One of the most difficult tasks a child of a narcissist has is to eulogize their deceased, abusive parent. While it’s tempting to say everything you wanted to say to your narcissistic mother at her funeral service, the reality is that she won’t be there to hear it, and it won’t help you the way you think it might. So how do you write a eulogy for someone who abused you over the course of your entire life?
When writing a eulogy for your narcissistic mother, be honest, but kind. As she did in life, use phrases and words, the deeper meaning of which informed listeners will easily identify. They will read between the lines, and they will gain solace from the words not said. This will help you heal.
The focus of writing a eulogy, though about the deceased, is really on giving comfort to the living. It’s critical to keep that in mind as you try to choose the right words that will offer closure and comfort to those left behind. Read on to discover more about how this can help you heal from the abuse.
How to Eulogize Your Narcissistic Mother
If you’ve decided to attend her funeral and eulogize her, this is not the time to air your grievances. As metaphysicist Peter Ratcliffe so poignantly notes, “Those who speak ill of the dead diminish only themselves.” It won’t help you, it won’t help anyone else abused by her, and it won’t give you the closure you’re seeking.
You want to find a way to be honest while still being kind. Begin with the facts – how many loved ones she leaves behind and such, and then, you can thank your listeners for joining you.
So far, so good, but that’s the easy part. Now you can start to use phrases and words that leave room for interpretation. For example, you might say something like, “Each of her children had their own unique relationship with Mom.” This can be interpreted by those in the know as, “She abused each of us in a different way.”
Then you might say, “While we had our share of problems, there were certainly fun times and we will treasure those memories.” Those who didn’t know her well can interpret this as any number of problems that healthy families experience, but those in the know will understand what you mean.
Now, you can insert some factual information about things you did growing up or that she did in her life. To speak about the impact of her parenting on your life, you can say something like, “The lessons my mother taught me were about how important good parenting is to the long-term health and wellbeing of your children.”
That sounds very nice, but notice that you aren’t saying she was a good parent, only that her parenting taught you the importance of good parenting. That’s true, just not in the way some people might interpret it.
How to Bring the Eulogy to a Close
When you’re looking for the words to bring your eulogy to a close, you can talk about how she is now at peace. That is also true given that she is no longer tormented by her personality disorder.
When you think about how narcissistic personality disorder develops and what is really behind the narcissist’s behavior, you can feel compassion for her suffering. It’s not an exaggeration to say that she was tormented for her entire life.
You can end your eulogy with a wish that everyone listening to your words will leave the service more dedicated to honoring the best in themselves. You’re wishing that they take away something good from the legacy your mother has left.
This is not a dishonest wish. Even those abused by your narcissistic mother can take something positive away from her legacy. If nothing else, they have learned how important it is to have something they might not have had – a loving, supportive, and kind mother.
How Do You Find Healing?
When the ceremony is all over, you might be left wondering what comes next for you. It can feel as though there is so much more to say, but her death does not mean you can’t say it. It can help your healing process to express the feelings you might not have had the opportunity to express while she was alive.
One good way to do that is to write a letter to your mother. She won’t read your words, but you will experience healing just by writing them down. It’s a way to vent your own pain so that it doesn’t stay with you and continue to negatively affect your life.
In your letter, you can tell her exactly how you feel her parenting was abusive. You can really let her have it, and then, you can really let it go. That’s the point of this exercise. She’s gone, but you have to live on, and to do that well, you need to find a way to let her go.
She can’t hurt you anymore; only you can do that by holding on to the pain. With her being gone, it’s not time to free yourself once and for all. Tell her how you feel, let the pain move through you, and let her go forever.
The Next Steps – Your Narcissistic Mother’s Gifts to You
Once you’ve closed the door on your mother’s toxic parenting, it’s time to look at the gifts she gave you. That’s right, I said gifts, because she did leave you with many gifts that you might not recognize.
When we confront abuse early in life, we often learn survival strategies that not only help us as we mature, but they make us into who we are today. Your mother abused you. That’s a fact you can’t escape.
You can’t even console yourself with the idea that somehow she really loved you. She may have felt some kind of tenderness in her heart for you, and she may have even felt genuine love, but that’s not how she treated you. You didn’t feel loved, but what did that do for you?
I didn’t ask what that did to you, but what it did for you. You were only a child and there was no way you could know early on that she was abusive. You found out at some point, but up until that time, you had to survive despite the constant emotional abuse.
Whatever strategies you used, you survived, and for that, you deserve to acknowledge the strength you gained from those experiences. You might have used unhealthy coping strategies, but they worked. They got you through, and they brought you to a point where you now know and are learning how to heal. That’s amazing!
You should be congratulated for the strength you have. Just think of what else you can do if you can survive a distant, selfish parent. There’s almost nothing you can’t do. This is the gift she gave to you.
How To Use Your Narcissistic Mother’s Gift of Strength
After you are able to let go of the anger and pain your narcissistic mother caused and you have realized the gift she gave you, you can use that to help others still struggling. It’s like your siblings and your father (if he’s still alive) also suffered from her abuse.
You now have the ability to help them heal too, and that is a legacy worth creating. This is your opportunity to take the pain and anger and turn those negative feelings into a springboard for healing and moving beyond the damage.
You can use your own experiences to help others – your family and other people affected by narcissism – free themselves from the scars left behind by years of negative abuse. Just telling your story can help you heal yourself and many others as well.
Taking the hand that fate has dealt you and turning it into a way to help others overcome their own abuse can be the true legacy of both you and your mother’s life. I know because that’s what I did too. I can’t tell you how much sharing what I have learned has helped me overcome the self-judgment and shame my mother created in me.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s a simple, but very powerful statement of healing. You can take the bitter lemons your mother handed you and turn them into sweet lemonade that will quench the thirst of many desperate people who have suffered just like you. It’s a legacy worth creating for a world in desperate need of empathy.
A narcissistic mother is truly one of the most toxic people in the world. A mother is supposed to nurture their child, but a narcissist can’t do that. If your narcissistic mother is still alive, it’s critical that you watch this post about how you can deal with her as an adult. It has important insights into her behavior and how to manage it so you can have a better relationship.
If you want more tips for dealing with narcissists, setting boundaries, and managing emotional triggers, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel