Amber and Granger Smith Give Vulnerable First Update Since Son River’s Tragic Death

“When you think of River we want you to smile," the couple say.

Written by Chris Parton
Amber and Granger Smith Give Vulnerable First Update Since Son River’s Tragic Death
Granger Smith's son River; Photo via YouTube

Country singer Granger Smith and his wife Amber have posted a lengthy video to YouTube regarding the tragic loss of their son, River, updating fans on how the family is coping and offering details about events surrounding the three year old’s death.

Sitting side by side in the vulnerable clip, titled Finding Light In Our Darkest Time, the Smith’s first thank fans, the country music community and more for their support. They go on to note that over $100,000 has been raised for the hospital which cared for River, before Smith recounts what happened on that fateful day.

“It was actually a night just like this,” the singer says, choking back tears. “I was outside playing with [daughter] London doing gymnastics in the yard, and the boys were playing water gun fight. I was looking at London as she was doing gymnastics and I remember thinking … ‘Soak up this moment, because it’s not going to last forever.’ Somewhere between 30 seconds and three mintues, we dont know, Amber and I are inside our pool gate doing CPR on our son.”

The Smiths also explain that their faith has carried them through this trying time, and that as difficult as the situation has been, they choose to view River’s “1,000 days” on Earth as a blessing.

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We’ve been on quite the journey these past few weeks. I’ve been dark on social media, but I still have a full understanding of the responsibility placed upon me as a public figure. I can choose to snuff that influence, or instead use my platform (in relevancy big or small) towards what I believe is right. I believe I’m obligated on certain levels to include you guys in my current journey, as I’ve been involved either personally or musically in yours. – The finality and mortality brought on by death makes life feel fragile. It can weaken, terrify and separate those close to it. But it can also awaken us. It can remind us never to take a moment with those we love for granted. – In my house, we have united stronger and closer than we’ve ever been. We’ve cried. We’ve smiled. I’ve held my family tight. I’ve found strength from God and used that in the face of adversity so that my wife and children can rely on me. I’ve guarded my heart and my mind during weak moments and graciously accepted all of the encouragement and empathy from so many. I have realized that I will not slave over a search for answers, but instead for meaning. I will focus and then cultivate the light from a dark place, the good from the bad, God’s will from my own plans. I can rest assured knowing that River’s assignment on earth was always intended for 1116 days and not only did he live it to the fullest, but he lived it loved by so many, including a mother, father, sister and brother who held nothing back and have no regrets on how much he felt that love. We should all be so blessed to be able to live like Riv. – Amber and I want you to hear it from us and not just read it, so we made this little video for you to watch. (Link in bio)Thank you for all the love, prayers and support. We feel it!

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“If you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back on your tractor full speed ahead, if you could do that with your family around you, with no real care in the world — that’s a good way to live,” he says. “That’s a huge example for me and how we’re going to look at every single day.”

River was rushed to Dell Childrens Medical Center in Austin, Texas, following the accident, but despite doctor’s best efforts was not able to be revived. He passed away two days later on June 6, 2019.

“Don’t feel sorry for us. We feel very blessed. We had an incredible boy for three years and we feel good about that,” the couple say, before the video ends with a montage of photos and videos which was shown at River’s funeral. “When you think of River we want you to smile.”

Smith says he will return to road, as music has always been his way of healing. The family also raised more than $100,000 for the Children’s Hospital with a T-shirt fundraiser in River’s honor.