Family renovates house in Old Town Lewisville, turns it into grief retreat called Broken Halos Haven

family of five
Natalie Reid-Knutson, with her husband, Kjell Knutson, and her three sons, Joshua, Austin and Brody, restored the old house in Old Town Lewisville that is being used for Broken Halos Haven. (Courtesy Broken Halos Haven)

Natalie Reid-Knutson, with her husband, Kjell Knutson, and her three sons, Joshua, Austin and Brody, restored the old house in Old Town Lewisville that is being used for Broken Halos Haven. (Courtesy Broken Halos Haven)

Image description
The living room wall on the left is decorated with reclaimed wood from the old house. Broken Halos Haven is now available to be booked for grief retreats. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Details catering to the widows and widowers who will stay at Broken Halos Haven are all around the newly renovated, nearly 100-year-old house in Old Town Lewisville. A single night stand sits on the left side of the master bed. A subtle cross lies in the ceiling’s wainscoting. Original wood removed during renovation covers the living room wall. It is a blend of the old with the new.

“Just like me,” Natalie Reid-Knutson said.

She and her husband, Kjell Knutson, opened the grief retreat called Broken Halos Haven on Aug. 14, the third anniversary of the death of Reid-Knutson’s first husband, Wayne.

The idea of creating a safe haven for widows or widowers and their children came from a trip Reid-Knutson and her three sons took while processing their own grief, she said.

“Our first Christmas was coming up after his death, and I knew we did not want to be at home around all of the emotional grief triggers,” Reid-Knutson said.


The family stayed at a friend’s apartment in New York and made new memories, she said. Broken Halos Haven was designed to give other grieving families an experience like the one she had. Widows, widowers or their loved ones can register online to stay at the three-bedroom, two-bath house for two free nights. Grieving families can also create a registry where their loved ones may donate to fund meals and activities for the families to do while on the retreat. “When someone dies, there is an influx of cash and casseroles,” Reid-Knutson said. “Because everyone wants to help, but nobody knows how.”

Having the registry allows families to ask for things they may want or need while staying at Broken Halos Haven, so by the time they arrive, they don’t have to worry about the logistics, she said.

“Then they just have a few days to take those first few steps forward in finding joy,” she said.

While Broken Halos Haven operates as a limited liability company, Reid-Knutson said she has begun the paperwork to become a certified nonprofit.

Reid-Knutson said the hardest part in this new venture will be deciding which families get to use the retreat. The size of the family and the newness of their loss will factor into that.

“I hate it because I don’t want to compare someone’s grief journey,” Reid-Knutson said. ”But we have to choose who is given this opportunity based on the way that we can have the greatest impact to meet those needs.”

How it works

1) Register for a stay online at www.brokenhaloshaven.org by sharing a little bit about your story, indicating which dates you would like to stay and how many guests will be joining you.

2) After your stay is approved, fill out the grief getaway gift registry by selecting meals, activities and transportation services your loved ones can donate toward your trip.

3) A link to your registry will be sent to you and can be shared with loved ones who wish to donate to your trip.

4) Put together a schedule for your stay. Then enjoy your grief getaway at Broken Halos Haven in Old Town Lewisville.
By Samantha Van Dyke
Samantha Van Dyke is Community Impact's DFW Metro Reporter. She previously served as managing editor of The Arkansas Traveler.


MOST RECENT

people dressed as cowboys
Lewisville creates 4 entertainment zones, changes rules to encourage more special events

From the ordinance comes four new event zones in Lewisville—the Castle Hills Community District, the Mall District, the Bill Weaver Arena and the Old Town Entertainment District.

Dental instruments
New location for Smiles Family Dental now open in Flower Mound

The practice relocated within Flower Mound and is now open at a new location.

vaccine in arm
Denton County Public Health now scheduling booster shots for Moderna vaccine

The move comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and the Texas Department of State Health Services all authorized the booster shot for those who meet certain criteria and who originally received the Moderna vaccine.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

Drone-based delivery company Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, announced on Oct. 20 a partnership with Walgreens to bring the unconventional delivery model to densely populated metropolitan areas in the country. (Courtesy Wing)
Plano ISD is considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year; delivery drones will soon be flying around Frisco and more top DFW-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Lake Park concept
Lake Park master plan in Lewisville looks to enhance camping space, prevent shoreline erosion

The master plan for the Lake Park area is the first of its kind as the area has continued to evolve from what used to be a catch-all park space.

people next to barbecue grill
8 events coming up in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village

A songwriting challenge, barbecue contest and art demonstration are among the upcoming events.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Training facility rendering.
Flower Mound approves joint fire station training facility with Lewisville, Highland Village

The joint fire training facility will be owned by the city of Lewisville and will allow access for Flower Mound and Highland Village.

dining room/lobby area
RiverWalk Flats active-adult community in Flower Mound to host grand opening event

The RiverWalk Flats, an active-adult community in Flower Mound, is hosting a grand opening event from 2-4 p.m. Oct 28.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.