes to show that we all carry a little bit of Helen inside ourselves; that deeply entrenched natural instinct to care for one another. So, if we are looking for positives to come out of something this painful, it is that new friendships will be formed and cemented for life…and Helen would just love that.

Nothing was more important to Helen than those close to her, so let’s keep close to each other and do what she would want. Helen is so alive in every single one of us and between us we have so many amazing memories to share, so let’s just keep sharing them and enjoying them. She would want us to be happy. Laughter always got her through all her hard times and laughter will get us through ours. So I guess what I’m trying to say here is…and these are Helen’s words, not mine, “Don’t forget to laugh and when you do laugh, don’t feel guilty because you are supposed to be mourning for me, laugh because I am still here with you all, laugh because I can hear you.”

Your laughter and happiness is what keeps her alive and close to us, because it is the closest we can get to feeling her warmth.

So carry on as Helen would want you to, be strong, dedicate things to her, continue to make her proud…speak to her, speak about her, keep her close and in your heart.

Let the memories of Helen put the spring back in our lead-heavy legs, let the warmth of her eyes and smile dry our tears and let her voice boom out, “Stop flipping crying you softies, you’re setting me off too!!!” Whenever I hit rock bottom and start crying, I can never stay there for long before I start laughing as I remember ‘the good times’…so take a moment please to laugh those tears away by remembering some of Helen’s silliest moments with you.

We carry her with us every day wherever we go, so to Helen from all of us here today…this isn’t goodbye, it’s just a different kind of hello!

  1. Helen says:

    Really sad story Ben and such a moving writing

  2. victor Dias says:

    I thought this was so appropriate for my friend at his passing away

  3. Peggy says:

    would you mind if I use this at my best friends funeral, I can hear my best friend say this to us. This poem fits her to a tee

    • Hi Peggy,

      I’m so sorry to hear of your own loss.

      I would be honoured and flattered if you would like to use my words. Thank you for asking and once again, sorry for your loss. Too often, the only thing that can pull you through is focussing on the good stuff…no matter how difficult it seems.

      Take care and thanks for contacting me.



      • Hi Debra,

        That’s absolutely fine. Thank you so much for asking though. I am flattered and honoured that you’d like to use my words.

        Take care and I’m sorry we’re not speaking under happier circumstances.

        Warm wishes,


  4. Lian says:

    Hey Ben,
    Can I use some of your words at my best friend funeral? Thanks, Lian

  5. Eunice says:

    I love this.I will use it at my friends funeral on Tuesday.Thankyou

  6. Bel says:

    Hi Ben,
    I lost my best friend this week. One of her wishes was for me to talk at her service. this is one of the most difficult things I will do I think. I have trouble with words and to be able to come up with anything that sounds a little bit worthy is so hard. your speech has enlightened me that of course it is possible to write something that means something. I love this about your speech it. I hope you don’t mind if I take some pointers from your work. Its beautiful.

    • Hi Bel,

      I would be truly honoured and thank you very much for approaching me. Just be strong and think of giving them the send off they deserve. I like to try and inject some happiness or humour as it not only helps the audience, but it also relaxes you when you’re reading. Hey, just my thoughts but you will be fine and a true credit to your friendship.

      Take good care.


  7. Elizabeth says:

    Tomorrow is my friend’s funeral, she died in a car accident two days ago and I just started googling stuff so maybe I would find something to make me stronger and help me face tomorrow. I’m only sixteen and I have never experienced anything more painful. Your words reaply touched me and made me realise that crying is not what my friend would’ve liked to see me do. I can still hear her laugh as she was always constanrly laughing. And with this thought I think I might be able to make it through the funeral without falling apart. Thank you

    • Elizabeth,
      I’m so so sorry to hear about you losing your friend. My friend Helen also died in a tragic car accident and when someone is taken from your life unexpectedly, it is incredibly difficult to bear. People will say things that sound are so cliche, but they’re cliche for good reason and they’re only trying to help you through it. You will get through it, and you’ll do that be being strong for your friend and supporting others who need your support. Helping others, helped and always will help me as it’s my way of shining a positive light on the whole ordeal. People will remember you for it and I’m sure you’re friend would be incredibly proud of you for it. If you need anymore words, don’t be afraid to stop by and say hi again. Thank you for opening up to me; it’s a wonderful gift to have as too many keep things bottled up.
      Take care of yourself.
      Ben x

  8. Timothy says:

    Hello Ben,

    One of my best friends just pass and I was looking for some speech’s I could use and found yours. I would like to use this for part of my speech if that’s OK with you.

    • Of course that’s okay and I appreciate you checking first.

      More importantly however, I’m so so sorry to hear your news and wish you strength.

      Take good care of yourself.


  9. Andrea Smith says:

    Love this is it ok if I also use part of it in my friend’s service this week. He was 40 years old and everyone remembers a sweet kind and gentle soul.

    • Hi Andrea,

      Of course it’s okay for you to use it. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost a close friend, but I’m honoured that you would chose to use some of my words. I hope they help in some capacity and thanks for asking me.

      Take care,


  10. Stacy White says:

    Your words say exactly how I felt about my friend, Garry Works. He fought a good fight against cancer and I would love to share this at his funeral. Thanks for sharing this and helping so many express their loss through your wonderful words! Bless you

  11. Kristi says:

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I lost one of my life long friends last week in a tragic way. Your speech was so touching and fits my friend to a T. Would you mind if I used some of your speech when I speak at her services? Thank you and again I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Hi Kristi,

      I would be truly honoured that you wish to use some of my words at your friend’s service. Thank you kindly for your lovely words of support and I send you well wishes and strength for your own loss.

      Take care,


      • Yara says:

        I’m glad you took the time out and posted such lovely words.I couldnt help but use it at my dear friends funeral.He passed away last week. Youre words just made this day a bit easier. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

      • Hi Yara.

        Thank you so much for your comment and whilst I’m so sorry for your loss, I’m pleased my words helped you through.

        Take good care of yourself

  12. Sam says:

    My friend passed away 3-8-14 Would you mind if I used some of your speech when I speak at her services? Thank you and again I am so sorry for your loss.your words are very heartfelt..

  13. PatriciaB says:

    This was perfect and beautiful….I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I lost my best friend in Dec to a very long and painful battle with liver cancer. At age 43, she was definitely taken too soon. Her friends and I are having her memorial & celebration on her birthday in 2 weeks…she so loved her birthday, I think she would have loved the idea of having her friends gather for a birthday party for her one last time.

    May I use parts of this in my eulogy? Or as an outline for mine? It sounds so like something she would have loved to hear and have me say (with just a few detail changes).

    I completely understand if you are not comfortable with this & will honor what ever you say.

    Thank you & best regards,

    • Hi Patricia,

      I’m so sorry this is a rushed response to the detailed message you sent me, but I just wanted to say of course you can use my words and I hope they bring you and the audience some comfort.

      Take care.


      • traci says:

        I was so lost for words when asked to speak at my best friends funeral. I cam across your speech. Yours words were on point. I wanted to know if I could use your words of encouragement.

  14. zabryna acuan says:

    hi ben my sister has just passed two days ago and i was wondering if i could use this at her funeral

    • Hi, I am so, so sorry you have just lost your sister. If my words can be of assistance then it would be my honour for you to use them. I hope they bring you the strength you need. Take good care of yourself and thanks for asking.


  15. Jag says:

    Hi Ben, my friend passed away a few days ago in a plane crash that he was piloting. I want to say a few words and felt some of your lines would help. The most help is maintaining my composure and not breaking down. Please let me know if you can give me any pointers. Such a wonderful speech, that is very well heart felt.

    • Oh my word, I am so truly sorry to hear of such a tragic loss. If my words can help you in any possible way then please be my guest Jag.

      I will email you directly if you’d like to contact me as I’m more than happy to help in any way I can. My advise to you would be to say what you feel you want and need to say and to not worry about breaking down, even if it happens on the day. You’re delivering these words for your friend and nothing is more important than that and in their honour. Speak as if they are still with you, speak with love in your voice think of all that is good and all that is positive that they brought into yours and everybody else’s world. Just caring for them enough to look for inspiration online says how much the mean to you.

      I will email you now,

      Be strong…Ben

      • Jag says:

        Thanks Ben, appreciate the kind words. I will let you know if I need any additional help. The best thing is to say what is coming from the heart. Thanks again for your guidance.

  16. Chris says:

    Such an amazing speech. I had a very close family friend that passed recently and was like a second mother to me. She went very fast. Could I use some of your speech in the one I will be giving? Thank you.

    • Hi Chris,

      Of course you can use some of this speech – I’d be honoured and thank you kindly for asking. I’m so, so sorry to hear of the loss of someone so very close to you.

      Take care,


  17. Tiffany says:

    Ben ~

    I feel very thankful I found and read your speech. My friend passed away on Sunday and I am going to speak at his memorial on Saturday. I can think of a lot of things I want to say but can not find the words to say it. I know that really doesn’t make sense but know that reading yours has helped put my thoughts into writing. I was hoping to use a little of what you wrote, if you don’t mind?

    • Hi Tiffany,

      Absolutely, you can use as much of this as you wish. My heart goes out to anyone in your situation, so if my words can go some way towards making a positive difference then I’m honoured and flattered.

      Take good care of yourself.


  18. Michelle fasano says:

    Really a beautiful eulogy Ben. It would really help to use some of it at my best friends memorial tomorrow.

    Thank you,


  19. Debbie says:

    Ben, I’m so sorry to hear of your friends death, but your words have touched many. I have been ask to speak at my friends death. She fought cancer for almost 2 years, I would love to use some of your words.

  20. Cheri says:

    One of my best friends died yesterday. They have asked me to speak at his funeral. I came across your speech and just cried whenI read it as it says everything I feel in my heart. I was wondering if it would be ok to use some of your words. Thank you and God bless you💞

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I’m truly, truly sorry to hear of the sad news that your friend passed yesterday. Thank you for your own beautifully supportive and moving words. I would be honoured if you use some of my words. Whatever helps…and remember the good times as I said.
      My thoughts are with you…

  21. bevan mabudi says:

    Thanks for the story from bevan mabudi at heuningvlei _

  22. richard batterton says:

    Hi Ben,
    I just read your “Speech at my best friend’s funeral”. I am so sorry for your lost. I lost my best friend to cancer recently and the memorial service is Sat. morning. I have been struggling with putting the right words to paper, and worrying about being able to even speak then aloud without just losing it emotionally. Even as I recount funny stories and misadventures I start to buckle
    Been, I don’t know whether you posted this for yourself or for others too ,but your words really resonated with me. And your description of your friend reminds me so much of Danny. Would you have any objection to my adapting your words and using parts of your speech to read to the family and friends. I will understand if you say no. Please reply as soon as you are able.
    Thank you,

  23. Debbie says:

    Hi I lost my best friend on 7th July to cancer words cannot express how I feel or how much I hurt I found your message and it truly inspired me is it possible to use some of your thoughtful words my heads a blank I would be most grateful .

    • Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for asking, but please be my guest as use as much as you wish in the hope it gives you and others the strength you need at such a challenging time. I’m so sorry to hear of your terrible loss.

      Take care,


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