Ginny Hayes said she's fortunate following the death of her husband of 55 years because she found bereavement counselor Marie Langlois at CarePartners in Asheville.
"I think it's important for people to know that grief is a difficult thing to get through," Langlois explained.
"It took a long time for my heart to understand that he was gone," Hayes said of her husband's passing.
"You certainly notice it during the holidays and special occasions because those were times you were together. Your family was together, and you were a complete unit," Hayes added.
Hayes' meetings with Langlois proved only the start.
"Having some additional coping strategies and additional skills can be very helpful," Langlois insisted.
"The counseling I got (with Langlois) and grief education really made a difference to me," Hayes said. "It helped me talk through the way I was feeling."
Langlois said people dealing with grief should have a flexible plan for the different holidays.
"You can always change the plan if you have one. If you don't, it's a very long 24 hours; it's a very long two months," Langlois advised.
But for Hayes, the holidays are now nothing to fret about, and experiences to again enjoy with others again.
A "Surviving the Holidays" workshop will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at CarePartners' Seymour Auditorium at 68 Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville. The workshop is free of charge. Call 828-257-0126 to register.