Losing a beloved mother is one of the most difficult human experiences, and also one that most people will experience at some point.
It can feel impossible to find the words to express the rush of love, gratitude, grief, and nostalgia that many people feel. The idea of expressing any of these emotions publicly can be even more daunting.
Where words fail, poetry often steps in to fill the gap and provide an outlet for the most overwhelming emotions.
Below are 32 funeral poems for mothers that should help anyone find the words to express their grief and love for their late mother.
For someone who loved the beach.
The tide goes out; the tide goes in;
Sand washes away and is brought back again.
Every day I sit here and wish you were by my side,
To dry my tears before they are swept away upon the tide.
A mother is your first love, as her children are her last,
A bond that stretches evermore, in the future and the past.
There are other loves that join it, that spring up on either side,
But still it lingers, constant, ever flowing, like the tide.
This funeral poem examines the ongoing, cyclical nature of both grief and love.
2. Lost and Found
For the mom who always knew where everything was, and the kid who never did.
When I was young and lost my mittens,
It was you who brought them back.
And when I almost lost my mind,
You always kept me on the track.
But now I have lost another,
That I will never find again.
I have lost you, loving mother,
Who was my oldest, dearest friend.
Moms are so often the person we go to with all our problems, big and small. This poem expresses the loss of the ultimate source of advice.
3. Rain and Roses
For a gardener.
I will lay roses on your grave, mother,
Every day the whole year through,
And pray with every rain that falls
That some drops are reaching you.
I will pray the rain that soaks your grave,
Will soak my roses too;
That in the spring, when life begins,
So, our roses, too, will bloom.
This is one of the best funeral poems to capture a hope for continued life and connection, even after death.
4. One Less Stocking on the Wall
For the mom who was almost one of Santa’s elves.
Mom loved Christmas almost as much as she loved her kids,
So, every December, without fail, this is what she did:
She hung our stockings on the wall, each one in a line,
And every Christmas morning, filled them with something divine.
Whether that be chocolate, toys, or just a mother’s love,
I know this Christmas those bright mornings are what we will be dreaming of.
This year Christmas will be different, and will somehow just feel small,
Because of an empty armchair, and one less stocking on the wall.
This poem emphasizes the way even joyful traditions will change in the wake of a mother’s loss.
5. An Extra Star in the Sky
For a mother who loved astronomy, or one who was always teaching things.
I learned the Big Dipper will always point north,
Like a compass in the sky.
I learned about the Pleiades,
Beautiful maidens floating high.
Tonight, another woman joins them,
Though we would rather have her close by.
Our mother has left for higher things,
And become an extra star in the sky.
Mothers are our first teachers, and this poem celebrates that aspect of motherhood.
6. My Mother Was Like a Violet
For a shy woman.
My mother was like a violet, but one that never fades away.
She was bright and beautiful, but preferred inside to stay.
She liked her peace and quiet, never liked to cause a fuss,
Just kept her love inside herself, and saved it all for us.
This is a short, simple funeral poem that celebrates a quiet woman devoted to her family.
7. I Wish
I wish Mom was here to see us, gathered around to say goodbye.
I wish Mom was here to tell us, now is not the time to cry.
I wish I could have told her all her love had meant to me.
I wish she could have helped me through another crisis or three.
All these things and more I wish, but I do not have the words to say
How much I wish I wish I wish that she were still alive today.
Loss often reminds us of all the things we left unsaid; this poem vocalizes those feelings.
8. Left Behind
For a generous mother.
We always talk about the things people leave behind,
The books, the photos, the clothes.
My God, the clothes.
But what about the memories, the traces,
The disturbed dust on a beloved home movie,
The lipstick stains on an old coffee mug,
The mannerisms passed on to the children left behind.
The dust might gather again, and the lipstick be washed away,
But the children live on,
Left behind as reminders,
Of a beautiful person,
Who gave us so much of herself,
That even now we get to keep it.
This is one of the few funeral poems that celebrates the ways in which mothers live on through their children.
For a bright, sunshiny person.
It was long ago established that black is the color of death.
I do not know why or by whom, but perhaps it is for the best.
Black is dark and cold and somber, and it does not show the dirt.
Black is the color of secrecy, and maybe does not show the hurt.
But Mom was not a somber woman, not one to run away and hide.
She was one to embrace the sun, to lean back, laugh, and enjoy the ride.
Today we wear black in mourning, for a woman sorely missed,
But remember her in sunshine, bright colors and morning mist.
Even in a time of mourning, a mother’s joyful spirit lives on and deserves to be celebrated.
10. Every Time
For a religious family.
Every time the snow falls, I always think of Mom.
I think of her each bright fall morning when I cut the lawn.
She is with me when I go to church and with me when I pray;
She stays with me all through the night as in my bed I lay.
We talk as though we have lost her, but I know she is not gone;
She is with me in the stars that shine and with me in the dawn.
In all these little moments when I find I am filled with love,
And a sense of inner peace, it is always Mom I am thinking of.
This poem evokes the sense of calm a person might find in remembering that their mom is always with them.
11. Warm Cup of Coffee on a Cold Day
For the mom who always had the right words.
Yesterday, I woke up and something was missing,
And though I thought about it, I could not quite place what it was.
The toaster was there, and the coffee maker,
And the stove and the old oven gloves.
Then I realized the problem was bigger,
Than my bedroom or kitchen or chair.
I was missing my mother, our mother, beloved,
Who was suddenly no longer there.
So, I sat and I mulled it all over,
If she were here what would she say,
And just thinking of her warmed me up inside,
Like hot coffee on a cold winter’s day.
This poem celebrates the lasting power of memories in helping people cope with loss.
For someone who loved the spring.
Lilacs bloom in the springtime,
And for a few weeks, they are everywhere.
You cannot turn a corner without being overwhelmed
With the smell of the vibrant lilacs
Like the heavy mist before a rain.
My grief is like the lilacs.
It grows, and blooms, and overwhelms,
Then fades into the distance,
Until I turn the next corner,
The corner where Mom and I used to jump over cracks
And pick up worms that had squiggled out in the rain,
And I am overwhelmed again
With the smell of lilacs and love.
This poem uses vivid imagery to remind listeners of the power of simple memories to bring back the spirit of a lost mother.
13. Wilting Flowers
When all of this is over, and the flowers have started to fade,
When the condolence cards are in the trash and we have gone back to our regular days,
There will still be moments of sorrow, when the grief and the memories feel fresh,
Where we think of Mom as she would want us to do, in the days when she was her best.
When we were young, and the world full of sunshine,
When she was young, and her heart full of pride,
We will compost the flowers and throw out the cards, but she will always live on, inside.
This poem emphasizes the small moments of people adapting to loss by continuing to incorporate the lost loved one in their lives.
14. The River
For the mom who always gave the best advice.
The river starts out as a stream, and flows out to the sea,
So your children start out small, and grow until they are free.
A mother’s love, like tributaries, nourishes their souls;
Her words and scolds are snowmelt, and they make the river whole.
Our tributaries have run dry; the snowmelt is all gone,
But still, we live and laugh and love. The river rushes on.
She carved the path our river runs; her memory remains to guide us,
And all her words and love of old, still flow along inside us.
This poem is suitable to be read by a daughter at her mother’s funeral. It celebrates the way a mother’s love and guidance continues to influence the lives of her children.
15. Rose Garden
For a gardener.
If I grew a rose garden,
It would have bush for Mom
Of the whitest roses I could find,
The whitest, purest, most perfect roses in the world.
But in the center, I would grow,
A single red rose,
The pulsing, living heart of the garden.
The white roses I would pluck, occasionally,
To leave on her grave,
But the red rose would stay protected,
Guarded by loving thorns,
A heart living on.
This poem uses peaceful garden imagery to celebrate the idea of living on after death.
16. The Moon Is Like A Mother
For a mom who was always looking out for you.
The moon is like a mother, always watching over us.
She shines a light that is warm and gentle, bright and soft and pure.
Now here we stand without our mother, ashes and dust to dust.
With a better understanding, perhaps, of the moon’s hypnotizing allure.
She seems loving, soft and caring; she seems sweet and kind and good –
All the things a mom must be, except the moon is distant, too.
Far away and cold she sits, in a way no mother should;
The moon is like our mother now – distant, yes, but watching, too.
This poem uses imagery of natural beauty and serenity to remind people that their mother continues to guide and protect them from beyond the grave.
17. Safe Harbor
For the mother who always made you feel secure.
I think my mother’s favorite song
Was one she would sing to me
About a ship that set out sailing
One night on a stormy sea.
But the captain was not frightened;
He knew his ship would face no harm,
Because he would always find safe harbor
Deep inside his mother’s arms.
I hum that song often now,
Whenever the storm inches in.
And in that song, I know I have found
Safe harbor once again.
This funeral poem encapsulates the feeling all children have that their mom can protect them from anything.
For a child who used to be afraid of the dark.
Saying good night was always an ordeal in my house.
I never wanted to sleep,
Never wanted to be alone in the darkness of the night.
What I did not understand at the time
Was that I was not alone;
Even if Mom was in her bedroom down the hall,
She was there,
The whole time,
Waiting to rescue me from monsters and burglars and nightmares.
She was always waiting to rescue me,
If she needed to,
And I cannot say the same now,
Except to hope that she has passed beyond nightmares,
That there is nothing left to say,
But good night.
This poem celebrates moms as their children’s staunchest defenders.
For a whimsical, storytelling mother.
I remember asking Mom, once,
Why the ocean was so salty,
And she told me it was made of tears,
All the tears that had ever been cried.
People might be lonely,
But their tears never would.
I hope she was right,
Because I am lonely now,
Lonely beyond words.
I hope my tears are not.
Moms answer a lot of silly questions from their kids. This poem uses that moment to evoke the isolation of grief.
For a cook.
You know that pot, the big pasta pot?
The one your mother used to use.
Go and fetch it; go and clean it;
Fill it with water, warm, and salt –
Do not forget the salt,
Or it will not taste like anything,
Not even tears –
But fill the pot with water,
And fill the pot with pasta,
And I will throw in the stories
And you will throw in the memories,
And we will make dinner out of the past,
And eat with our mother,
One last time.
For a mom who was happiest as the center of family meals, this poem celebrates the spiritual power of a shared meal.
For the gentle disciplinarian.
I will count to ten, our mom would say,
And we would fall in line.
We would tidy up and stop our play,
Just in the nick of time.
There is no one left to count to ten,
To tell us to clean up this mess.
Instead, the clock tocks on again,
Following no one’s behest.
I wish that I could count to ten,
And bring Mom back to us.
Then we could all be kids again,
And a family, complete and unfussed.
This poem uses a small childhood memory to memorialize the little ways that moms hold their families together. A perfect poem to use as a tribute to your mother at her funeral.
22. No Words
For someone who was especially close to their mother.
There are no words to truly say
Just what you meant to me.
There are no words that can convey
How much I long to see
Your smiling face just one more time,
To hold your arms so close in mine
To stop time, just for you and me.
This poem powerfully evokes the simple sentiments of loss and longing.
23. More Than Gold
For the mother who was always ready to join in on a game of make-believe.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be royalty,
With a golden crown and a golden throne and a golden palace.
What I did not realize at the time,
Was that I had gold, and more than my share,
In the afternoons we spent cutting up yellow construction paper
To make a crown for me to rule my kingdom,
My loyal stuffed animal subjects,
And my mother,
Who made nobility and goodness look so easy,
I did not even see them until she was gone.
Moms are the first people to encourage kids in their dreams, even the impossible ones. You can recite this poem at her funeral to celebrate the small moments spent together.
24. Teddy Bears
For a mom who always had the perfect solution to every problem.
As a kid, I believed in teddy bears,
Believed in them heart and soul.
I believed they could save the world,
Could take broken things and make them whole.
I no longer believe in teddy bears;
I have passed mine on to my kids.
Instead, I believed in my mother,
Who said she could fix things – and did.
But tonight, I want that old teddy bear,
Want to hold him and squeeze him and cry.
Maybe he can fix the one thing Mom could not –
My heart, broken from saying goodbye.
This poem evokes the unwavering faith children have in their parents.
For a bookworm.
My mother collected books
The way some people collect baseball cards, or grudges.
She had shelves full of them,
And each one a memory.
This one she read while pregnant.
This one she read at piano recitals.
I do not have room for shelves of books in my house,
So instead, on rainy Sundays,
I will take a cup of coffee,
And peruse the bookshelves of my mind,
Shake the dust off unpaged memories,
And sit down with my mother,
Who will put down her own book and listen.
This poem celebrates the way that memories of our mothers can continue to be a source of comfort, even after they are gone.
26. A Toast
For an indomitable woman.
Raise a glass to a woman who never let us down.
To a woman who never said die.
To a fighter, a thinker, a dreamer, a mom.
Long and in peace may she lie.
This short funeral poem will be easy to recite, even for those that hate public speaking.
27. A Still Pond
For a mom who loved nature.
My heart is a still pond
In which my mother sits like a tossed stone,
Leaving ripples across the surface
And displacing the soft mud of my soul
Even long after she seems to have disappeared.
This beautiful poem presents a vivid image to represent the continuing ways moms impact their children’s lives.
28. Love Lives Longer
For a mom who made everything seem better.
Love lives longer than a memory;
Love lives longer than a life;
Love lives as long as we want it to,
A balm in this world full of strife.
One of the easiest funeral poems to memorize or recite. It could also serve as a toast at a wake or other informal memorial service.
29. Love Song to my Mother
For someone who appreciates the small moments the most.
I love you more than your fresh-baked cookies.
I love you more than your favorite flowers.
I love you more than watching Jeopardy together on Thursday nights.
I love you more than stressing out about teaching me how to drive.
I love you more than homemade Halloween costumes.
I love you more than Easter egg hunts.
I love you more than perfect birthday parties.
I love you more than anything, except…
I could never love you more than you loved me.
This poem expresses the overwhelming love mothers have for their kids, and would also be easy to edit or add to for anyone who wanted to include their own special memories with their mom.
For the mom who worked harder than she let on.
So many things I did not see,
When I had the time to see them.
The late nights making sandwiches,
The long days where we would not eat them.
The hours of work and the hours of play
And never a minute for herself
But she did it all with a smile and a hug
And never once asked for our help.
So many things I did not see,
Until I could not see them, ever.
I wished I had thanked her, when I had the time,
For everything, always, forever.
This poem eloquently lays out all the work mothers do that their children rarely see until they are adults themselves.
For someone who was very close to their mom.
Always will I love you,
And always will I say
You were my best and oldest friend;
You made rain shine, turned night into day.
Always will I miss you,
And always will I wish,
That I could see you one more time,
And thank you, again, for all this.
One of the simplest funeral poems to encapsulate the devotion and strength of the bond between mother and child.
32. The Things You Gave Me
A warm pair of mittens last Christmas,
A hug when I scraped my knee,
More love than anyone could know what to do with,
And a chance, such a chance, to be me.
This short, rhythmic poem is easy for anyone to memorize and recite.
See More Funeral Poems:
- Obituary Examples: If you are struggling with writing an obituary for a loved one, you may refer to these thoughtful obituary examples for inspiration.
- Poems About Loss: This is a collection of beautiful, heartwarming poems that explore loss and grief after the death of a loved one.
- Poems About Death: A collection of eloquent poetry that can be used to express the harrowing sadness and pain felt by the bereaved, in the aftermath of a personal loss.