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My Mom died before Christmas & her memorial service is in a few days. I am providing the eulogy. Mom was very harsh, mean, & impatient when we (2 of us) were kids. We always felt like she hated that she had kids & would have given anything if we weren't around. At times she showed much more affection to other children.


As we grew older, she mellowed quite a bit, but this behavior left its mark on us. I read sample eulogies written by daughters about their mothers, but I just can't bring myself to write the loving things that they do. I have written about her background growing up in a large farm family & included some anecdotes of some amusing things that happened as we were growing up. I feel like I need to add more, but loving thoughts will not come. Any suggestions?


Thanks to all the contributors to this forum. I have learned a lot about dealing with frail, but difficult parents. Dealing with Mom's decline & dementia was made easier by reading about others' issues; what worked & what didn't. And I will continue to follow as now I have my dad to monitor!

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Nature73, I always found it difficult to pick out Mother’s Day cards. I had to carefully read all the text to avoid saying what I did not feel. After a bit, I would find something appropriate. Take a look through the greeting card section to get some ideas that might work for you and the unique relationship you have with your mom.
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Hummer Jan 17, 2019
I, too, have long struggled with Mother's Day cards, birthday cards, etc. My solution has been humorous cards. I'm trying to imagine how that would work for a eulogy. LOL
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It sounds as if you have already written an adequate eulogy. When it is difficult to sugar coat things, why do it? If you stick to the facts and talk about the things she was interested in , hobbies, work, family history....your job is done. If you want to add more, tell the people assembled there something positive or inspirational about life moving forward.

Is there a passage of scripture or a poem that brings you peace, hope, or even forgiveness? That is what I we did at our father's funeral. Sorry for your loss, but now is time to heal your own soul. Best to you!
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I’m sorry for your loss. Sounds like what you have so far will be fine, I’d skip adding more about the time periods that you don’t have good memories of. Perhaps include something from later years when you describe her as more mellow. Eulogies focus on the good in a persons life, sometimes challenging though...
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There is a way of saying what your saying without saying it. we are at our best when we choose to take the high road. Choose the best road. it is not about you. This is her death ; she was a very imperfect mother and woman. I hate hearing myself say bad things about my mother and i know that she did her best even when she failed completely as a mother. I did not walk in her shoes. I was a really horrible teenager. I put her through hell. She never held it over my head.
You can leave out anything that casts a resentment on the past. That is not the time for that to happen. You will hate yourself if your ruin it for others.
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To all who answered: thank-you! I followed advice & kept things neutral & even incorporated some of the phrases offered. The service went very well & my brother said the eulogy was "spot on". That made me very happy.
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Daughterof1930 Jan 9, 2019
Thanks for letting us know it went well. Wish you well as you move forward
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What you have done sounds fine. My mother was great, but we still didn't go for slop about how fantastic she was. She wasn't into slop. If you feel that the audience will expect it, make it about the future -how the love of heaven will support her for eternity in the memories of everyone she knew. Meaningless, but it sounds good. Don't write something that makes you squirm.
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BlackHole Dec 31, 2018
Well put, Margaret. 😃
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I blinked when I saw your post, because I have the exact same thoughts ALL the time. My narcissist mother is still alive at 92, but the day will come when I have to write a eulogy for her, as I did for my dad. I'm an 'only child' and yes, most people DO have a eulogy for their loved one, it seems to be expected. When dad passed, I wrote a beautiful eulogy and it was easy, albeit tough, since I cried the entire time. Dad was a wonderful man, mom, not so much. My sister in law told me I should have dad's eulogy mounted & framed, it was THAT good. I will struggle mightily to come up with positive words to describe mother's life, that's for sure. Some people here are advising you to avoid criticizing her or saying things you will regret. That's obvious! Of course you're not going to criticize her, you're looking for suggestions to say NICE things!

It sounds like your ideas for her eulogy are perfect. In my case, lots of other people love my mother because they see the mask she wears, not the REAL her. So, I plan to use that in her eulogy, how she was well loved by her caregivers and friends, etc. She doesn't HAVE any friends, but hey, it sounds good, right? She was always a great cook (force fed me until I got fat, then sent me to Weight Watchers at 9 years old), a superb housekeeper (would vacuum my room at 7 am to get my lazy ass out of bed), a devoted wife (truly hated my father and tortured him for 68 years of marriage), a loving sister to 7 siblings, etc. You can state the facts without adding the ugly truth in! That's what I plan to do. Close by saying she will be missed by so many people, but finally happy & at peace in heaven, reunited with her husband (poor soul) and relatives who were awaiting her with open arms (snicker).

Gotta laugh, right? God knows we've done ENOUGH crying!
Best of luck!!
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BlackHole Jan 1, 2019
((((big hugs)))) I’d need oxygen, ropes and a sherpa to “take the high road” the way you do! Sending you good vibes. 🧡
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John Malkovich the actor had a good line in a movie we rented the other night. He said "my ex wife said she didn't fear going to hell anymore cause she figured it couldn't be any worse than living with me had been"

I thought that would be a good line in someone's eulogy.
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My father attempted to molest me when I was younger. For all of my life when I bought him a greeting card for his birthday for Father's Day, I picked out the least sentimental card I could find. It wasn't even a conscious decision; eventually I realized that I was doing this and why. This pattern of mine continued consciously for the rest of his life. I loved my father in a biologically imperative way, enjoyed his company as an adult and mourned his death. My brothers did his eulogy and I observed that while they acknowledged our father's creativity, sense of humor, handyman skills, etc., nothing was said about his emotional core, his role modeling, etc. My mother's eulogy was far different in that respect. My point is that your mother may have had some admirable or enviable qualities that people reading the obituary would recognize. However, you do not need to fabricate qualities that just weren't there. Be true to your truth. She's passed on. If there is continuance of our essence after physical death, she is understanding herself now. If there is nothing, then what does it matter? Do what feels right in your heart.
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TwinRivers Jan 1, 2019
You are an amazing person.
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Your mother was not just your mother. She was a woman who led a life. Write about her achievements and her qualities as a person; and let other children of other, more naturally maternal mothers write about their mothers' virtues in their own way.

When my BIL's mother died I was agog to hear what he would have to say about her in his eulogy. I adored his mother but I was almost alone in my fondness for her. She was a woman of sharp intelligence who could have been anything if she'd been born fifty years later; as it was circumstances had frustrated her intellect and her ambition, and regrettably her abilities in her older age were often devoted to making life H*ll for those around her. BIL did not make any false claims about her sweetness or loving care. He talked about her interests, her living through key moments in world history and the perspective on these that she'd noted in her diaries, her vividness and wit. What became clear was that he loved her not because of her character as a mother, but in spite of it; and that he had all the same loved her devotedly.

So don't say anything about your mother that isn't true. The people listening will to a greater or lesser extent know what she was like, and quite apart from the fact that the words will stick in your throat you won't be fooling anybody. Have you forgiven her for not being the mother you would have liked to have had? Did you love her for herself? Did the demands she made on you have any positive influence on what you have become? Then say that. Love comes in many flavours. They're not all sweet.
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