The family and friends of slain teenager Yazdan Ghiasvand Ghiasi suffered a terrible loss this week, but every time the community loses a young person, everyone suffers, an Ottawa-based counsellor said Thursday.
“It’s about the worst thing a parent could endure,” said Jane Langmaid, whose area of expertise includes parents and teens.
“But it’s difficult for siblings and friends, too — it may be the first time that young people consider death, when one of their own dies. It changes their world.”
Outside the family, it has a widespread effect, causing grief and alarm in the community, “but some of those effects are positive, in that people can say, ‘I love you’ more,” she said.
When the death is sudden — Ghiasi was shot in the chest before being dumped out onto Booth Street and left to die Monday — there’s no preparation, which makes it “excruciatingly difficult,” said Langmaid.
Even if they have already had death in their lives, losing a member of the family they didn’t expect to lose can be difficult, said Deborah Krogan, program co-ordinator of the Bereaved Families of Ontario-Ottawa Region.
And when that person is lost due to violence, it makes it more difficult.
There’s media coverage, which is a constant reminder of the loss, and then there’s the matter of dealing with court issues, she said.
“It’s not always there when loss happens in other ways,” she said. “It increases the level of complication.”
Another recent example is the suicide of 14-year-old Daron Richardson last month. When the Richardsons made the circumstances of their daughter’s death public, it likely helped the family with their healing process, said Krogan.
A day to remember loved ones
The Bereaved Families of Ontario-Ottawa Region is holding its 25th annual Remembrance Tree Ceremony at the Bronson Centre at 6 p.m. on Dec. 18.
Guests can put a card in memory of a loved one on a tree and take part in a candle-lighting ceremony. To register, visit www.bfo-ottawa.org or call 613-567-4278.