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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Ways We Honor the Legacy of the Deceased


I just lost a dear friend who was like family. We had a 25 year age gap, but we were sisters.  She was having health issues, but nobody really knew the extent to which her organs were shutting down.  After the talk about hospice, she passed peacefully on her own. Although I am grateful that the last words we said to each other on the phone was a proper I love you, instead of the Luv ya Sister we usually exchanged, I never really got real closure.

If I would have had the closure I wanted, I would have thanked her for the sisterhood, friendship, and wisdom. I would have asked her how I could continue her legacy.


The relationship is not over, it’s just different


I am really sad without my sister, but I know she is there with me.  I feel her presence and energy. Even though I didn’t hear it from her mouth, I am pretty confident I know how she would want to be remembered and celebrated.


Honor a legacy by embracing their favorites.


Partaking in their favorite foods, music, or other experiences can help maintain that connection.  Appreciate why they might have loved it so much. For instance, I have a dear friend who eats at her beloved late brother’s favorite restaurant every year on his birthday. 


Honor a legacy by continuing their work.


Whether it’s fulfilling the work of their career or continuing to achieve their goals, you might be in a place to finish what they started. If not you, there might be someone else to help with the cause. Something that truly brings me joy is to see my late mentor, the amazing Dr. Susan Wheelan get cited for her incredible contributions on group and team development and dynamics. Her theories continue to be learned and valued.


Honor a legacy by remembering their wisdom.


One of the things we tend to miss the most about the deceased is their opinions, insights, and perspectives. How would they advise me in this situation? Continuing to listen to them is another way to keep them alive by applying their wisdom to current situations.


Honor a legacy by enjoying their old stuff.


I am lucky enough to have furniture and other heirlooms from my grandparents, like their dining room furniture. It’s very special eating at the same table for holidays as my grandparents and other cherished family and friends who are no longer with us. I also have a set of china from my other late grandparents.


Honor a legacy by getting together with other people who knew them.


Funerals and memorial services certainly bring people together.  That same crowd could continue to gather to honor their loved one’s memory through stories.  Why should everyone wait until the next death to appreciate each other?


Honor a legacy by naming something after them.


Help them live on. With donations and connections, something might be created and named in their memory like a scholarship, building, fund, or anything else that embraces the person’s spirit. In Judaism, babies are named after their deceased by using the first initial or other parts of their name, as well as passing down their Hebrew name.


How can you honor the legacies of those you lost?






Please shoot me an email to share something I might have missed!

Hi, Beautiful Readers and thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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