“From My Heart to Yours” -Ashley Grimm

“From My Heart to Yours”  -Ashley Grimm

THIS. HURTS. SO. DEEP.  The UNTHINKABLE.  Death.  To really live you can’t focus on death.  The two don’t work well together in our daily thoughts.  We are wired for life and togetherness, family.  We all have lost a loved one.  We hope and pray to NEVER feel the pain of losing a child, it’s hard enough for any of us to be separated by death, but it is, dare I say, a breath of comfort to know a full life has been lived.

This mama, Ashley, has blown away even the tiniest hidden hardened parts of my heart that have crept in.  I have melted and cried so deeply for her, all the grieving mamas that her words shine a light upon.  I need to hug her here with my words, with my heart wrapped around hers, but I can’t, I can’t make it better, the only comfort can really come from the Holy One, and even then, even then.  We can’t re-write the past, but write our way forward in a way that is only worked out somehow, someway, even by wrestling with God Himself, in the days ahead.

Many mothers share this same soul wound, but Ashley’s words stood in my face, ready to pour as glowing hot liquid metal from a faith-it post.  Her words are meant to ignite not deaden the heart, but to raise the bar, the banner of love to cover our children, to love and savor the days blessed to be with them, for we don’t know the exact day we will go home to be with our Creator and heavenly family.  Her words are going to change you, you’re going to feel love try to rip its way out of your chest, rushing to fix it all, hold them all, put it all back together!  Her words ring clear, your heart will never lose sight of them, they beg, beg, beg you to lighten your load,  lift your eyes, play more, smile more, teach more, laugh more; with your children, your families.  Here is Ashley’s story:

I have gone through every mother’s worst fear. I was driving. I had pulled away from a gas station, checking each buckle, and I began to drive the curvy, mountainous road to my family’s house. My son was notorious for doing everything he could to unbuckle in the car.

‘The Flash doesn’t wear a seat belt, and I’m The Flash, 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. He was a superhero because he always succeeded. On average, I would usually pull over three or four times on any given trip to firmly make him buckle up again. 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. And yes, he had already unbuckled along with his 8-year-old brother. They were switching spots, and I didn’t know. The rock hit my axle, and sent us plummeting into the side of a cliff. 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. 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 of my five children 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.

It was instantaneous, which only brings me comfort because I know he felt no pain. What followed was a blur. I refused treatment from the paramedics until they let me hold my dead son. All my children were whipped away and taken to an ambulance to be cared for. I was life-flighted and sedated, for the shock made me inconsolable.

It was two days later that I saw it all over Facebook. News channels reporting the death of my child as if they were simply reporting a change in weather, or a newly discovered planet. I was thankful they reported that no drugs or alcohol had been a factor. 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 goodnight 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. But no one would have listened anyway.

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.

I’m not who I once was; death and loss changes a person from the inside out.

I have held my dead son’s body in the middle of a highway while I rocked him and screamed, no ordered God to bring him back.

I have chosen a funeral plot for my four-year-old boy as I contemplated jumping from the cliff the cemetery overlooks just so I could be where he is.

I have purchased a 200-dollar superhero outfit for my son to wear as he decomposes in the earth.

I have kissed a corpse over and over and wept as I traced over every feature of his ice-cold face and held his still dimpled, but lifeless hands.

I have slept in a cemetery just to try and take one more nap with him. I talk to the dirt. To the ground where he lies with his lovey blanket and his Avengers outfit.

And what I want to say (if you’ve read this far, you’re so patient and so kind) is this. And you can share it with any mama you know.

Maybe finishing broccoli at dinner isn’t as important as we might think. Watch how your children eat, soak in their hatred for corn (oh, how Titus hated corn). Maybe they can still have ice cream, even just sometimes, while those veggies still sit on their plate.

Learn to pretend. Get into their world. Learn to play Xbox with them. Embrace their beautiful, fleeting imagination. Let them really believe they are Captain America or Queen Elsa. Get in their mind, see how they tick. The dishes will still be there.

Take every hug and kiss they bring you, even the twenty-fifth one they use just to get out of bed at night. And really squeeze them.

Stop and look at the bugs, the rocks, the sticks, the sunset. Slow down mama, slow down.

Tell them you love them. But look in their eyes and say it like you mean it. Tell them they can do anything, anything they set their mind to.

Yes, we must hold them accountable but sometimes maybe grace is the answer. Maybe, just maybe, they won’t end up ruined if we let some things slide.

Never judge another mama. We don’t know the whole story, we don’t know. We just don’t know.

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. Set down your phone and see them through the lens of your eyes, not only the lens of your camera.  Remember the feeling of their head on your shoulder, their hand in yours, their sloppy kisses on your cheeks.  Nurse them one more time. Sleep is overrated. Listen five minutes longer about Star Wars, Minecraft, and Disney princesses.

Mamas, hold your children tight. How blessed you are to have been entrusted with such unique, beautiful, tiny humans.

“From my heart to yours.” -Ashley Grimm

 * written by Ashley Grimm, posted on September 18, 2019 to Love What Matters and Faithit Facebook pages 

I don’t want to leave you without sharing the truth that God knows exactly how we feel.  He sent His only Son, Jesus, born of a Virgin and of the Holy Spirit to die a horrifically cruel and violent death, that we might have life, He is not selfish.  In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was made flesh.  Jesus grew up with his mother and father, he had siblings; he lived and loved.  He cried out for John to take care of His mother right before He cried out for the Father to forgive us our sins, as the weight of all of the sins of the world would rest on Him, as He experienced, for the first time, separation from the Father … before he breathed His last breath on the cross.  Jesus has so much to intimately show us about His story, His life, our life, our future…all in due time, as we allow.

Seventeen years ago I was desperate for safety and protection for my newly born baby girl.  I was seeking God, but this fear that I couldn’t physically do enough to MAKE SURE she would be safe, that she would live and not die, be successful, not make the same mistakes that I made in life …was overwhelming.  While rocking her to sleep, I had a real experience with God.  His love, His presence manifested in a way that felt like He was wrapped around me, He made me to know How great His love was compared to mine, to know in a way that I treasure to this day, the magnitude of His love for me, my family, all people.  He made me to know that He was the One, the only way to ensure the safety I was seeking for this newly born piece of my heart, sleeping in my arms. You cannot look at your newborn and think that you will have to wait to see each other again in heaven someday…we can’t fathom, we just can’t.

That day changed my life!  Getting to experience that kind of love is what I wanted more than anything for our little girl’s innocent heart, all of her days.  Somehow, everything would be okay if we were with HIM in this life together, and after.  Since that day, I have soaked in uncountable hours of God’s truth, His story, allowing Him to fill my life with all of His hope, passions, and Power, as much as I was willing to draw near and to receive, it is a growth process.  I learned to pray the promises of God in the lives of my family.  We have weapons of warfare, we have authority in the spiritual realm, but we do not control everything…we have been given the ability to overcome with new eyes and spirit.  We have for all these years talked about all the family already there, in heaven waiting for us, the family we haven’t met yet; the siblings that I miscarried.

God always comforts.   He gave me wonderful things to share with my oldest daughter, when I miscarried, that her sister, Savannah Rose, loves it when Jesus shares things about her sister she hasn’t met, and that Jesus lets her ride on His horse, and so many more cherished things making my heart so happy.  When my little dog passed away recently, a vision was so sweetly shared, powerfully stirring my heart; that Jasper is with Savannah Rose, running after her in a gorgeous field (property that is prepared for me!).  It became so real to me how she has missed out growing up with us, but we have missed out on her growing up in heaven, that she will be introducing us to so much and so many generations of relatives and people I can’t wait to meet like Eve, King David, and the Apostle Paul.  I realized that Jasper was a living love letter to Savannah. I have this vision in my heart of him running so fast, following her to the most magical of places on my property, to a uniquely crafted tree swing (I imagine that this is one of her favorite spots!), where her excitement is bursting as Jasper fills her in on all of the details only a dog knows of our family and home life!

Savannah never made it past twelve weeks of pregnancy.  At nine weeks I knew that I was pregnant with twins, but one heartbeat of the two was not found.  At 12 weeks I miscarried at home, but I had hoped that the other was still thriving.  We had picked out a name of Wyatt Carver if we were having a boy, and Savannah Rose if a girl.  The night before I went to see my Doctor, after knowing that I had lost at least one baby, God gave me a dream of Savannah in heaven.  I saw her at about the age of what seemed to be seventeen or eighteen.  He didn’t reveal to me about the other twin, I just have a knowing in my spirit that Wyatt is there too because of private things God has shared in the past, and what an amazing gift and surprise it will be to get to meet and love them face to face in that moment yet to come. God’s life is so alive to us that we will always share that in our hearts and our future; the promise of heaven, life after death for the children of God.  Children, those not yet to the age of knowing (Truly knowing the story of God, and not rejecting the Son of God, His death, His blood that covers our sins once and for all, and His Resurrection)…THEY GO TO HEAVEN.  Period.  We have this comfort of knowing by the Spirit of God, He is alive.  These little ones, these not yet to the age of knowing are with Him!

Even yet, we will continue to grope for the words to share that attempt to sow comfort, to cover the gaping raw violent soul ripping wound that this mama and many other people bare.  In all of the wonder, amazing journey of revelations of Him I have lived thus far, this painful subject can only be handled by Him alone in the heart. He binds up the broken hearted.  He knows the way for each.

I pray the Holy Spirit prepare hearts to receive salvation through Christ, a new spirit born alive unto God.  I pray for spiritual eyes to be opened.  I pray that you know that you are so loved, your souls be fed only what God knows you need to be made whole again, allow Him to comfort you when you are ready.  God speed.

“Behold! I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O death, where is your victory?                                                                           O death, where is your sting?” -1 Corinthians 15:51-57

“Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” -John 14:1-3

“And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”  -Ecclesiastes 12:7

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” -Cortinthians 15:26

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my rock and my fortress, my God, in Him I will trust.”                                                                                                                                               -Psalm 91:1-2

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in Me , though he die, yet shall live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”                                                                                                                                       -John 11:25-26