2. Sample eulogies
  3. Eulogy for a mother from a son

Eulogy for a mother from a son

4 short, loving, sincere eulogy examples from sons for their mothers 

Contributed by: Gary, Australia |James Cecil, USA |Paul Burrows, England |Robin, UK

If you need to write a eulogy for your mother, having examples to read can help a great deal. 

Here's four eulogies for mothers written by their sons who've contributed them for publication because they were grateful for the help and inspiration, they'd got from others who'd published theirs. 

  1. Our mother's love - a eulogy for my mother with storytelling so good you can see the events unfolding.
  2. Eulogy for my mother: Helen Davis Cecil - funny, wry and very loving.
  3. How to write eulogy when finding the right words is hard - a short, sincere eulogy for a much-loved woman who was the heart of her large family.
  4. Eulogy for my mum - an overview of the life of a strong, determined woman who grew up in occupied Europe during WW2 before making England her home, marrying and raising a family. 

Seeing what others have done: how they've begun, what kinds of stories they've told, whether they've included any humor or used a quotation, how long they've spoken for, and how they ended - will assist you to get started on the eulogy you need to write.

Our Mother's Love - a eulogy for my mother

This moving tribute for his mother was contributed by Gary, from Perth, Australia, to help and inspire others who have a eulogy to write.

The title of his eulogy, Our Mother's Love, comes from a very popular poem of the same name by American poet, Helen Steiner Rice. In it she describes that love as extraordinary and never-ending. 

Gary wholeheartedly agrees. Because, in his opinion, his mother personifies everything talked about in 'Our Mother's Love', he has used part of the poem to open his eulogy.  That sets the tone for the storytelling to come. Here is his eulogy for her.

Our Mum, our Nan and our friend Valerie

A Mother's Love - poem by Helen Steiner-Rice

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain.

It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain.
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may.
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away.

—Helen Steiner Rice 

I think the last clear exchange my Mother and I had was one night as I was going home, when I said, "I love you, Mum." And Mum replied, "I love you all."

In these last few years, she said that quite a bit. Still, it wasn't always that natural for her, but I've always known how much she loved us.

Nowadays, people say it all the time. Even men say it to their friends but then they also say things like "trust me" and "I'll call you later".

Our Mum's love is pure

The thing is our Mum's love is pure. It does not require words because it's in everything she did and that's real love. Yes, you can feel love, but love is about actions more than it is about what you say, or even feel.

Nan must have known this because not only was our mother what some might describe as a domestic goddess; she not only fed us, but she also spoiled us.

When we needed clothes, they were always on par with everyone else's, which when I think of what our family budget must have been back then, is pretty impressive. But what made us most proud was when we needed defending, her protection could be ferocious.

Nan could be a tough cookie

Of course, no one's perfect and Nan could be a tough cookie sometimes. On one of these rare occasions when I mistakenly called Nan a name I later learned no lady should ever be called pertaining to shape, I found out how tough she could be.

As soon as that word had crossed my lips, I knew it was a mistake. What I didn't know was thinking I could beat her in a race up four flights of stairs to the safety of my bedroom, was another mistake.

But yes, I've always known how much Nan loved us. Relentlessly.

Valerie: brave and strong

Sadly, Nan's childhood was not the same as ours, far from it. Yet where many allow themselves to become bitter, Nan was one of those who just resolved to do better and I'm so proud of her for that too. Instead of these difficulties defeating her they somehow made her brave and strong which is what Valerie means. Brave and strong.

Valerie, our mum, our nan and our friend

That's how Nan was to the very end, she would rather endure the pain than take medication. Just so she wouldn't get drowsy. So, she could be THERE with us as long as possible.

I don't believe many in the medical staff ever expected Nan to last to Mother's Day, let alone her birthday, but she got there and kept on going because that's who Valerie is, our Mum, your Nan, or your friend. Brave and strong.

You never know what you've got until it's gone

They say YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'VE GOT UNTIL IT'S GONE. But I really did think I knew how good and wonderful she was, but I ACTUALLY didn't until this happened.

Nan took everything life threw at her and just kept coming back for more. Throughout this battle Nan did all she could do to hang on whilst at the same time keeping her spirits high for us and she never complained once. We've been amazed and inspired by her. Now I realize that within the tragedy of Nan's final chapter she left a hidden gift. Inspiration.

Quote from eulogy for a mother from a son

So, rest in peace Mum. We will think of you and miss you. And when I say, 'think of you', I mean every day, and when I say, 'miss you', I mean always. I love you, Mum.

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Comments from readers

Gary's heartfelt eulogy for his mother has been read by, and inspired, many people since I posted it. Some of them have taken the time to comment. Here's what they've said:

"Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your Mom. It helped me so much. Truly inspiring!"

"That was so heartfelt! Great choice of words. Good job, and you inspired me to use parts of the poem in my own speech for my mother!"

"Simply beautiful! I would be proud being your mother."

Lecia wrote: "Thank you for this beautiful piece... It is exactly the story and life of my mum. Reading it just made me cry more. Please, is it okay to use a part of the poem and some lines from your write up? It would really help me. Thank you again."

I (Susan) the owner-operator of this site responded to Lecia: "It's Susan here - the person who runs this website. Of course you can take what you need. It's there to help. We're glad that you found it."

And then Gary, the eulogy writer, answered her too. He said: "I'm so pleased that you connect with some of these sentiments. Along with the site owner, I'd also love for you to take anything from my eulogy that you'd like as it's this site that gave me the momentum I needed just to get started.

One thing I'd like others to know is that it helped me greatly to have a photo of mum nearby as I worked on it. I just started talking to her and thinking about her and everything poured out so easily. Perhaps a photo would help you too.
I hope it does. Take care."

Have you written a eulogy you'd like to share?

Image: watercolor of spring blossoms on tree. Text: If you'd like to contribute a eulogy to help and inspire others, please click sample eulogies

A friend of the family, Sandra Gager, wrote: Gary such a beautiful tribute to your Mother.  And yes, I remember Valarie always with a smiling face, and a friendly welcome. That's something that rubbed off on her children. She's a truly beautiful person who will be missed dearly.

Angela says: "Very moving, and how very true of a Mother's love. It also sums up my Mother. Thank you for sharing such a special poem.

And this is what I (Susan) said after I received it from Gary: "Thank you. You've given us a wonderful picture of your Mum. I can see her - strong, no-nonsense and so proud of her children. An inspiring woman! 

Would you like to comment on this eulogy, or on any of the others on this page?

To join the conversation, please submit what you want to say through the submission form on my about me page. Be sure to tell me which eulogy you are commenting on, so I know where to post it. Thank you.

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Eulogy for my mother: Helen Davis Cecil

James Cecil, from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, contributed the eulogy he wrote for his mother. On receipt of it I replied saying: 

'This is beautiful, loving, funny, wry and moving. You got me with your ending. It's exquisite. Thank you!'

Here it is.

My mother, the liberated woman

My mother was a liberated woman, and she liked to talk, a lot.

And she especially liked to quote her mother, my grandmother, Marie A. Davis: the original liberated woman. Marie would say to her; “Sissy, when I'm gone, I don't want any tears.”

So recently, Helen said to me, "James, when I'm gone, I don't want you to cry. There's no crying in baseball."

She liked that, so she said it a lot. "Well," I finally told her; "that's not gonna happen Helen." She looked irritated, and said, “Don't you think I know that? And another thing: no tears at my party."

I can tell you this: she knew a lot. She always had large thoughts; and she had her own, unique brand of wisdom...with no filter.

My brother Bobby says, “She's never had an unspoken thought." But we all agreed; although it wasn't always easy, there was a lot to like.

Helen loved many things

Collage of things Helen loved: Camelot, WB Yeats, La Boheme, scrabble, Baltimore, JFK, American football quarterback

If I ever knew anyone impassioned about everything; it was her. She loved many things. She loved her friends. She loved her family; all of us.

She loved: Camelot, William Butler Yeats and Everybody Loves Raymond, (an American television sitcom).

She loved: La Boheme, Moonstruck, JFK and Jackie; and Johnny Unitas, (an American football player).

She loved: tap dancing, Scrabble; cheating at Scrabble.

She loved buying herself things on QVC, (Quality Value Convenience - An American free-to-air television shopping channel) and returning them. I think she liked buying them more than having them.

She loved The Prime Rib (a Baltimore restaurant), Pikesville Rye Whisky, Milwaukee's best lite. (It tasted like real beer, she said).

And she loved all things poetic.

She loved BAL, (Baltimore, the city where she lived), and NPR, (National Public Radio - An American non-profit media organization). And she liked crab cakes fried; not broiled.

But of all these treasures she loved the four of us, her children, the most. There was never a day we didn't know that.

She loved “The Catholic High of Baltimore". In her yearbook she was called Dave. Below her picture were the words: vim, vigor and vitality. And below that, her listed ambition was to review a Russian ballet. And you know, I think she did.

She loved beauty. And she loved love. She knew both very well. She was deep in knowing that love and beauty often reside on the border of anguish.

Ode to Freedom -1989

On Christmas night in 1989 she insisted that we, as a family take in a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, on the tube. The title, “Ode to Joy,” was replaced with “Ode to Freedom.” This was a big deal - and she was worldly.

Wikimedia Commons image: West and East Germans at the Brandenburg Gate 1989

There on the screen, the Berlin Wall was cracked open and thousands of East Germans poured through to be united with their brothers, sisters and children. She believed in the power of human spirit and talents, especially literature and music.

This event, if you could call it that, lay on the heels of yet, another Christmas morning where her children and grandchildren; and many friends would be the recipients of her most beautiful handmade quilts and sweaters; all of these designed to warm and hold each of us in her love. This was Helen.

Over the last months

Over the last months, my brothers: Bob and Thomas, and myself would visit with her as often as we could. One day she asked us if we thought my brother Billy would be there to greet her in heaven. Bobby said, I don't think so. She laughed.

Image: dandelion. Text: We watched her outspoken signature fade.

We watched her outspoken signature fade. Discussion and debate were replaced by reflection, not necessarily of the past, but rather of the here and now.

She was in there; listening to Bobby’s enthusiasm as he shared with all of us, his sixty some year-old perspective on being a student again- studying art of the great impressionists. She loved that.

Thomas and Tracy's travels to Salzburg and Italy: and most recently to Scotland would fill the room. No one can tell a story quite like Thomas.

Sometimes I would read her poems. Her favorites were love poems by Pablo Neruda. Although she had loved and lost, she was never cynical about a good love story.

And then, there were the recipes; they always found their way into the room as well. This assembly of thought by us, her children - as she lay there; still taking it in; still learning was something she cherished until the very end.

So, Helen - if I shed a tear; if any of us shed a tear, it is not sad; but rather like the ones that you loved to shed yourself many times when you were held by something beautiful.

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How to write eulogy when finding the right words is hard

Paul Burrows, from Southend, England begins his eulogy for his mother talking about the gulf between what we feel and what we want to say. Sometimes, he says, it is unbridgeable, because finding the right words is difficult.

This is something I know many people struggle with. Paul's answer to the dilemma is to acknowledge the gap and press on regardless. The result is a short, very loving eulogy which, because he has generously shared it, will help and inspire others who are similarly stuck for words. 

Sometimes - a eulogy for my mother

Sometimes, the distance between what we think and what we want to say is unbridgeable. And no matter how much we arrange and re-arrange the words they can never convey how we really feel inside.

Each person present today knows how affected they have been by my mother – both in life and in death. Those impressions are too minute and delicate to be substantiated in language.

But with your patience, I shall try.

It is fair to say my mother’s early life was very fruitful. From 1954 until 1969 she bore five sons and three daughters. We all muddled along nicely in a modest three-bedroom house. I can’t remember wanting for anything except perhaps a room of my own. And there was always food on the table even if it was just cheese and crackers.

Unfortunately, through no fault of her own, my mother was left to raise the family by herself.

Struggling to make ends meet doesn’t come close to describing her new circumstances. And yet, whenever a birthday came around …

  • April (David + Sandra)
  • May (Bryan)
  • July (Vanessa)
  • August (Sylvia)
  • September (Jonathan)
  • October (Paul)
  • November (Robert)

…there was always something to unwrap.

Image: heart shaped family group. Text in center: Mother - She was never happier than when she was surrounded by family.

If she was pleased when a member of the family left home to make a new life it did not show. In fact, I think she was very upset. She was never happier than when surrounded by her family.

Tragically, in 1978, after a long illness and a brave fight, my brother Jonathan died. He was 17. We should take comfort in the belief that he is reunited with his mum after all these years.

My brothers and sisters formed partnerships of their own. Some set up homes nearby whereas other traveled further afield. Grandchildren arrived and kept arriving. There were 19 when I last counted.

Looking back at old family photographs there are very few of my mum by herself. It was her family that defined her and the values which she fought so long and so hard for - values that she tried to instill in us so that we might instill them in our own families.

Her devotion also extended to the partners of her sons and daughters.

Special credit must go to Ian, Sandra's husband, who gave up so much of his time to make my mother’s home and garden as comfortable and as beautiful as possible.

My mother may not have led the life she fully deserved. But she found happiness and fulfillment in helping and taking care of those around her. For that we are truly thankful.

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Eulogy example for my Mum

This last example eulogy for a mother (mum*) from her son was contributed by Robin from the United Kingdom (UK). 

Through the stories he shares we get more than a glimpse of a strong, courageous and positive woman who is determined to make the best of whatever life brings her. 

Like the first example, this too begins with an excerpt from Helen Steiner Rice's poem: Our Mother's Love.

It ends with a moving extract from the letter Robin's mother wrote for him to read after her death.

*mum. The word 'mum' is an informal word for mother that is commonly used in the UK. Mom is its American equivalent. 

Mum - a eulogy for my mother

A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,

It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may,
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.
—Helen Steiner Rice -

It would be possible to write a book of Mum's life. Its chapters would have each of us here present somewhere in it.

She has already shared some amusing bits with my children. Just ask them later about the time when I was quite small and swallowed a stone!

Image: war plane illustration Text: ...her early teenage years were marked with foreign occupation and British bombings.

Her childhood was not as conventional as ours. She was born in Austria in 1928. Her young years were simple, and she enjoyed holidays up in the mountains.

However, her early teenage years were marked with foreign occupation and British bombings. She told me of the time when she and her close school friend Wanda both having joined the Red Cross were allowed free movement around the town of Graz during bombing raids. This often got them very close to serious trouble and they would be stuck in bomb shelters for many hours. For them it was an adventure.

In spite of the war Mum was still able to continue her schooling and excelled particularly in English language. She told me that practicing the English ‘TH' sound required a number of sheets newspaper being placed on the desk in front of them before starting. The wet newspapers were then dried after every lesson!

She came to England more than 65 years ago, at a time when all of Europe was being rebuilt from the ravages of war, to join some of her Austrian family who were here already. They were able to love, encourage and help her along. England became her future and home.

Mum understood the need for security, worked hard, loved us and her garden.

Because of her childhood experience she understood the need for security. When Mum married, she ensured my brother Charlie, and I had a secure and loving home.

She worked hard and had a generosity of spirit - always wanting to provide us children with the things she was never able to have in her early life. She would often remind us how things had been during the war and how slowly things had improved at home in Austria.

Over the years when Dad was not well, Mum studied and trained as a Special Needs Teacher and pursued a full-time teaching career. When he died this was her independence and career for the future.

With brother Charlie and me, both married and away from home, Mum eventually remarried and continued teaching. Sadly, her husband, Bob, died some years ago.

Image: water-color roses. Text: Mum loved to spend time in her garden.

Mum loved to spend time in her garden. There always plenty to do and in no way would she move to anywhere else to live.
She had very precious friendships and support was always there for her from her neighbors on both sides. She wanted and was able to spend the last days of her life at home. Regular walks down the garden kept her mobile.

Her health has over a few years had a number of setbacks. Despite that she took everything that was thrown at her and always bounced back. Her ability to keep going, strength and resilience has even amazed the hospital medical staff in the last few weeks of her life.

Instead of these difficulties defeating her they somehow made her stronger. Although becoming more fragile in body and mind, there were times that her love for her sons and wider family brought her through difficult moments.

My mother's last letter

I have in the last few days opened a letter to me, from Mum, written nearly 10 years ago especially for this time. I finish with part of the that, which has these words from her…

Life is so fragile, short and very precious.
All my Love and Blessings to you all.
My Spirit will be with you forever.
I thank God for my Blessing in having such wonderful sons and for their wonderful families.

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Resources for writing a funeral speech

  • Read more sample eulogies for family members, friends, and colleagues. (Like the eulogy you have just read, these too are genuine.)
  • Find out how to write a eulogy: step by step guidelines, with examples, and a printable eulogy planner/template to use.
  • Find a poem or a quotation to use: 6 pages of poems and quotations suitable for funeral readings, some with audio and printables.
  • Contribute a eulogy you have written to help and inspire others. Click the link to find out more and to add to our growing collection of example eulogies.

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