The tragedy mom Ashley Grimm lived through is something no mother should ever experience.
On June 2, she and her eight children were in the family van when a rock rolled in front of their vehicle on the mountain road. The rock sent the van plummeting down a cliff, and from the wreckage, Ashley tried to recover her children.
According to a TODAY Parents story, the accident occurred after the family spent the afternoon playing baseball with her children at a local park.
“I remember being smashed between my console (no airbag engaged) and our three ton van,” she said in a Facebook post recalling the incident. “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.”
Sadly, her eight-year-old child Titus had died instantly.
Ashley Grimm and her son Titus; Photo credit: Ashley Grimm / TODAY
“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.”
Ashely said what followed was a blur.
She refused treatment from paramedics until they allowed her to hold her dead son. Meanwhile, all her other children were taken to an ambulance to be cared for. She had to be sedated because she was inconsolable.
Two days later, she saw the news being reported all over the place, even on Facebook. Adding insult to the injury, she saw all the negative response to her child’s death.
“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. That he built me Lego ships, took naps in my bed while holding my hand with his dimpled little fingers.”
Ashley told TODAY that it’s easy to write mean comments from behind the screen where they are protected and hidden.
“If they can believe that I had control over this situation, they can believe that if they take enough precautions, they will have control over their children’s lives,” she said, “and a tragedy like this would never happen to them.”
Despite this, she harbors no hard feelings for these people, because she says she was guilty of judging other people in the past.
“But I will never judge another parent from this day forward, because we never know. We just can’t know the whole story.”
In her Facebook posts, she also encourages parents to “hold your babies tight.” Because after going through “every mother’s worst fear,” it has changed her from the inside out forever.
She’s decided to share her tragic story so that parents all over the world will give her son’s life more purpose.
“If parents are cherishing their children more, drawing them near and finding the beauty in parenthood, then maybe, just maybe I will someday see the beauty in the loss of my son. I am so proud of who he is and how his heart has moved the hearts of many.”