A grieving mom's Facebook post is going viral because of its urgent plea to other parents in light of the tragic accident that killed her son.
Idaho mother-of-8 Ashley Grimm says she is living every parent's worst nightmare. "On June 2nd, I lost my youngest son in a horrible car accident," she recounts in her heartbreaking post. The unthinkable happened when she was driving her 13-passenger van home up a mountainous road. "My son was notorious for doing everything he could to unbuckle in the car ('The Flash doesn't wear a seatbelt, and I'm theFlash [sic], mama') We tried five point harness seats, boosters, I believe even zip ties at one point (probably not safe either) but he always viewed it as a superhero challenge."
Grimm says on typical trips, she would pull over three or four times to get her son Titus to buckle up. On this fateful day, she writes, "We were only five minutes out when a large rock rolled into my lane. I had three choices: try to straddle the rock, move to the oncoming lane which was a double line large curve with an angry river at the other side. Rock, head on collision, river. I chose the rock. I chose wrong."
"The rock hit my axle, and sent us plummeting into the side of a cliff," Grimm continues. "Our 13 passenger van rolled and my son was instantly gone. Our lives were instantly ripped apart. The little boy who had been my pride and joy was cruelly taken from me in a matter of seconds."
Grimm's tough-to-read post goes on: "I remember being smashed between my console (no airbag engaged) and our three ton van. I had blood everywhere. I fought and fought and then blacked out. When I awoke, I was unbuckling my baby from her car seat (she was upside down) and working to get each child (5 of my children were with me) out of the van. When I came to Titus I worked with all my might to lift the heavy van off his tiny body. My 8 year old son was trying to help me. I could only see the lower half of his body. I rubbed his tummy and tried gentle compressions. But he was already gone."
The only comfort Grimm says she is able to find is that Titus did not suffer. Still, she was inconsolable as she held her dead son and watched her other kids being whipped away by ambulance. Grimm herself was life-flighted to a hospital to be treated for her injuries.
"It was two days later that I saw it all over Facebook," she writes, adding how news reports rather matter-of-factly recounted how her son had died. But that's not what hurt. The readers commented the cruelest things about how horrible of a mother I was. How I deserved it. How my children should be taken from me. I wanted to punch them, shake them. Tell them how close we were, how hard I fought to keep him safe. How we had a special good night kiss and a designated McDonald's date each week. I wanted to scream that he always told me he wanted to marry me, that I was the best mama ever. That he built me Lego ships, took naps in my bed while holding my hand with his dimpled little fingers."
Omg. Heart. Breaking. Especially when Grimm adds, "I feel led to write this to all you Mamas because I have a longing to look each of you in the eyes and tell you this: 'Hold your babies tight'. That's all I want to shout to the world."
This. This beautiful message after, as this poor mama says, she had to pick out a funeral plot for her 4-year-old, while she "contemplated jumping from the cliff the cemetery overlooks" so she could be with Titus. This, even after she bought a superhero outfit to bury him in.
Grimm's description of how she has slept in the cemetery to take one more nap with her son, is just. So. Awful. And how anyone could judge a parent who is going through the worst hell imaginable is just plain sick. We've got to stop doing it! We've got to stop judging parents like Grimm, and like Mr. and Mrs. Graves, who lost their son Lane in an alligator attack at Disney World. Because no one is above a terrible tragedy from ripping their lives apart. S,o as Grimm says, let's just hold our babies tight. And stop judging.
Let's also heed Grimm's advice not to let the little things take over, like whether our kiddos finish their veggies at dinner. Instead, let's truly cherish the moments when our children are letting their imaginations run free, when they want to kiss and hug us, when they make a mess; even when they wake us in the night for another drink of water, or a monster under the bed. Because those are just the moments Ashley Grimm would do anything to get back with her son, Titus.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.