How To Help People Deal With The Death Of A Loved One

Why saying 'if you want to talk give me a call' is not enough.

The mother and the sister of a man who died in an alleged fatal tonsil operation were found dead in a car in Sydney on Tuesday.

Ashley Pouladian and her mother left a chilling note affixed to the door of their Greenacre property instructing neighbours to call emergency services.

“Dear neighbours please call the police we are in our car in the backyard,” the note read.

The bodies of the two women and their German Shepard were found in the car which was located in their home's driveway.

Neighbours told The Daily Telegraph that the mother and daughter had been quite depressed following the death of their brother and son, 24-year-old Pouya Pouladain.

The mother and daughter turned his life support off in March after one of this arteries was cut during a medical procedure. The Daily Telegraph reported neighbours would regularly check on the pair as they were aware of the struggle they were going through.

The father of the family died six years ago and Pouya started working three jobs to support his mother and sister, as well as pay for his training in the aviation industry.

How To Cope With The Death Of A Loved One

The grief process is very individual. Every person has a unique response to emotional hardship, some will go through the full range of emotions and others will delay the grief process from starting in the first place.

"The shock of it is incredible especially if it is a sudden death," Director of Psychological Services for the Centre for Corporate Health Rachel Clements told ten daily. 

"The shock can last for quite a long time for people and the common coping strategy for people is become busy with thoughts, busy with activities to busy themselves to delay a grief process."

People need the most support in the months after they lose a loved one. Image: Getty Images.

While coping with grief is unique to each individual, Clements said people who are in the support network of someone who is going through grief should try to be available for them weeks and months after the event.

"People are often extremely well supported in the immediate aftermath of the incident in the days and sometimes the weeks following the incident," Clements said.

I find most people struggle when that wears off, where people go back to their normal lives and ... the person that is impacted does go off their radar a little bit.

Clements recommends that communities and families surrounding someone who is going through grief encourage them to seek support from trained professionals if it becomes clear they aren't coping with their loss.

She also said often people want to reminisce about their loved one and talk about them, rather than avoid the situation.

"They might say 'if you want to talk give me a call' but they [the grieving person] aren’t in the space to make those calls, so the support crew should be the one to initiate those calls," Clements said. 

Reaching out takes courage and confidence and those things are what goes missing when you are not doing too well.

It is also important to note that loosing a loved one doesn't often result in other family members or friends committing suicide.

"A very normal part of the grief process is longing to see that person again, to talk to that person again, and be with them again but it doesn't normally take the the actions of suicide."

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.