Just two weeks after losing their son in a tragic drowning accident at home, Granger Smith and his wife, Amber, have reached out to family, friends and fans on social media to thank them for their generosity and kindness, but also to share some important and heartfelt thoughts.
In a YouTube video, the couple took turns speaking, at times fighting back tears.
Granger remembered the night that the accident took place. “It was actually a night just like this,” he said. “I was outside playing with London. We were doing gymnastics in the yard and the boys were playing water gun fight. And I remembered thinking, I was looking at London as she was doing gymnastics and I thought, ‘soak up this moment.’ I just had this thought, ‘soak up this moment because it’s not going to last forever.’ Somewhere between 30-seconds and three minutes, we don’t know, Amber and I are inside our pool gate doing CPR on our son.”
He went on to say, “I think the platform that we immediately stand for is love those close to you, soak up those moments, live for today, live in the present because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.”
He bravely added, “We believe that in our belief that God gave us River for three years and that was his mission. And I don’t believe that God takes anyone too soon.”
Granger remembered his daughter, London, asking him how many days River lived and he told her that it was just over a thousand days. He grew more emotional as he said, “What if we all were given a thousand days. What if you were given a gift of one thousand day son this earth and you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back, on your go-kart, on your tractor, full speed ahead, if you could do that with your family around you, with no real cares in the world, that’s a good thousand days. That’s a good way to live. That’s a huge example for me and my life, and Amber, and how we’re going to move forward and how we’re going to look at every single day.”
Together, they said, “The most important thing that we want to say, the reason we’re doing this video, is we are committed to each other, we’re committed to our family, our kids, and our faith. We are stronger than ever right now. We’ve gotten so close and we are going to constantly search for the meaning behind all of this. Not the reason, the meaning.”
Granger also pleaded, “Don’t feel sorry for us because we feel very blessed. We had an incredible little boy for three years. We feel really good about that and we feel really good about our other kids and their state of mind right now. And we’re going to live our best life and we’re going to do it with you guys, and we’re going to share it with you guys.”
The singer-songwriter, also known by his alter ego Earl Dibbles, did say that he would be returning to his tour in a week and would have Amber, along with their children London and Lincoln. He also said he was holding off on meet-and-greets for a bit.
“I don’t think that’s the best place for me to be right now,” he said. He went on to explain, “A – It’s going to be strange if we have to talk about River, and B – it’s going to be stranger if we don’t talk about River.”
Granger and Amber closed their message with the video that played at River’s services and in the first 15 seconds of it, viewers learn what the couple means when they say “live like Riv.”
Our thoughts remain with the Smith family as they continue on their journey to healing.
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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!