Eulogies for mum

Example eulogy - Son celebrates his mum

She was a vibrant soul, one who literally lit up the room whenever she entered. And right up until she became less able to get around, Mum was full of joy and always eager to help out, no matter what the problem was.

Being a mother of four boisterous boys – me Nick, Al and Johnny, Mum had a hard time juggling the demands of us all, but she never complained at her unenviable task, nor did she ever turn anyone away – be it family, friends or local faces, wanting to stop by the house for a quick chat.

Mum had an inherent love of music – in particular, the music of Elvis Presley – and she’d always find time to put one of the King’s hits on the stereo whenever she could. Much to Dad’s never-ending frustration, I might add!

Her favourite tune was “Blue Hawaii” – a song that became synonymous with the King’s movies, and one which she first heard when she was flying, as an air hostess, in the early 1960s. In fact, it was while flying via India that she bumped into her future husband, who was cooling in an airport departure lounge, waiting to return home from army service.

Mum would always talk about those days as if they only happened yesterday, when the pair of them would take off in Dad’s car for some wild adventure, without the burden of four boys fighting on the back seat!

They shared a love of travel, and would often explore different parts of the country, investigating little country towns and farms off the beaten track. City slickers, they were not. And they were proud of the fact, too.

After I moved out of home, I’d often make time to go visit them both. The five-hour drive meant nothing, of course – particularly after Dad passed away, and Mum was on her own. She thrived, though, in her own way – always keeping busy, never feeling sorry for herself, and always excited to see her boys, her nieces Susan and Jenny and nephews Josh, Mel and Chris, as well as friends from the town. Mum was a popular lady and despite enjoying time alone, would welcome company as if it a natural extension of her new, quieter life.

Mum was raised in a small town in NSW, called Charlottes Pass. She had one younger brother Harold, who grew up without his older sister, she had moved out of home at a young age to explore the world and create her own stamp on life. She was never an outstanding student at school, but she maintained long-term friendships and interests from her school days, and always emphasised the importance of a good education to us all (and for our own children!).

After Mum and Dad moved to Adelaide, Mum continued her passion of art, painting to her heart’s content while Elvis merrily played on the record player (Mum never did accept the changing of technology – you’d never see a CD anywhere in her house!). And though it irked Dad to have so much noise after he retired from his office job, he’d simply tend the garden, leaving Mum to enjoy her hobbies uninterrupted.

The last vacation they took together was to visit me two years ago in Sydney, a place I’d made my new home some 20 years back. Although they were both struggling with ill health by then, they put on a brave face and enjoyed two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine and warm weather. Coming from the snow country, Mum, in particular, couldn't stop raving about how stunning the climate was – and how beautiful the harbour was in Sydney.

My lasting memories of Mum are simple: a hard-working, passionate figure of strength who never waned in her support or love of her family, and who soldiered on, even when times were tough.

It is a great privilege to write this eulogy to express the sadness that all of us boys share over her loss. Mum, thank you for everything you've given us – and the warmth we shared during your precious time on earth. God bless you. Always.


Example eulogy - Daughter farewells her mum

My mother, Helen, was a warm, compassionate and vibrant woman who always went out of her way to help others – no matter what. She was a proud and dignified woman who had a passion for life. She had a wonderful sense of humour which endeared her to everyone she came in contact with and it is a great testament to her nature that she formed so many long lasting friendships over the years. So many of you here today.

Mum was born in 1939 at a time when Robert Menzies was Prime Minister, songs like Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland were being played over the wireless, and WWII had just been declared.

She grew up in a small house in Sans Souci with her mother, Mary – having lost her father in the war when she was only an infant. It was a difficult time, but they were both strong individuals and managed wonderfully.

Mum was brought up with traditional values and learnt the skills that a woman of her era should – cooking, sewing, knitting and embroidery, as well as a love of history. She became a secondary school teacher and was a favourite at the school she taught – particularly a favourite with my father as this was where they first met.

Our mother taught us many things as young kids that hold us in good stead today– good manners, respect and sound moral values. These values have made me who I am and I thank her so very, very much.

Our family grew up with little money, but we were always well fed and well dressed. My mother spent hours in her sewing room making beautiful outfits for us to wear, or knitting jumpers in preparation for winter.

I will always remember our Christmases together – going to the church, all the chaos in the kitchen as Mum prepared for Christmas dinner, and the wonderful feeling of us all being together. Mum also carried on Grandma’s tradition of putting ‘threepence’ in the pudding. It was with much delight that we would scoop into the pudding and eat feverishly until one of us bit the hidden coin and proudly announced that we were the winner. It was only years later that Mum found out we didn't really like the pudding and only ate it to find the threepence – which, of course, was worthless by then.

As an adult, she became my best friend, advisor and confidante. Her greatest quality was to encourage me to make the best of everything and to face problems head on. She was a proud woman who believed that there was no obstacle that couldn’t be overcome.

Mum had many friends of all ages. Even in retirement, she would have an endless stream of friends dropping in - kids in the neighbourhood would come over to ask Mum questions about their pet, school or to eat one of her home-baked cookies. 

Mum has always been my support, strength and comfort when times have been tough. I don’t know how I will cope without her – it leaves a massive hole in my life. But I will draw strength from the things she taught me and live by the words from Desdemona that my mother always quoted as if her own: “Accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can”.

It is an honour to stand before you and share my precious memories of my mother. She will be missed by all, but her memory will live on in us all forever.

I love you so much, Mum, and will miss you more than words can say.