After surviving a car crash which claimed the life of one of her five children, Ashley Grimm posted a deeply moving message on Facebook advising all parents to cherish their moments with their children. It immediately went viral, as strangers offered their compassion and support.
Sometimes parents are so pushed for time and energy that even a toilet break lasting over two minutes seems like a luxury. And while it can be grating when your little ones demand about 37 hugs before settling down for bedtime, we can never know if it’ll be the last time we hold them ever again.
In deep grief after losing her little boy, Ashley took to Facebook to write, ‘Mamas, hold your children tight. How blessed you are to have been entrusted with such unique, beautiful, tiny humans.’
After waking up in hospital to countless news stories of her five-year-old’s tragic death, some of which accused her of being a ‘horrible mother’ who deserved it, Ashley describes the torment she has gone through.
‘I’m not who I once was; death and loss changes a person from the inside out.
‘I have held my dead sons body in the middle of a highway while I rocked him and screamed – no ordered God to bring him back.’
The post went viral, reaching nearly 400k shares, as people spread her message of love and pain around the world. Many expressed disbelief that the mother could even be blamed for the accident, as she explains how her son Titus always managed to wriggle free of his seatbelt because his favourite superhero Flash ‘doesn’t wear one’.
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As a huge lorry suddenly pulled out in front of the family’s car, Ashley crashed into a boulder to avoid it and ended up smashing into a cliff. Titus had unbuckled his and his brother’s seatbelt, and in the subsequent impact he was crushed by the car.
‘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. It was instantaneous, which only brings me comfort because I know he felt no pain.’
Since then, Ashley has been trying to cope with her grief by sleeping next to her son’s grave, buying a $200 superhero suit for him to be buried in, and has even contemplated suicide just to be closer to him.
She urges parents to devote themselves even more to their children and to cherish every moment with them.
‘Go hug your babies right now. Soak in their smell, look at the innocent sparkle in their eyes that is lost somewhere between childhood and adulthood. Really feel how they squeeze you … Sleep is overrated. Listen five minutes longer about Star Wars, Minecraft, and Disney princesses.’