• Be with people who care.
"You don't have to accept every invitation you get," Schneider said.
If a gathering becomes too much, go home with a friend or get outside and some air.
"Lean on the people who really care," he said. "Avoid the people who are going to give you grief."
• Beware of "stinkin' thinkin."
Make an effort to appreciate the presence of those with you even as you grieve, Schneider said.
Otherwise, he said, "you're missing out on the here and now."
• Concentrate on the meaning of the season.
Schneider quotes Edith Stein, a Jewish woman who became a Catholic nun (and saint) and who died in a Nazi death camp: "The Star of Bethlehem is a star that shines in a Dark Night."
• If the pain doesn't fade, seek counseling.
"There's no time limit on grief," Schneider said.
But those who mourn should expect to feel the pain fade over time.
• Take care of yourself.
"Self-care is not selfish," Schneider said. "This is a time in your life when you really need to take care of yourself."
Professional Healthcare Resources offers a monthly "Bridges" program at Charlestown. The Jan. 26 session at 1 p.m., will feature Deborah Baer discussing "The Many Faces of Grief." For information, call 410-73