Cooking With Coya creator Lyncoya Ilion finds comfort in kitchen

Most of us have experienced the comfort a meal provides during the mourning process.

For Brown Deer resident Lyncoya Ilion, food was a lifeline during a tragic time and a coping mechanism that led to a second career and connected her to a supportive community of fans. When her 19-year-old son, Michael Terrell, was killed in December 2019, Ilion turned to food, but she wasn’t eating through grief, she was managing it through cooking.

“My son wasn’t committing a crime or anything like that, but he was shot,” Ilion recalled.  

“I was suicidal. I have three adult kids and grandchildren, too, but I just didn’t see making it to the next day. Cooking gave me something to preoccupy my mind. Michael loved my cooking, so it helped me feel closer to him, and it kept my mind off of a lot of bad thoughts,” Ilion recalled.