Whether you are saying goodbye for an extended period or saying your final farewells, it can be hard to find the right words.
How do you say goodbye to someone you’ve always counted on? If that person who means more to you than anything is dying… what do you say?
We have compiled a list of quotes, sayings, and poems. Please help yourself to any one of them; combine some. Make your goodbye meaningful and heartfelt.
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100 Best Saying Goodbye Quotes to Someone You Love
Goodbyes are complicated. Some goodbyes are gut-wrenching, while others can feel underwhelming and leave you wondering if you should have said more.
We’re here to help with that. So whether you are saying goodbye for a brief parting or the rest of your life, read on for inspiration, quotes, and advice.
20 Simple Ways to Say Goodbye
We’ll start with some short, brief goodbye quotes. Say one of these when leaving your final visit, or write it in a card to your loved one.
1. Goodbye, my dearest.
2. Farewell, my friend.
3. You will be greatly missed.
4. You are forever in our hearts.
5. Until we meet again.
6. I will never forget you.
7. Thank you for the memories.
8. Thank you for the life we shared.
9. I’m so glad you were in my life.
10. Godspeed, my sweet friend.
11. It’s so hard to say goodbye.
12. Goodbye, for now.
13. I will always love you.
14. I miss you already.
15. Thank you for all the days you made brighter.
16. You’ve been such an important part of my life.
17. I am so glad we got to spend our lives together.
18. We’ll see each other in the next life.
19. I’ll miss you.
20. You really are forever in my heart.
Meaningful Ways to Say Goodbye
Saying goodbye can happen at different times and in different ways. You don’t have to formally say farewell, or say everything all at once. You can do it over several days or visits, if time allows.
Consider writing a card or letter. This is something that you can give them as you part, leaving them with some meaningful and thought-out written words. Many of the quotes in this article are ideal for writing in a letter or card.
21. My tears are saying what my words cannot. Goodbye, my dearest loved one.
22. Even though you’ve gone out of my life, you will be forever in my heart.
23. Good friends never say goodbye. They simply say, “See you soon.” So, my friend… I’ll see you soon.
24. “It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad, and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” – Ernie Harwell, sportscaster
25. You will always be my favorite hello and hardest goodbye.
26. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne
27. “I won’t say goodbye, my friend, for you and I will meet again.” – Tom Petty
28. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
29. Goodbye is necessary before we can meet again.
30. Time and distance will not come between us.
31. To let go takes love. I love you, and I know you love me too. Goodbye, dear one.
32. For those that love with their heart and soul, there is no separation.
33. The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again. – Charles Dickens
34. My life will forever be better because you’ve been part of it.
35. I’ve been beyond lucky to know you.
36. You’ve touched so many lives – mostly mine.
37. Thank you for allowing me to visit. I’m so glad we were able to spend this time together, and I will always treasure it.
38. I am praying for you and will be thinking of you often.
39. I want you to know that you’ve meant so much to me. Words can’t say what I truly mean; I just want to say that I love you, I will miss you, and you will always be in my heart.
40. Thank you for being in my life. I’m going to go now, but know that I’ll be thinking of you and I’m so glad we got to see each other and spend this time together. Goodbye!
41. The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
– Numbers 6:24-26
42. May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
– Traditional Irish Blessing
43. May the long-time sun shine upon you.
All love surround you.
And the pure light within you guide your way on.
– Irish Sun Blessing
44. There are no
Goodbyes for us.
Wherever you are, you will
Always be in my heart.
45. God be with you till we meet again,
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.
– Jeremiah Eames Rankin
Saying Goodbye Poems
46. Goodbyes are not forever,
Goodbyes are not the end;
It simply means I’ll miss you
Until we meet again.
47. The two hardest
things to say in
life are hello for
the first time
and goodbye for
48. Too many times, we leave things until later
Sometimes later never comes and the moments are lost
We never get the chance to say the most important thing
That is to say, I loved you and goodbye
Our lives are like a second in each day
Here for a brief moment and forever gone away
Any tears of sorrow we leak from our eyes
Are there because of our missed chances
I loved you and goodbye
49. In every room of our time together there is a box
Of memories we shared.
Now is the time to pack away
With sadness and with care.
– Adrian Baillie
50. May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
51. Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again. – William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
52. It always is harder to be left behind than to be the one to go. – Bodie & Brock Thoene, Shiloh Autumn
53. Farewell, my great one, my own, farewell, my pride, farewell, my swift, deep, dear river, how I loved your daylong splashing, how I loved to plunge into your cold waves. – Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
54. There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart. – Mahatma Gandhi
55. You’ve changed me forever. And I’ll never forget you. – Kiera Cass, The Elite
How to Say Goodbye to a Loved One Who Is Dying
When your loved one is nearing death, it is important to end each conversation so that it will be okay if it is the last time you ever speak.
Saying goodbye to a dying loved one is never easy, but please, make an effort. It will bring closure for you and comfort for your loved one.
The things you say will depend on the relationship you have with that person. Being honest, compassionate, and frank will help you both enjoy these cherished moments together.
Please take into account the individual’s feelings and what this process has been like for him. By telling your friend goodbye, you are letting him know the relationship is important to you.
Let your friend know what they mean to you.
56. You’ve always been there for me, and that has meant the world to me.
57. You’re closer than a brother/sister to me.
58. Whenever I needed support, comfort, and encouraging word, or to be challenged, you were always the one I would turn to.
59. You’ve made me the person I am today, and for that I am so grateful.
Try to visit your friend often.
60. I enjoyed catching up with you! If time permits, can I come see you again?
61. I know things will get more and more difficult in the coming days, but I’d still like to be here for you as much as possible. Can I come back tomorrow?
62. I’m just going to keep showing up. Feel free to tell me you can’t see me that day, I won’t be offended. I just want you to know I care, and that I’m here for you.
Find out what is scaring him the most. Try to give him comfort and reassurance.
63. Do you want to talk about anything?
64. I can’t fathom what you’re going through right now, but if you want to talk about anything, I’m here.
65. Are you worried about anything? You can talk to me about anything – pain, regrets, God, anything at all.
66. Jesus has gone through this and he has you in his hands. He knows, and he cares.
Offer to help in any way they may need.
67. Is there anything you would like me to tell the doctor/nurse/your family/etc?
68. Would you like me to read to you?
69. I’m ready help with anything you need – writing letters, planning the funeral, or just watching reruns of Friends.
70. I can go anytime you like, and I can stay as long as you like. Just let me know.
Revisit memories and good times.
71. I was thinking today about that time we…
72. Remember when…
Take your leave in such a way that you would have peace about it being the last time you see each other.
73. I’ll be praying for you and thinking of you often.
74. We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
75. I hope you feel surrounded by much love.
76. Our friendship will endure in this world and the next.
77. A great friend is something to be cherished, whether they remain by our side in this life or wait for us in the next. You are a great friend, and I will miss and love you always.
78. Goodbye, my dear one. May we meet again in heaven.
Saying Goodbye to a Terminal Patient
When you know someone is terminal, please don’t wait until the last minute to say your goodbyes. It is normal to feel anxious when talking about dying with someone nearing the end of life; what is most important is what the dying person needs.
Listen for cues that the person is ready to talk about dying. For example, they may talk about not being around for next Christmas or some other event. When you think you hear such a cue, you might ask, “Do you want to talk more about it?”
Deal with regrets.
79. I’ve been feeling sorry about something that happened between us, and I’d like to apologize for it.
Then, after describing the issue, be sure to say,
80. Please forgive me.
Express affection and thanks.
81. I love you and appreciate you.
82. Thank you for all the positive ways you have touched my life.
83. I don’t think you know how much you have affected my life. Thank you for your love and friendship.
84. I love you. – Say it often! And say it sincerely.
Communicate with touch.
When words are no longer necessary or perhaps even possible, you can still connect with a gentle touch. A simple touch reminds him that he’s not alone.
Write a card or letter. Here are some beautiful thoughts to inspire.
85. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift – that’s why it’s called ‘the present.’ – Bill Keane
86. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
87. Let nothing trouble you; let nothing frighten you. All things are passing.
88. Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it today. – Peter Kuzmic
89. Don’t let pain define you; let it refine you. – Tim Fargo
Ask questions and offer help.
Knowing what to say to someone who is dying and when to say it can be difficult.
Follow your loved one’s lead. Some people who know they are dying avoid talking about it right up until the moment of death, while others are full of cheer and can even joke about it.
Whether fearful, jovial, quiet, loud, full of faith, full of anxiety, or peaceful and untroubled, everyone still has questions and fears about death. This is a normal part of the human condition.
Your dying friend may wonder what to expect when death is near. Don’t ignore his concerns. Instead, invite your friend to share his feelings. Ask questions.
90. What else are you experiencing?
91. What do you feel about what is happening?
92. Should we discuss this with your doctor?
93. What do you need most from me?
Quotes for a Dying Friend
94. Death ends a life, not a relationship.
95. One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. – Friedrich Nietzsche
96. We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will. – Chuck Palahniuk
97. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. – Kahlil Gibran
98. What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. – Helen Keller
99. I love you.
Saying Goodbye at a Funeral
Does your loved one hear you when you say goodbye at the funeral? We don’t know, but many people find comfort in saying a final farewell at the service, visitation, committal, or cremation.
Whether you’re attending a funeral of a friend or grieving the loss of someone very close to you, here are some things to keep in mind as you say your final farewell at the funeral.
- It is ok to touch the body of your loved one.
- Say a brief farewell at the funeral, as others will be in line behind you.
- For a longer goodbye, do so at the viewing or committal service. If there aren’t other options, you can always visit the grave and say your goodbyes there.
- Avoid being boisterous.
- Offer your sincere condolences to the family.
- You do not have to visit or view the casket.
- Dress conservatively. This is about the family, and you shouldn’t steal the limelight.
- You can wear other colors than black. Navy blue, gray, or neutral tones are acceptable. What you wear at the service is another way you show your respect for the deceased and the family.
Saying Goodbye When Missing the Funeral
When you can’t make it to the funeral, it’s appropriate to call, text, and/or write a card to show your sympathy and support. We have plenty of ideas on what to say in a sympathy card, but here are some ways to say your goodbyes even from far away.
- Say goodbye in a post, tweet, or tag on your loved one’s social media profile (here are some simple “RIP” messages)
- Call the grieving family members to express sympathy, and say your goodbye in prayer or blessing
- Send a memorial gift that honors the departed loved one
- Watch the virtual funeral or memorial service (if offered) and say your goodbyes in a chat or post, or simply say it out loud
- At a later in-person visit or via Zoom, raise a glass in memory of your loved one
Learn more here: Etiquette for Missing a Funeral
What to Say to the Grieving Family
For information and inspiration on what to say to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, we have several resources.
- 101 Condolence Messages – Examples of what to say or write in a condolence card
- 7 Tips for What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving – Exactly what it sounds like
- How to Comfort Someone Who Is Grieving Through Text – You can send a text message right now and it will be meaningful
My sincere condolences to anyone that has lost a friend or family member. Saying goodbye is never easy.