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How to write a eulogy for a mother

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What is a eulogy for mother?

A eulogy is a short funeral speech where you share memories and reflect on a person who died.

At this sad time of your mother’s death, you might have been asked to write and deliver her eulogy. You’ll want to do your best to write a heartfelt piece that honours her memory.

A good eulogy will capture your mother’s important life events in just a few short minutes. It’s a chance to share your feelings about her and a few stories with the people who also love and care about your mum.

Writing a eulogy for your beloved mother can be empowering and help you through the initial stage of grief.

There’s no score to aim for or an exam to pass. Any eulogy delivered with love and respect is a good eulogy.

On this page we cover everything you need to know about how to write a eulogy for your mum. But if you want to start working on the eulogy with insights from expert funeral directors, download a copy of our Eulogy Workbook. It includes suggestions for what you could write.

[Download the work with eulogy samples now]

Planning the eulogy

Brainstorming ideas for your mother’s eulogy and planning it out will make it so much easier to write. Spending a bit of time upfront thinking about what you want to say and gathering the facts about you mother’s life will make the overall process much simpler.

By reflecting and taking notes, you’ll see the big picture that connects your memories with the important aspects of your mother’s life and the person she was.

Brainstorm ideas

Think about the people who will be at the funeral and the kinds of things they’d like to hear about your mother. A funeral is not the time to shock or embarrass people with revelations. Be honest but focus on the positives.

Maybe the people who will attend don’t know much about her earlier life and you can fill in the gaps for them. Or perhaps they haven’t seen her in recent years and want to know how her last years unfolded.

Write down your significant memories of you mother.

When you spend time with your other family members and her close friends, ask them to share their memories. Take notes.

Identify a theme

After reflecting on your mother’s life, you’ll probably see a central theme emerge. It might be about her kindness and how she was always looking out for others. It might be about her marvellous sense of humour or her mischievous streak.

Once you have identified a theme, you can write your eulogy around this. You can use the theme to filter out the stories and information that don’t fit.

While a theme isn’t necessary, it can help tie together the important events of her life and your memories.

Write down significant life events

As well as your own memories, ask family members and friends about the big events they remember from your mum’s life.

Make a note of things like her:

  • marriage
  • first job
  • education
  • favourite things she liked to do
  • children and grandchildren
  • volunteering activities
  • travel
  • talents

Decide on your tone

The tone you use will depend on the circumstance of her death and your relationship with your mother.

If your mother died at the end of a long and happy life, then there’s much to celebrate with warmth and good humour.

But if your mother is quite young and dies tragically or unexpectedly, then the funeral is likely to be a sadder and more somber occasion.

However, it’s always good to aim for an informal, conversational tone in your eulogy as though you’re talking to friends, which you will be.

How long it should a eulogy be?

Eulogies are short speeches. They usually run from 3 to 5 minutes, but sometimes they are as long as 10 minutes.

A 5-minute speech is around 600 to 750 words, which is not long. This works out to be around 2 or 3 A4 pages.

It might feel like a challenge to have to fit someone’s whole life into a short speech, but you don’t need to. Others will speak at the funeral and share their memories of your mother, too.

By planning the eulogy before writing it can help you fit the most important pieces of information and choose the best memories to share.

Writing the eulogy

Opening statement

In the opening statement, address why you’re there. State who your mother was and what she was known for.

Share who you are and what your connection to her is.

Thank people for coming, especially those who travelled a significant distance to be there.

State your mother’s basic biographic details

You can state your mother’s biographical details in chronological order, but it doesn’t have to read like an obituary. These basic details include things like:

  • her full name (including her maiden name if she changed her name)
  • nicknames and what other relatives called her
  • who her parents were and their names
  • where and when she was born.

There might be other details you think are important to include here, too.

Mention loved ones

Mention other loved ones who were close to your mother. This could be her husband or partner, siblings, cousins, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

If pets were an important part of her life, you could mention them, too.

Mention her close friends, the special people in her life who she enjoyed spending time with and who had a positive impact on her.

Talk about significant life events

Look back at the memories you brainstormed with your family and her friends. Find the significant events in your mother’s life. If there are many events, consider reducing the list to only those that fit with your overall theme.

When you mention the event, use memories and share the stories that help convey what you think and feel about your mother. Relate the event to what was happening in the world at these different times in her life.

Using gentle humour in a eulogy

Using humour in a eulogy is a personal choice. If you choose to use humour, it should be heartfelt and amusing, not poking fun at your mother in a mean-spirited way.

A warm and funny anecdote can help break some of the sadness and tension people might be feeling during the funeral.

Review the memories you brainstormed and find the funny and amusing stories that fit with your overall theme. Include them in the eulogy.

The conclusion

A eulogy’s conclusion offers comforting words to the people who love your mother and will miss her terribly.

In your final goodbye, you can address the people at the funeral, your mother directly, or both.

To help you find the right words, return to your overall theme, or think about what your mother would say to comfort everyone.

Funeral speech for mother from daughter

The bond between a mother and her daughter can be deep and special.

A eulogy for a mother from her daughter need not be structured differently to any other eulogy.

You might choose to focus more on your relationship with your mother when sharing memories. You might want to talk about the impact of her parenting on your life and if you have children, how she influenced your parenting.

When preparing for the funeral and writing a eulogy for mother, poems or special readings can add a lovely touch. If she had a favourite poet or if you find a poem that captures how you feel, include it in the funeral service, but separate to your eulogy.

But overall, there are no special rules.

Review your eulogy

Ask trusted friends and family members to review what you write, especially the stories, memories and anecdotes you share.

Be open to their feedback, but this is your eulogy and you have the final say.

Prepare to deliver your mother’s eulogy

The key to feeling confident about delivering your mother’s eulogy is to practice. Read it out loud, many times.

If you’re worried about being overcome with emotion, know that you can take a short break and few deep breaths to help regain a feeling of control. There’s no need to rush. Taking a sip of water might also help.

Make eye contact with your audience. They’ll remind you that they feel for you in this moment. No one is there to judge you.

Print out the eulogy in a large font to make it easy to read. If you’re too overcome by emotion, someone else will be able to continue on your behalf.

Practical considerations for your mother’s funeral

When you’re writing a eulogy for your mother, it’s about cherishing all the love and care she gave you. But besides remembering the good times, there are practical things to consider too.

  • Coffins: Think about what kind of coffin to choose. Some people prefer wicker coffins because they feel more natural, just like being surrounded by the outdoors your mother loved.
  • Funeral flowers: You’ve probably seen beautiful floral arrangements at funerals, and they can add a peaceful touch to the ceremony, making it feel like a serene garden in honor of your mom.
  • Funeral urns: If your mother chose cremation, you’ll need to think about funeral urns. These are special containers where her ashes will be kept. Each urn can be different, just like your mom was unique. They can be simple or fancy, but what matters most is that they hold the essence of your mother’s love.

Writing a eulogy helps you remember all these special things about your mother, including the little details that made her who she was.

Download our Eulogy Workbook

To help you craft a eulogy that will remember your mother with love, warmth and respect, download a copy of our eulogy workbook with examples of what you could write.