Who We Are
Luella’s Lodge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides support groups and non-traditional holistic therapies for families grieving the death of a child. Luella’s Lodge utilizes a beautiful log cabin on 10 peaceful and serene acres with a private lake and hiking & biking trails to provide a retreat where families can connect with one another through grief and healing.
In September 2018, we were living a very happy, blessed and simple life with our 17-month-old daughter, Luella and newborn son, Lochlan. Luella was a sweet soul and advanced in many ways. She loved to draw, climb on everything, spend time outside in nature and love on her new baby brother. Luella began showing symptoms of being sick on September 9, 2018. We decided to take her to the emergency room where we were told she had croup, received a steroid and was sent home with instructions to return if her symptoms worsened. Luella seemed to be improving during the day on September 10th. After we went to bed for the night, Luella’s symptoms worsened. We again took her to the ER. She was transferred from the ER to pediatrics and immediately admitted to the ICU because of her breathing difficulty. She was observed throughout the day until her symptoms had greatly deteriorated to the point that intubation was unsuccessful. Luella passed away on September 11th, 2018. A follow up autopsy revealed that she had been suffering from an aggressive form of bacterial pneumonia which developed from a common viral infection.
We were shocked, heartbroken, devastated and unsure how we were going to continue on with our lives without our precious Luella with us. We received an amazing amount of support from friends and family and learned about Faith’s Lodge, a grief retreat center located in Northwest Wisconsin, for bereaved families to connect and grieve together. In November 2018, we attended a long weekend with other families that had been through the unimaginable tragedy of losing a child. We were able to talk and connect with other families, enjoy nature hikes, receive relaxing massages and partake in memorial activities to honor Luella.
After leaving, we felt that something similar to Faith’s Lodge needed to exist in East-Central Illinois to help other grieving families. We also wanted for our beautiful daughter’s name to live on and to find a special way to honor her and the passion for Luella’s Lodge began.
We hope that the lodge can provide a beacon of light to bereaved families that are on their own grief journeys. We do this in honor of our sweet girl who we miss dearly every day.
Thank you for all your support and love,
Ben & Carrie Hay