What Giving My Grandfather’s Eulogy Taught Me About Being a Mom

What Giving My Grandfather’s Eulogy Taught Me About Being a Mom

Amid grief and loss, one mom thinks about the legacy she will leave behind someday.


By: Maria Mora

I recently gave the eulogy at my grandfather's funeral. Preparing for it and standing up in front of my loved ones made me think a lot about who I want to be as a mother and how I want my children to remember me.

When a loved one dies, it starts an emotional chain reaction. For me, watching my grandfather die and witnessing my family's responses made me consider my parents' mortality and my own. It's impossible to keep death off your mind when it's right in front of you. But this can be a blessing as much as it's a source of grief and anxiety.

The night my grandfather died, just after midnight, more than a dozen of my family members sat in his living room, scattered across the floor and cuddled together on couches. We're a close family, but we rarely gather that intimately. It was one man's hold on all of us that brought us together at the end of his life. As a parent, I want to inspire my kids and their future families and future cousins to lean on one another that way. I want to teach and demonstrate the power of family.

More from P&G everyday: 7 Important Tips for Talking to Kids About Death and Loss

How do I instill all of these values into my sons? It's easier said than done -- but tradition goes a long way. I want my kids to be influenced by their grandparents and aunts and uncles. I want them to listen to older people's stories with patience. I want to remain a link to the past so that as they grow up, their great-grandfather's values remain part of their lives.

When I sat down at my computer and wrote my grandfather's eulogy, the idea of reading it at the service terrified me. I'm a writer, not an orator. I stay behind my computer because I get flustered and nervous when I speak in public. But I faced my fears because it was a huge honor to be asked to speak, and I certainly owed my grandfather that much. My kids were too little to be at the funeral, but I will tell them about that day. I'll tell them that even though I was scared, I spoke clearly and faced my fears out of respect and honor. Being a mom means many things, but in the face of grief, it meant being the person I want my kids to be when loss touches their lives.

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Maria Mora is a single mom, editor, and hockey fanatic. She lives with her two sons in Florida.

Image ©iStock.com/tingberg


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