Friends Way – a children’s bereavement center in Rhode Island – this week continued an annual tradition of spreading holiday cheer to a local family.

On Monday, Katherine, 9, arrived home from school to find a little bit of Christmas magic. With decorations provided by Christmas Decor by SeaScape, Friends Way arranged to have her family’s Coventry home decked out for the holiday season.

Katherine was a baby when her dad, Bradley Cooke, passed away suddenly. Katherine’s mom, Meghan Donnelly, and Cooke were engaged to be married at the time of his death.

Meghan said understandably, December can be a difficult time for her family.

“Christmas is a little harder because he wasn’t there for many of them because he passed when she was young so just trying to bring some smiles and also keep his memory alive for her,” Meghan told ABC6 News.

Each year, Friend’s Way and SeaScape work together for this holiday tradition.

“SeaScape generously donates the light installation for a family and I have the hard job of finding one family,” Friends Way Program Director Ryan Loiselle told Channel 10. “I was touched the first year SeaScape reached out to us to say we want to do this and knowing they have their own grief in their own business they totally get it. They understand that this could help a family just by looking at the lights and knowing how much work was put into it.”

“The holidays are hard for grief. Every day is hard, but we also want to have families have some joy knowing, it’s ok to be happy,” Loiselle said. “Yes, you’re missing the person who has died, but you can still celebrate and honor traditions and start new ones.”

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