Today we’re going to take a look at how to write a tribute to a brother who passed away.
The loss of a brother can be so incredibly hard, and writing a tribute for him can seem like a huge challenge.
No one else shared your childhood memories the way he did, and no one better deserves a heartfelt eulogy or tribute reflective of all the great things he accomplished in his life. But when it comes time to honor your dear brother, it can be difficult to know what to say.
Even if you and your brother had a complicated relationship, the passing of a family member is a heavy weight. We hope this list helps you to lighten your load, and to craft a beautiful goodbye message.
What Can I Say at My Brother’s Funeral?
Honoring your brother with a heartfelt tribute doesn’t mean that it has to be incredibly serious the whole time. He would love a bit of humor or perhaps an anecdote, don’t you think?
You can share as little or as much as you’d like; we just don’t recommend speaking “off the cuff.” It’s good to think about it, ask other family members, and above all, write it down.
Even if it’s only a short letter, you never know if your mind (and well-crafted words) will draw a blank, especially with all of the emotions you may be going through.
How is a Tribute Different from a Eulogy or Obituary?
A tribute to a brother who passed away can be something that’s delivered while he is still living, while a eulogy is strictly for someone who has passed on.
While eulogies are typically on the sad side (naturally), both tributes and eulogies can also include some lighthearted memories, stories, or even a joke that your loved one would have enjoyed.
How to Write a Tribute to Your Brother
First of all, don’t rush the process! Take time to choose the right words; ones that incorporate beautiful memories and also remind the audience of your brother’s most well-loved qualities.
Just like when writing any other speech, have both a highlighter and an eraser handy. Once started, the words might flow quickly and easily, but don’t get discouraged if you find it difficult to begin. We’ll provide some tips down below.
It is a good idea that once you’ve finished, you put it away for a day or two, then re-read to gain some perspective before editing.
1. Start with an Interesting Introduction
One of the first things you want to do is introduce yourself. Not everyone in the audience knows who you are, so it’s best to do so before beginning your heartfelt (or emotional) tribute.
You can say something like, “My name is Helen, and I was the favorite of Brian’s siblings.” That would get a chuckle, help everyone to relax, and would be a great way to start.
2. Provide a Brief Overview of His Life
You certainly don’t have to include every year of his life or his entire childhood, but focus on the important highlights.
His early years, schooling, his best friends, favorite holiday traditions, the career he built, his beloved wife and family, and so on.
Related: Inspirational Eulogy Examples
3. Celebrate His Accomplishments and Challenges
Was he the first in the family to graduate college? How about if he had a military career? Did he battle some unique disabilities or personal demons and conquer them?
There are lots of things you can bring up to really highlight the bravery and determination he showed during his life here on earth, however long or short it may have been.
4. Let His Unique Personality Shine
If he was a jokester, he would probably love to be remembered for that! Or perhaps, if he was an artist or craftsman, you could showcase the joy he derived from working with his hands. Known for his bad dance moves, wacky haircuts, or mad trivia skills? Nothing is really off the table.
Sometimes it’s the simple things, like the way he was a great friend to anyone he met, or the special relationship(s) he formed with animals.
Or perhaps your brother’s heart was most present in the complex things? Maybe it was the beautiful way he counseled good friends and family through depression or mental illness, or helped others during financially hard times.
Whatever showcases who he really was, his heart and his mentality, is the best for honoring his memory.
5. Tell a Story That Shows His Character
Reach into your memory banks and pull out one or two stories that really reveal his character!
This can range from old childhood memories of being lovingly picked on by him, to the way he came through for you when you were struggling through your darkest days as a young adult, and he set you back on a healthy path.
Whatever you choose, just ensure he remains the focus.
6. Include Personal Interests
Whether it’s a love for golf, board games, traveling, or underwater basket weaving, talk about how much he loved his passions!
There might be a few the audience doesn’t know about, so this is your chance to share his quirky, nerdy, or eccentric side.
7. Share a Life Lesson You Learned From Him
Your brother probably taught you a lot about life, let’s face it. If he was your big brother, you likely learned how not to pull the wool over your parent’s eyes! Or maybe he taught you how to be thrifty with your money, how to drive, or how to dress for your first date.
If he was your baby brother you might have looked after him, which taught you responsibility and gave you your first taste of what it might be like to be a parent.
8. Celebrate His Faith
If he was a man of faith, that is an important topic to include to create a beautiful tribute, as it was an integral part of his life’s journey.
Mentioning his religion, experiences, highs and lows, and highlighting them would mean the world to him.
9. Express Gratitude & Offer Condolences
Thank the audience for coming, for honoring your late sibling with their presence, and for comforting one another during this difficult time.
Be vulnerable and sincere, and don’t forget to offer your own condolences to them as well. He will be missed by each and every one there!
10. Honor His Legacy
If he had children, make sure to mention them fondly, and to remind them how much he loved them and lived for them.
Talk about how the whole family will honor his legacy by doing something specific: planting a tree in his memory, scheduling a vacation each year together, putting together a slideshow, or toasting him at his gravesite on his birthday are just a few examples.
Short Memorial Quotes to Honor Your Brother
Here are some short quotes to help inspire you as you are writing your tribute:
- “There is a little boy inside the man who is my brother… Oh, how I hated that little boy. And how I love him too.”—Anna Quindlen
- “Never make a companion equal to a brother.” — Hesiod
- “I had a brother who was my savior, who made my childhood bearable.” — Maurice Sendak
- “Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet.” — Vietnamese Proverb
- “There is no love like the love for a brother. There is no love like the love from a brother.” — Astrid Alauda
- “From the time we’re born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and our cautionary tales.” — Jeffrey Kluger
- “Because brothers don’t let each other wander in the dark alone.” — Jolene Perry
- “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.”— Marc Brown
- “How do people make it through life without a brother?” — Unknown
- “After a girl is grown, her little brothers — now her protectors — seem like big brothers.” — Terri Guillemets
- “Brothers don’t necessarily have to say anything to each other — they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other.” — Leonardo DiCaprio
Examples of Tributes to a Brother
The best tribute for a brother is one that combines memories with a lot of heart and maybe a little bit of humor (if that suited his personality).
Try to mix and match your stories, from funny to moving or inspiring. Be sure to include the other important people in his life, too (no need to make it all about you).
Here are some short tribute ideas to get your imagination going. We hope you find them helpful!
Short Tribute to a Brother Who Passed Away
As I reflected on my brother’s life this week, I was once again blown away by the way he loved his people. He loved long and with forgiveness.
That was such an inspiration to me! Going forward, I hope I can be remembered with as much love as we all remember him.
He left behind a legacy that will stand the test of time — from his awesome children, to his stunning wife, to his naughty Golden Retriever. He impacted all of us so well!
Heartwarming Tribute to a Brother Who Passed Away
What a beautiful man my brother was! While his life on earth was tragically short, he lived more in those years than most do in a hundred. He was my best friend and my confidante, but as I look around, I recognize so many who would say the same about him! That leaves me with such joy and pride.
My patient, gentle, and loving brother was a true friend to so many. He was an advocate for the unlovable, you could say! I should know — I was one at one time. He never judged, and was such a great listener.
I am so proud that he passed on those qualities to those around him. May we live better lives because he was here, and honor the memory of my brother by doing so.
Christian Tribute to My Late Brother
My brother was a man who loved God, and oh, how God loved him! They are rejoicing together now in heaven — probably telling silly jokes and going fishing. He lived the most God honoring life he could, and his faithfulness to Christ was an encouragement to so many.
While we on earth will miss him with every fiber of our beings, we know he is spending eternal life in bliss and happiness with his Savior, just waiting patiently at the gates of heaven for us to finish the journey and join him.
His life, morals, and convictions never wavered. His manner of living and faith always matched up, even when it was hard. May you fly high with the angels, my brother!
Inspiring Tributes for My Older Brother
Just as he inspired us to live large, laugh often, and love all the time, so will we promise to do the same! My brother inspired all of us, and we pledge today to not sully those memories by wallowing in grief, or forgetting what he practiced and preached every day.
Watching his little children now reminds me that his legacy lives on and will never die. We will honor you, brother, by living well, talking about you often, and sharing with the world the joy you brought into it.
Heartfelt Tributes for My Younger Brother
What can I do other than share the bittersweet memories and feelings I have for this man, my brother? He was always there for me, not just in words, but in actions and truths.
From the first time we snuck out through the bedroom window (sorry, Mom and Dad) and crazy holidays, to summer camps and sharing a car throughout high school — he and I were an integral part of one another’s lives and hearts.
What to say when you lose a part of your soul? Brother, you will be missed and mourned for a long time, and never forgotten. Thank you for being my brother. You were the most meaningful gift I ever received.
In Loving Memory of My Beloved Brother
With all of the slideshows that have been on repeat in my head since we lost you, I have remembered the good times and the bad!
You were a complex character, and yet all of my favorite memories were spent with you. Now, without my partner in crime, I am left alone and a bit scared — kind of like when we lost Mom in the grocery store that one time.
Going on without you seems to be a crime of sorts! Yet, you would want us to go on indeed, and to live our best lives. Thank you for being our example, and we wish you peace, Brother.
Words for Someone Who Lost Their Brother
My heart grieves with you and for you.
Siblings are the most wonderful friends. I am so sorry you lost your brother.
I know you are hurting right now. Please let me know what I can do.
He was such a special person! Know that he was loved.
I always adored your brother. What a shining star he was!
I feel so lucky to have known him, even just a little.
May your family feel loved and embraced in this difficult time.
I’ll always remember him with such fondness and so many wonderful memories!