Losing a cherished and loving mother is always tragic and emotional. There are so many things that you have to do, even before the funeral service. This can be an overwhelming time, even if you’re someone who’s normally level-headed.
One of your many tasks will be writing an obituary for mom (or having someone else write it for you). This may not seem important on the surface, but remember that this brief piece of writing is there to memorialize your mother.
In other words, the obituary matters. Make it count.
Do you know what to include in an obituary? Are you feeling lost? We’re here to help guide you.
Read on to learn all about writing an obituary for one of the most important women in your life.
1. Gather Information First
Remember that while obituaries are personal, they’re also informative. You want to gather as much information as possible when you write an obituary, and you may want to enlist the help of others.
You may think you know your mother well, but if there’s anything you’re not sure about, look into any documents she has and ask for information from her friends and other family members if possible.
Start by collecting essential information, including your mother’s full name (nicknames are fine later on, but the full name should be present), date of birth, date of passing, and the location of her death. You’ll also need details about her family, such as her spouse, other children, grandchildren, and siblings.
It’s always better to have too much info than not enough when you’re writing an obituary.
2. Highlight Her Achievements
Beyond the basic facts about your mother, you can also include some extra information about her that may not be as obvious to people who don’t know her well.
Celebrate your mother’s accomplishments, talents, and interests. These are some of the things that made your mother who she was, and they matter. Consider the things that you know she’d want to share and the things that make you proud of her.
On that note, you can omit things that you know she may not want others to know.
Mention her educational background, career achievements, hobbies, and any awards or honors she received throughout her life. You can celebrate them in her obituary.
3. Tell Her Story
Not all obituaries include stories about their subjects, but remember that you can always shorten the obituary for certain publications if you write too much. If you have a story to tell about your mother, now is the time to tell it!
Share anecdotes and stories that capture the essence of your mother’s life. What are the things you think of when she comes to mind? What are your favorite memories of her?
Describe her personality, sense of humor, and the values she held dear. Consider including memorable moments and experiences that reflect her character.
It’s a good idea to crowdsource information from other people in your mother’s life. Talk to her friends and other family members and learn about their stories as well. Remember, she may be a mother to you, but she’s a friend, a daughter, a partner, a coworker, and many other things to other people.
4. Include Family Information
Mention her immediate and extended family members who are still alive. This can help others know more about her connections and relationships. This may not seem important, but it’s a key part of your mother’s background.
You should also include the names of family members who passed before your mother, if they were important or relevant to her. This helps provide context and may be important to family and friends.
You can use your judgment here. If your mother is not close with other family members, you can choose to limit this information.
5. Funeral Service Details
One of the reasons that people look for obituaries is to learn if and when a funeral service will be held. Make sure you include this information near the end of the obituary.
Include information about the upcoming funeral plans. If the funeral or memorial service is private, you don’t have to give too many details.
You can also mention what’s expected at the funeral. For example, if there are any flower requests or if you’ll be accepting donations for a charitable cause that your mother supported.
This may seem odd to write about after writing such a personal obituary, but this is important information.
6. Express Gratitude
This isn’t always necessary in an obituary, but for a longer one, it can be appropriate if you’re still looking for obituary ideas to flesh out your writing.
Thank friends, family, and caregivers who supported your mother during her life. This can be a touching way to acknowledge those who made a difference. These people may not be as close to your mother as you are, but they may still care for her.
Remember that memorials are for the living. This small addition to the obituary can be quite meaningful for the people who cared about your mother.
7. Write From the Heart
Obituaries are factual, but they’re still emotional. Balancing both of these things can be tough.
Let your emotions guide your writing (within reason). Share your love and appreciation for your mother openly and honestly. Use heartfelt language that reflects your connection with her and don’t be afraid to go a bit over the top.
You’re going to be editing the obituary later, so it’s okay to go overboard during the writing process. You don’t want the obituary to seem cold or overly formulaic. Remember, you’re writing this as a memorial to your mother, and it may be one of the last things (if not the very last thing) written about her.
8. Keep It Concise
While it’s essential to include meaningful details, try to keep the obituary concise and focused. Aim for clarity and readability, even when you’re writing from the heart.
Again, you can alter the obituary for different publications and purposes. The short, sweet, and to-the-point version can live alongside the long and heartfelt version. Don’t feel as though you have to limit yourself as long as it’s readable and easy to follow.
9. Review and Revise
There is no such thing as a perfect first draft. Remember that you may need to go over your mother’s obituary several times before you’re happy with it. That’s okay! Revision is good.
Take your time to write the obituary. Later on, after it’s done, review it carefully for accuracy and clarity. You should focus on both factual details and grammatical consistency when you’re editing.
You may not have that much time to write your mother’s obituary, but if possible, try to give yourself a few days between writing that initial draft and then looking over it again later. This lets you look at the obituary with fresh eyes and you may catch problems that you missed the first time around.
It can also be helpful to read it out loud, even if only to yourself. If you find yourself (verbally) tripping over any words or phrases, that’s a sign that the obituary needs some editing.
Consider seeking input from family members to ensure that you capture your mother’s life in the best and most accurate way possible. At the same time, you can also ask your friends and family members to help you revise and edit the obituary. A second pair of eyes can always help!
10. Seek Professional Help
If you find it challenging to write the obituary yourself, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional writer or editor (whether they normally write obituaries or not).
They can assist you in crafting a well-written tribute to your mother.
This is a stressful time, and writing an obituary is hard (especially if you don’t consider yourself much of a writer). You’re going through a lot, and sitting down to write this piece about your mother may feel emotionally overwhelming.
You can have a professional write the whole obituary for you, or you can just have them give you tips. You can also hire an editor to edit the obituary you wrote yourself for grammar and clarity. On that note, it may also be beneficial to see a counselor if writing the obituary is too emotionally challenging at this time.
There’s no shame at all in asking for help during this time.
Writing an Obituary for Mom Can Be Tough
When you’re writing an obituary for mom, you have so many things to consider. It’s going to be tough to fit all of the necessary information about such an important woman in your life into one brief obituary, but you’re up to the task. With a bit of time, hard work, and editing, you’ll have a piece of writing that would make your mother proud.
At Lone Star Cremation, we understand that this is a challenging time for you. Losing a mother is always tragic. We’re here to support you with our top-quality cremation services, always provided with care and compassion.
Learn more about our services and set up a cremation today.