Yet again the world of pop is in mourning, this time for musical genius George Michael after he died on Christmas Day, aged just 53. Since the shocking news of music legend David Bowie back in January, we've had to endure the deaths of a multitude of high profile celebrities and musicians, including the utterly unique artist Prince, and most recently, actress Carrie Fisher, followed by her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the day after. All these losses have dominated the media, and, whilst it is reassuring to know that these huge stars were truly respected and admired, it can make it hard for us to escape our own painful emotions about their passing.

Even though we didn't know any of these famous people as well as those closest to them, they had been, and still are, a big part of our lives - the musicians whose records we remember from key moments in our past, the nation's favourite broadcaster, Terry Wogan, or Victoria Wood who over many years brought us much laughter. Indeed, the list goes on and on. However, be reminded that, although all these famous people are no longer with us, our memories of them will forever remain.

When celebrities die who have in the past brought us happiness, our grief is stronger because they have struck such a personal note within us. Many, particularly from the baby boom generation, feel that huge chapters from their youth have been lost. To some it's the end of the world, but for others it may have little or no impact. A lack of empathy from our friends and family can leave us feeling worse and unsupported, yet we can gain comfort by acknowledging the communal grief shown in the heartfelt messages and tributes throughout the media and social networks for each and every one of them.

The particularly high number of losses in 2016 highlights for us, especially those who have suffered their own personal and private loss, the need to embrace life, cherish every moment, and never take any situation for granted. Despite all the negative news that has engulfed us over the past 12 months, we have to believe that 2017 will be encouragingly positive. In George Michael's words - We Gotta Have Faith.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very healthy and peaceful New Year.