Country singer Granger Smith is sharing an update with fans following the drowning death of his 3-year-old son, River.
Smith and wife Amber announced on June 6 that their youngest son died in a “tragic accident” at the family’s home, writing, “Our family is devastated and heartbroken.”
The grieving parents sat down for an emotional YouTube video nearly two weeks later to give a firsthand account of “how we’re doing and where we plan to go from here.”
“We are going to search for every bit of good we can find in this situation, the worst situation we have ever been through,” Smith said, while sitting next to Amber at their Texas home. “That’s my commitment to River’s legacy.”
Smith recalled the fateful day that changed their family forever, saying that, “what happened to us that night defied all possibilities.”
“I was outside playing with London. We were doing gymnastics in the yard and the boys were doing a water gun fight,” he said. “I remember thinking … ‘Soak up this moment because it’s not going to last forever.’ Somewhere between 30 seconds and 3 minutes, we don’t know, Amber and I are inside our pool gate doing CPR on our son.”
‘Tragic accident’: Country singer Granger Smith’s 3-year-old son drowns at family home
The “If the Boot Fits” singer said he believed his son was assigned to Earth for only three years and that he finds comfort in knowing that River lived those days to the fullest.
“I don’t believe God takes anyone too soon. I’m not going to play around my mind this fictitious timeline of River graduating from college … because I believe he was put on this Earth for that exact amount of time,” Smith said, adding that their son lived “just over 1,000 (days).”
Granger Smith and wife Amber Bartlett (Photo: George Walker IV / Tennessean.com)
Smith and Amber said they relied on the support of families who’ve faced similar tragedies and hope to help other mourning parents find the light in darkness one day.
“We’ve talked to some celebrity parents who’ve gone through this. That seems to really help, having that understanding with each other,” he said. “That’s something we’re setting ourselves (up) for in the future, to be prepared to be people to talk to with something like this.”
One thing the Smith family wants everyone to know? “Don’t feel sorry for us, because we feel very blessed,” he said.
“We had an incredible little boy for three years,” Smith added. “We feel really good about that. We feel really good about our other kids and their state of mind right now. We are going to live our best life.”
Smith and Amber share daughter London, 7, and son Lincoln, 5.
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The parents thanked the country music community, Texans and fans across the world for their outpouring of love and support, including those who raised over $100,000 in honor of River through a tribute T-shirt.
“Thank you for sharing it. Thank you for buying it and thank you for that gift that we will be able to give back to (the Dell Children’s Medical Center),” Amber said, referring to the Texas hospital where River was treated before his death.
Smith said he plans to return to touring next week with his family by his side, adding, “music has always been my healing.”
“We are stronger than ever right now,” Smith said, crediting his family’s faith. “(River) will always be with me, he will always be in our hearts.”
The 27-minute YouTube video included a montage of clips from throughout River’s life that was shared at his funeral service. “We want to make you smile because when I think of Riv I … smile,” Smith concluded.
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