Earlier this month (June 6), Granger Smith shared the heartbreaking news that his youngest son, River, had died in a tragic drowning accident.
“Despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived. Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life,” Smith wrote on Instagram. “Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father.”
Smith and his family have been quite in the days since, as they grieve their loss. But, Granger took to social media Wednesday (June 1) to share a candid and heartbreaking update about how their family is healing, and vowed to search for meaning instead of answers.
“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,” Smith captioned a photo of River on Instagram.
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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!
Granger and his wife also recorded a video for fans in which they thanked fans, first responders, their community and friends for their support and love. The couple also openly talked about how they plan to preserve River’s legacy.
“We are going to search for every bit of good that we can find in this situation…the worst situation we’ve ever been through. We’re going to constantly search for ways that good will come out of this. That is my commitment to River’s legacy,” Granger said.
Smith then went on to briefly detail the accident that took River’s life. “It as a night just like this. I was outside playing with London. We were doing gymnastics in the yard, and the boys were playing water gun fight. I remember thinking, I was looking at London, she was doing gymnastics, and I thought ‘Soak up this moment,'” Smith recalled. “‘ 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.”
“The platform we immediately stand for is… Love those close to you. Soak up those moments for today. Live in the present because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.
Granger Smith goes on to share that their belief is that River was here as long as God intended him to be…that he was given to them for 3 years and that he served his purpose on earth.
The couple also wanted to make it clear that they are committed to each other, their family, their friends and their faith. The accident has made them stronger and closer, and together they plan to spread their message and River’s legacy.
Smith will be going back out on tour next week with his family by his side. He has chosen to refrain from meet & greets with fans for the time being.
Watch the emotional video from Granger Smith and his wife below.