Photos of Faith’s Lodge
Our Faith’s Lodge Story
In spring of 2014, a year after Ethan’s death, we journeyed to Faith’s Lodge, “a place where parents and families facing the serious illness or loss of a child can retreat to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present and build hope for the future.” With the anniversary of Ethan’s passing and his birthday the following month, our hearts and minds were telling us that it was the right time to visit. As we packed our bags, we shared our ideas about what this experience might be like, but what it turned out to be was far beyond what we could have ever imagined. There was nature, peace, and time to “just be,” but what we didn’t anticipate was the profound connection to others who were there for the very same reason. We all laughed together as we all admitted to initially believing this would turn out to be one big “summer camp group therapy” experience, but what we actually found was that our shared presence alone was, in fact, the most incredible form of therapy there was. Regardless of our child’s story and where we all traveled from, we shared a common bond and level of understanding that allowed us to exist in a way we haven’t been able to since the loss of our children. With as impactful as our experience was as a couple, we knew we would one day return to Faith’s Lodge with our other two children who were only 2 years old when they lost their brother. Once again, in 2015, we made that trip to Faith’s Lodge, with our then 4-year-old twins, who were only just beginning to realize and understand their own grief journey. We were grateful for not only the continued parent support, but also their child-focused programming including art therapy and access to toys/play room as well as outdoor games and activities. Together, we painted heart stones, mason jar luminaries, and bird houses. We walked the hiking trails, followed the labyrinth, and reflected on Ethan’s memorial paver stone. We canoed the lake and sat on the wooden swing above the shore. At night we listened to the choirs of frogs peeping and crickets chirping while we sat by the starlit bonfires cooking s’mores. The kids especially loved stargazing through the telescope hoping to try our chances at seeing a closeup of Ethan’s beloved moon. Every single step and breath we took, we felt closer to the memory of Ethan…it became such a pivotal step in our healing. Faith’s Lodge and all who resided within have become a part of our journey, and each day we step forward forever better, with hope, because of them.