What Mothers Can Teach Us About Comforting Grieving Families


“A mother is the truest friend we have,” wrote Washington Irving. Since Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th, let’s honor the mothers in our lives by taking a closer look at what they can teach us about caring for client families.

Mothers are comforting, selfless and supportive. They listen closely when we need to open up, and offer the wisdom of their experiences only when needed. They care for both our physical well-being, and nurture our spiritual selves. Mothers accept us as we are, and support our personal growth.

We all have personal life lessons we’ve learned from our mothers, but let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of a mother and see how funeral professionals can practice those same qualities when comforting grieving families.

Mothers are:

Generous: A successful funeral professional is generous with their time—spending as much time as is necessary to build a connection with grieving family members.

Patient: Everyone grieves in different ways, at different times. By offering your families aftercare services, you become a trusted resource for them to depend on, even after the funeral service, so they can deal with their grief in their own time.

Resilient: The emotional ups-and-downs of grieving mean family members can be a lot like children and teenagers—unpredictable or difficult to deal with. Like mothers, funeral directors should be resilient and able to adapt to their families emotional needs.

Self-less: Funeral directors need to show total interest in their client families, setting aside their own personal and professional needs during their time together. You must put your families’ needs ahead of your own.

Responsive: Not only do you need to be aware of the physical, verbal and emotional cues brought about by grief, you’ve got to be able to respond quickly and appropriately.

Prepared: A funeral director should always be one-step-ahead. Your families look to you for grief support during the weeks following loss, and that means you’ve got to be ready for anything.

Resourceful: Every family expects different things from their funeral director. Providing all the grief support options available to your families proves you are someone they can rely on, and makes you the person they’ll turn to, time and again.

What Do Funeral Professionals and Mothers Have in Common?

In short, both do everything they can to help when times are tough. Every good funeral director and every loving mother does their best, again in the words of Washington Irving, “to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

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  1. ASD

    Great blog Kim! Like mothers, I think a lot of funeral directors develop instincts overtime that help them determine the right approach to comfort their families. 

  2. Kim Stacey

    Thanks for your compliment. It was a challenging post to write, I’ll be honest. Rather than reflecting on my own mother (who was less than stellar in any of these areas), I had to look inside, at my own parenting. Not to sound prideful, but in having a “negative role model”, I learned (by contradiction) how to excel at “mothering.” 

    Now, I may be a bit…overzealous…in loving my sons (is there such a thing?), I always done my best to live up to the ideals I wrote about – something my mother was never able to do. We are all teachers, even dear Rosemary!  

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