I am writing my thesis and would like to dedicate it to my parents. However my father passed away while I was studying. I would like to dedicate it to both him and my mother. How do I word this without making the sentence too awkward?

Is it correct to say "to my loving parents" even though one of them is actually not with us anymore? (Meaning, is it correct usage of the language, or is it necessary to use the words "late/diseased" etc.?)

  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's more about seeking opinion-based "writing advice" than learning English. Feb 26, 2015 at 19:07
  • If you think that is an appropriate dedication, who is anyone to say otherwise? It might be one I would use if in a similar situation.
    – user6951
    Feb 26, 2015 at 20:22
  • 1
    If you do end up using the last phrase, the word you are looking for is 'deceased' meaning dead, not 'diseased', meaning suffering from a disease. Feb 27, 2015 at 2:41

2 Answers 2


You can avoid "late" but still make clear that you father is dead by expanding the dedication a bit:

To my mother for her ongoing love and support
and to my father who could not see this thesis completed.

I'm sure the native speakers can come up with a more elegant wording, but the pattern of giving two separate forms of thanks would be my choice.


Conventional wording would, I think, be, "Dedicated to my parents" or "Dedication: To my parents" or "Dedicated to my father and mother".

If both of your parents were dead, you could say "to my late parents" or "to my late father and mother". But with one dead and one alive the wording gets a little awkward. Yes, you could say "to my late father and to my mother", but personally I think that makes a choppy sentence. If it was me I'd just not mention the "late" part.

  • Thanks... So it is ok to say "dedicated to my parents"? Moved the question to writers beta since it was put on hold here:(
    – user17745
    Feb 26, 2015 at 23:25
  • Sure. "Dedicated to my parents" is a very common dedication in books. It's also common to write "Dedication" at the top of the page, and then below this, "To my parents".
    – Jay
    Feb 27, 2015 at 14:13

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