How to write an obituary for your mother

Funeral Planning
A young boy runs toward his mother, who has her arms outstretched toward him, and a big smile on her face.

Obituaries are generally tough to write. However when the obituary is for your mother, it can be really difficult.

We’ve provided other resources on how to write obituaries that truly reflect the life of the deceased. But when it comes to writing an obituary for your mother, often the challenge doesn’t lie in the writing. If you’re having a hard time putting pen to paper (or more likely, fingers to keyboard), we’re here to help.

We’ve put together a collection of obituary writing tips which you can use to craft a touching memorial for your mother.

Don’t be afraid to break the mould

One of the biggest things that trips up first-time obituary and tribute writers is the formula. You have an idea in your head of how obituaries are “supposed” to be written and you find that you have a hard time adhering to it. Not to mention, this is your mum we’re talking about — a woman for whom the traditional structure just won’t cut it.

Your mum was special, so don’t be afraid of writing an obituary, memorial or tribute that reflects that. Here’s an example of an unconventional obituary. Unlike most, it opens with a bang:

“After raising 5 daughters (and hell, for that matter!) [name] was stubborn, opinionated, and let’s be honest, a terrible singer! But we wouldn't have had her any other way.”

Immediately, we know what type of person this woman was. We get an instant sense of strength and compassion, and we’d even get a couple of chuckles from guests. While it’s certainly a more “out there” example, you can’t deny that it stands out from the crowd.

If your mum had a strong personality, don’t be afraid to break with convention and let it shine through in the obituary.

Writing a eulogy for your mother

Remember, she was more than a parent

As your mother’s child, your first instinct is to talk about how they raised you into the person you are. We understand why. Your mum raised you during the most important years of your development. It’s completely understandable that many continue to see their mothers as parent figures long after they’ve left the nest.

There’s nothing wrong with including all of that in an obituary. However, that’s not the only side of their personality — your mother had a life outside of child-rearing, after all.

You might consider including things like hobbies, work, passions and causes when writing the obituary. Not only does this paint a more complete picture of who your mum was as a person, but it’s also for the benefit of people who may have known your mum through these activities.

If you can, start writing the obituary for your mother early

If you know your mum doesn’t have much time left, we suggest starting your obituary and tribute-writing early.

It’s a troubling thought, we know, and not something you want to think about. However, it can be extremely beneficial. In particular, it can help you prepare for her eventual passing and come to terms with what’s about to happen.

An added benefit of starting early is that your mum is still with you. This allows you to create a narrative that genuinely reflects how your mum wants to be remembered.

Again, we understand that it isn’t something you want to think about. If it’s too much, you don’t need to start writing just yet. What you can do, however, is start planning. Begin researching her life and making notes about the things you know you'll want to include.

Memories help you create touching online memorials

Mothers play an important role in our lives. So, it’s only natural to want your mum to receive a fitting memorial.

Memories’ online memorials provide just that. We provide the perfect way for grieving friends and family to share stories and celebrate your mum's life. Our team makes sure that our platform is 100% ad-free — your one-off fee goes towards realizing that goal. This creates a dignified, respectful place for you and your family to pay tribute.