How to write a tribute for a colleague who has passed away

Published: 6/11/2023

Losing a colleague can be an exceptionally tough time. They're more than just a coworker, they're a friend - sometimes even a best friend. Such a loss can leave a big gap in your professional and personal life and it can be hard to replace the bonds, skills and experiences they brought into your life.

How to write a tribute for a colleague
How to write a tribute for a colleague

In this article, we will do our best to help guide you through the process of creating a heartfelt tribute that pays respect to your departed colleague's life and contributions, helping you navigate the difficulty of saying your final goodbye.

Reflect on their impact

Before you put pen to paper, take some time to reflect on the positive moments your work mate had on your work and personal life. Reflect on their accomplishments, qualities and the special moments you shared. Think about the qualities that made your work friend unique. Were they dedicated, compassionate, entertaining or exceptionally talented in their work? Taking time to remember them and special moments shared will help you write a tribute that captures their essence.

Personalise your tribute

A tribute is a personal message, so try best you can to infuse your own emotions into it. By sharing personal touches, anecdotes and stories that showcase their personality and impact, you will make the tribute more relatable and authentic.

Express gratitude

A very thoughtful element of a tribute is expressing genuine gratitude. Your colleague's presence and contributions likely made a big difference in your work life and perhaps even personal life. Take a moment to reflect on that. Did they inspire you with their dedication? Did their guidance help you grow professionally? Were they a source of support during challenging times?

Whether you’re reminiscing about a childhood friend, colleague, favourite aunty or partner, everyone has a story worth sharing.
Whether you’re reminiscing about a childhood friend, colleague, favourite aunty or partner, everyone has a story worth sharing.

You might like to highlight specific instances or qualities that made you thankful for their presence. Share how their actions, however big or small, enriched the workplace and made it a better environment for everyone. Whether it was their cheerful demeanour that brightened your day or their unwavering commitment to teamwork, acknowledging these aspects in your tribute will not only honour their memory but also provide comfort to those who knew and appreciated them.

Use appropriate tone

Consider the tone of your tribute. It should strike a thoughtful balance between respect and warmth. Avoid overly formal language if it doesn't reflect your colleague's personality, but also avoid being too casual. 

Share inspirational quote

Incorporating inspirational quotes or sayings that your work mate admired can add depth to your tribute. It can also provide comfort and inspiration to those who read it.   If you are looking for inspiration, check out our collection of poems and songs here.

Review and revise

After you've written your tribute, take some time to read over it a few times to make sure your words flow smoothly. Reading it aloud can help you identify any areas that need improvement.   9. Seek feedback It's a good idea to share your tribute draft with a trusted colleague or friend. They can provide valuable feedback and help you ensure that your tribute truly honours your departed colleague.

Share and preserve

Once your tribute is complete, share it with your colleagues, friends and the family of your departed colleague. It's a beautiful gesture that can provide comfort during a difficult time. Consider preserving the tribute in a way that ensures it can be cherished and revisited in the future.

Writing a tribute for a colleague is a special opportunity to celebrate their life and legacy. It also helps you to express your emotions and share the impact they had on your life and the lives of others. Remember, it's not just about the words you choose; it's about the love and gratitude you convey through those words for they will become a source of comfort and inspiration to all who read them.

Express gratitude for a colleague who has passed. Share their story or eulogy online for free today with My Tributes here.

By Kirsten Jakubenko  

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