Ashley Grimm said she went through “every mother’s worst fear” when a large rock rolled in front of her vehicle in Idaho, US, killing her four-year-old son Titus.
The mother-of-eight had been travelling with six of her children - five of whom she managed to free from the car following the accident on 2 June 2016.
Grimm took to Facebook to explain the situation in response to receiving hateful comments about her role as a mother.
“I feel I need 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’,” she wrote.
“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.”
“On June 2nd, I lost my youngest son in a horrible car accident,” Grimm explained.
“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. 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 eight-year-old brother (they were switching spots and I didn’t know).”
The rock hit the front of Grimm’s car and sent them plummeting into the side of a cliff, where the car rolled over.
“My son was instantly gone. Our lives were instantly ripped apart,” she wrote.
“The little boy who had been my pride and joy was cruelly taken from me in a matter of seconds.
“All my children were whipped away and taken to an ambulance to be cared for. I was sedated, for the shock made me inconsolable.”
Grimm said after the accident she read comments online from people saying she “deserved it”. Rather than reply to every individual comment, she penned a post for everyone to read.
“I have kissed his 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,” she wrote.
“And what I want to say (if you’ve read this far, you’re so patient and so kind) is this: maybe finishing broccoli at dinner isn’t as important as we might think. Watch how your children eat, soak in their hatred for corn.
“Get into their world. Learn to play the Xbox with them. Embrace their beautiful, fleeting imagination.
“Take every hug and kiss they bring you - even the 25th 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.
“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.
“Mamas, hold your children tight. How blessed you are to have been entrusted with such unique, beautiful, tiny humans.”
Grimm’s post was shared nearly 400,000 times within four days of being uploaded on 15 July 2016.
Unlike previous comments she had read about herself, she was greeted with messages of support and condolences.
“Thanks for sharing your story, you are brave, genuine and an amazing mother,” one person wrote.
“Your story is of amazing strength and love. No one can understand your pain as we all have different stories. Shame on others that have said negative things, rise above and know that you have a support team in all of us.”
Another commented: “My condolences to you Ashley Grimm, may your little beautiful man rest in peace. Stay strong mama keep his memory alive.
“How we take life and everyone for granted nothing is forever.”
Grimm later thanked everyone for their support.
“I am floored and beyond humbled by the love you have all poured out to me and my family,” she wrote on Facebook.