Colorado moms put on conference for mothers who have lost children

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Moms in Colorado Springs are putting on the second annual Healthy Hope and Healing Conference for mothers who have lost children.

The conference will take place July 8 at the Glen Eyrie Castle.

Chris Volberding and Lynda Shelhamer came up with the idea for the conference last year.

“I guess I just wanted a place that I felt loved and cared for,” Volberding said. “And this gives mothers a safe place to come and celebrate their children.”

Volberding makes pins with the children’s pictures and names on them to help the mother honor the child.

Shelhamer said she loves wearing her pin with her son, Josiah, on it.

“I love wearing mine, because then people will ask, ‘Who’s Josiah?,’ and then I get to tell them about his life,” Shelhamer said.

Shelhamer also wrote a devotional book to help other mothers through their daily struggle of grieving, after losing her son to suicide.

“It covers topics that I struggled with, [like] feeling so alone and abandoned,” Shelhamer said. “Feeling like my world was upside down and inside out.”

Shelhamer said Josiah would want her to be happy.

“I decided I could be a victim or a victor. I could sit there and stare at the walls and cry all day in my bed … but I didn’t think my son would feel honored by my doing that,” Shelhamer said.

Event planner Kelsi Cole lost two babies to miscarriages, and encourages other mothers to open up about their grief.

“Moms don’t like talking about it, but this is definitely a safe environment and place for them to do that,” Cole said.

Cole said these children are not an afterthought, “they are still a member of our family.”

Something new this year – the night before the all-women’s conference, fathers and loved ones are invited for an evening to learn how to grieve as well.

If you have lost a child and want to get involved in this year’s Heavenly Hope and Healing conference, you can find more information here.

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