One hour on a plane took my understanding of grief to a new level
It's something all of us will have to deal with throughout our lives.
It comes in many forms but when it comes via a late night knock on the door, it begins a process that will continue for the rest of your life.
I am referring to the death of a loved one in a car crash. The loss is sudden and final but the grieving isn't.
About 10 years ago on a plane flight from Rockhampton to Brisbane I sat a next to a woman who had lost a son in an accident some three years before.
She was a lovely, positive person who had much to live for, but even before she had told me about her son, I had detected a deep, underlying sadness in her eyes.
She told me about that incredible, life-smashing moment when she found out her son had died.
She told me about living in a fog of grief for the next year. "Then one day, the sun came up again,'' is how she described the moment the cloak of grief lifted enough for her to live again.
Nothing will fill that hole in her heart but the passage of time has allowed the emotional wound to partially heal.
I have never lost anyone in a crash, but I will never forget that one hour I shared with that mum on the plane.
During these Christmas holidays, let's all remember it is the time to give, not to grieve.
Please make a special effort to drive safe and don't take any chances with fatigue, alcohol or speed.
It's not only your life at stake, it's also the ones you may take with you as well as the ones you'll leave behind.