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Awkward grumpy Mum has died. What to say in her Eulogy??

(49 Posts)
mumski Thu 09-Apr-20 19:42:23

Mum passed away last Monday. She was never an easy person to live with and over the years got more bloody minded and obnoxious the older she got. My husband died recently so my poor brother and sister in law ended up bearing the brunt of her behaviour. There will only be 6 of us at her funeral with my other brother on a live link from abroad and I've said I will do a short eulogy.... but what to say? I won't be fooling anyone if I do a gushy warm cuddly version but at the same time I do want to try and make it positive. A poem if anyone knows an appropriate one. Please help!

Greymar Thu 09-Apr-20 19:44:33

My first question is sorry but why did you agree to do it?

Could you change your mind? Could you go for something simple and inoffensive?

Sorry about your husband.

Anniebach Thu 09-Apr-20 19:45:40

You don’t seem to have anything positive to say

Greymar Thu 09-Apr-20 19:47:23

Thats how it is sometimes. And that is perfectly OK.

lemongrove Thu 09-Apr-20 19:47:25

Do you really have to do one? I didn’t at either of the funerals for my parents, just had a short service with hymns.
The eulogy, if given, is for the living, and if you all know how very difficult she was, you may feel hypocritical saying good things.
Try googling poems for funerals, and see if one fits the bill.

Kandinsky Thu 09-Apr-20 19:49:15

You must have some fond memories?
Maybe from your childhood?
Did you Mum have any hobbies or activities she enjoyed?
Talk about her good points & what made her happy.

Oopsadaisy3 Thu 09-Apr-20 19:51:37

You could say that she always spoke her mind, knew exactly what she wanted, wouldn’t be bossed about, didn’t suffer fools gladly etc.
I’m sure you can put a personal slant on it with maybe a couple of anecdotes?
By the time you’ve spoken about where she was born, where she worked and a short piece about her family life your time will have run out.
So sorry about the loss of your husband.

Londonwifi Thu 09-Apr-20 19:54:41

Think of good times in your life. There must be many or at least some and thank your mum because she gave you and your brother life. Without that you wouldn’t be here to enjoy your life.

M0nica Thu 09-Apr-20 20:04:50

Admit how difficult she could be and try and remember some occasions when this was a good thing and talk about them.

I always think an eulogy should be honest but kind.

Jane10 Thu 09-Apr-20 20:09:50

No need to do a eulogy at all. Play some of her favourite music and ask people to think of her as it's playing?

Marydoll Thu 09-Apr-20 20:19:45

My mum was like yours, mumski, but she was still my mum and I'm sure she loved me, despite never saying it.
I can understand how difficult it must be for you.

If you find it difficult to say anything nice, best not to say anything.

trisher Thu 09-Apr-20 20:25:33

mumski do you know much about your mum's life history? If so could you simply give the details of her life without any emotional comment. I went through my mum's life at her funeral and talked about the things I knew and remembered. Afterwards quite a few relatives came up and said "I never knew..." or "I had forgotten" even my brother who is older said he had forgotten some of the things I mentioned. I finished with a comment about how for my mum's generation love was about making sure there was a dinner on the table, or telling you to take an umbrella it wasn't about hugs and kisses so much. I read this poem

If I should die before the rest of you

If I should die before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must
Parting is hell.
But life goes on.
So sing as well.
Joyce Grenfell
Hope you get through it.

BlueBelle Thu 09-Apr-20 20:29:03

Oh dear what a shame that you can think of nothing nice to say about your mum did you never have any good times ?
I don’t think it has to be as stark as nasty or gushing surely there’s a middle ground Stick to straightforward facts about her life and work or talents hobbies even the worst person in the world must have some good attributes

Lucca Thu 09-Apr-20 20:50:58

I did my mums eulogy. She was not an easy woman to be honest and gushing would have been weird, however she was very old and I focussed on bits of her life story and the changes she had seen in her life and what she enjoyed.
I included a couple of humorous stories and it went down well. Trisher gives excellent suggestions, but equally I’m not sure you need to do it at all.

Missfoodlove Thu 09-Apr-20 21:33:06

Mumski, my mother is still living but in your position I would have the same dilemma.
There were no happy childhood memories for me that included my mother or father.
It’s right not to be hypocritical so a fitting poem or prayer is in order, however most of the classic poems are rather gushing and sentimental.
Is there a favourite piece of music you could play instead?

SirChenjin Thu 09-Apr-20 21:56:50

We had the same situation recently with my dad. He was a very difficult man to live with growing up and made our lives very unpleasant. The ‘good times’ - which I know some like to encourage others to think of - were always on his terms. We had a Celebrant but wrote much of what she said about him and we focused on his interests, his hobbies, where he grew up, how he met mum, etc - the factual stuff. We had a poem based on one on his interests and a reading based on another. Some of the relatives shared stories they had of him from his younger days too.

Starblaze Thu 09-Apr-20 22:04:56

I'm estranged from my mum and fortunately will never be in your situation but I understand how you feel and think you should ignore the guilt trips. We owe our mothers nothing for their choice to have children or them managing to do a basic job of providing for the children they chose to have.

Just talk about some things she enjoyed in life and a little history. Maybe you could talk about her children and what you love about them.

ValerieF Thu 09-Apr-20 22:07:48

How sad! That you have absolutely no nice things to say about your mum. I am just wondering why you feel the need to say anything? Is it for your brother abroad? Often the minister or whoever is there will talk on behalf of relatives. He will keep it low and be guided by what you tell him. It is not compulsory to do an eulogy.

If you feel you do need to say something then perhaps a thoughtful poem like the ship by Bishop Brent?

What is dying
I am standing on the seashore, a ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: "She is gone."
Gone from my sight that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone"
there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes!"
and that is dying.

It must be so hard for you having so few people there. My advice would be to do just what you feel appropriate but don't leave room for regrets.

Dollymc1 Thu 09-Apr-20 22:12:28

I'm very sorry for your loss mumski
I was beyond heartbroken at Dad's funeral and simply could not have stood up and spoken about him, but I admire those who have the fortitude to do this
So, in essence, I am at a loss to understand why you agreed to do this
Best of luck whatever you decide to do, it's a difficult time

paddyanne Thu 09-Apr-20 22:32:11

My mum was the same ,I told how she had been a spoiled girl and a pampered woman how she had to get a job when WW11 broke out and she had never expected to work .How she lost one baby after another trying to give Dad the 4 daughters he wanted and how her doctor said she was a carnaptious old begger just weeks before she died.I also said she was but that she was my carnaptious old begger and that she would be missed.Nothing cheesy or over the top just the truth .I hope you find the right words for your mum its part of the healing process for you and you'll want to get it right .If you think you wont then give the minister any relevant information and let him build something around it.I hope it goes as well as these things can for you,these are trouble dtimes .Stay safe

dragonfly46 Thu 09-Apr-20 22:44:55

Are you allowed to have a funeral? My friends mother was cremated alone.

fiorentina51 Thu 09-Apr-20 22:45:56

I was in a similar position 3 weeks ago when my aunt died. I loved her but didn't like her very much if that makes sense?
I asked the parish priest to do the eulogy but I gave him a crib sheet of facts about her and some of the main points of a long and interesting life. The priest knew her well so gave a very nice, personal address.
There weren't many mourners due to the current crisis but it was a respectful send off.

Luckygirl Thu 09-Apr-20 22:53:51

I also think that the celebrant should do it - give him facts: where born, what she did, who she married, kids she had. That should do it.

Please do not do it yourself. You are not obliged to do it and have your own grieving to do at present, so do not load yourself up with this task.

crazyH Thu 09-Apr-20 23:04:34

Very sorry for your loss mumski.
I'm sure you have one or two nice memories of her. It's a real sad thing that "the evil that men do live after them, the good is often interred with their bones " should be the other way round. We should try and remember the good in people.

Birdwatcher4 Thu 09-Apr-20 23:24:08

Sorry for both your losses hard to say which gives you the most cause for grief your Mum ?!? but losing my dear husband was an unbearable grief and they do say “grief is the price you pay for love “ what I have said is still not an answer to your question ... but I would go for The Joyce Grenfell poem and maybe play a nice hymn after it .