ARS Offers Grief Counseling after Tragic Loss


(view original article) GLENDALE—The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS) mourns the loss of Allen Yekikian and his wife, Sosé Thomassian. The ARS-WUSA Regional Executive would like to extend condolences to their families, and particularly Vaché Thomassian, who has been a former member of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee.

Allen Yekikian was a former Assistant Editor of Asbarez and director of Communications of AUA, as well as a leader of Armenian Youth Federation. His beloved wife Sosé, was a former member of the AYF Ashod Yergat Chapter of OrangeCounty, and a director of the AYF Youth Corps Program.

Since the whole community is in mourning, the ARS would like to offer some suggestions from the ARS Child, Youth & Family Guidance Center Director, Dr. Ida Karayan, PsyD, LMFT, CBT, followed by psychologists who are ready to provide individual and grief counseling to all those who would like to seek help.

This is a message from Dr. Karayan, a Family, Child and Individual Psychotherapist:

Dear fellow community members and youth,

I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Sosé Thomassian and Allen Yekikian. It is hard to understand why two people so well-loved by the community, so good, and so dedicated to being of service to those around them should be taken away from us, but everything, even this, must a purpose. Please accept my deepest condolences and do not hesitate to contact me if I can help. There is no way around actually feeling the pain of loss, but the following simple suggestions might help:

  • Allow yourself to feel the feelings of sadness and loss, as painful as they are.
  • Remember that the feelings you are having are moving you toward healing and acceptance.
  • Be alone for a while if you need to, but don’t isolate.
  • Mourn. Participate in the rituals that we have to help us deal with loss.
  • Express your feelings of sadness through talking with others, wearing black, crying, or not crying—in whatever way you express sadness. You can even write about it.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to heal. In time, the intensity of the pain will dissipate, and a warm feeling of love will come to accompany the feelings of loss.
  • Remember their legacy, cherish their memories and move forward as they wanted you to do.