Writing a eulogy for mother from son
A eulogy written and delivered with warmth and compassion is always a good eulogy.
While taking on the task of writing a eulogy for your mum might feel daunting, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it.
We’ve provided guidance here and in our eulogy workbook below to help step you through the process. But you don’t have to follow the steps we’ve outlined here or in our Workbook. You can skip ahead and come back to different sections as you gather your thoughts and sift through your favourite memories.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to write a polished first draft. We find that the good parts start to shine during the editing process.
If you’re keen to start writing, download a copy of our Eulogy Workbook.
The workbook features eulogies for mothers examples. These sample snippets might inspire you and give you some ideas for creating moving tribute for your mum.
We share a step-by-step through process of writing a meaningful, heartfelt eulogy for your mum that captures what she meant to you.
Gathering your thoughts
Many men find writing a heartfelt and fitting tribute for their mum is a good way to move through the early stages of grief.
No doubt you had a unique relationship with your mum, and you’ll want to capture how much she meant to you during this short funeral speech.
Eulogies are typically 3 and 5 minutes long and a funeral speech for mother from son is no different. In writing terms, this is about 2 or 3 A4 pages.
If others are speaking at your mum’s funeral, then a 3 to 5-minute tribute is a good timeframe to aim for. If you’re the main speaker, then the eulogy can be around 10 minutes, which is about 5 or 6 A4 pages. This kind of longer eulogy will include more biographical details.
Longer eulogies are usually easier to write than shorter one. They become harder to write when you have less time because you have to choose which memories to leave out.
Deciding what to write in eulogies for mothers from sons
One of the ways that makes the eulogy writing process easier is to centre it around a theme.
A theme in a eulogy for mum from son captures something your mum is known for or something about your relationship with her. You then choose the stories and memories to share around that central theme.
You don’t need to have a theme, but it does help you filter and choose the stories and memories that best represent your relationship with your mum.
You might already have a good idea for a theme for your mum’s eulogy. If an idea doesn’t leap at you straight away, talk to your family and friends and find out what they loved about your mum. See if a pattern emerges.
You could base a theme on:
- a strong personality trait of your mum’s
- how your relationship strengthened and grew over the years
- something your mum loved doing
- the impact she had on you and others
- her commitment to a cause.
There are so many different themes you could use for the eulogy. You’re sure to find one that captures many of your memories of your mum. There’s no right or wrong topic to write about. However, you should feel a strong connection to the theme.
Collect your mum’s biographical details
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to begin is to collect your mum’s biographical details—when and where she was born, where she lived, her education and work history, her family—as you may want to include some of this in the eulogy.
You may also want to think about significant life events—when, where, how and why they happened. You may need to research some of these details. Write down what you know and identify any gaps that you think are important. If some of your mum’s biographical details and key moments relate to your theme, great.
Write the opening
The eulogy’s opening address only needs to be 1 or 2 paragraphs.
You can thank people for coming to your mum’s funeral or watching the live stream.
It’s nice to acknowledge people who have travelled a long way to be there. Acknowledge anyone else who you think deserves a special mention. This could be people close to you or close to your mum who have been supportive.
Most people at the funeral are likely to know who you are, but there might be people you haven’t met before. It’s a good idea to let people know who you are and your relationship to your mum.
Get your initial thoughts down. Even dot points are fine. You can tidy your writing during the editing process.
Gather your favourite memories
Write down some of your favourite memories.
If you’ve set a theme for the eulogy, you can think about which of those memories fit with that theme.
If some of your memories are humorous, know that it’s perfectly OK to use humour in a eulogy. In fact, people at the funeral will love listening to humorous stories, so long as you’re not making fun of your mum. Humour helps ease the tension and sadness people feel at a funeral.
Choose the stories with a positive sentiment. A funeral is not the time to distress people further by disclosing a family secret. While it’s important to be personal and honest, focus on the positives.
Because eulogies are quite short and you’re not expected to share their full life story, choose a couple of significant memories that connect to your theme or that you think best shows who your mum was to you.
Write the conclusion
The eulogy’s conclusion is your chance to write a heartfelt goodbye to your mum. You can say what she meant to you, what you’ll miss most about her, and what her legacy will be.
This is a good time to share a quote or poem with a sentiment you find hard to write in your own words. Think of what comforting words your mum would say.
During your final farewell, you can speak directly to your mum or to the people attending the funeral. It’s up to you.
If you can find a way to connect your chosen theme to the goodbye, that’s great.
How to deliver a eulogy
Practice reading your mum’s eulogy out aloud many times. This will not only give you the chance to rewrite the parts where you stumble, it will build your confidence about the delivery.
Time yourself so you can work out if it’s too long or too short.
You don’t have remember the eulogy off by heart like you’re learning a script. However, it’s important to be familiar with it as this will make it easier to deliver.
Feel free to share your eulogy draft with a close, supportive friend or family member. You don’t have to follow their feedback—it’s your story to tell—but it can help to have someone review your words and fix any errors either in biographical details or how you word things.
When delivering the eulogy, plan to take a few short breaks to take deep breaths or have a drink of water. A few deep breaths might be all you need to help bring your emotions under control.
Pre-arrange with someone in the audience to be a support person. They can give you a nod of encouragement to help you continue. Everyone at the funeral will be incredibly supportive, including the funeral home staff.
Print the eulogy in a large font size so it’s easy to read and with page numbers in case the pages get mixed up. Avoid folding or rolling the pages so they sit flat on the lectern.
Printing the eulogy also means someone can take over if you find yourself too overcome with emotion to continue. You’ll still get to share your thoughts even if you can’t speak them yourself.
Download our eulogy workbook
We’ve created a Eulogy Workbook that’s free to download. It will help you write moving tribute to your mum. It includes samples from other eulogies that will give you ideas for what you could include in your mum’s eulogy.