UnknownChristmas is a joyful time for most people. But for some it can be a difficult time, especially for those who have lost a loved one. Christmas reminds them of what or who is gone. The pain of that grief can be quite unbearable.

I had my first major encounter with grief when I lost my mother suddenly back in 1990. I had to navigate through all the ordinary stages of grief and it wasn't easy. The first Christmas after this was a painful time. Mum wasn't there any more and she wasn't coming back.

Let's be sensitive this year to those around us who may be in pain or grief. They may not be experiencing the joy and sense of celebration that we are. Reach out to them in love and compassion.

Prominent American church pastor, Rick Warren, and his wife Kay, experienced the unexpected death of their son Matthew not long ago. Kay recently wrote as article "Stop Sending Cheery Christmas Cards". Well worth reading and well worth heeding.