AUSTIN, Texas - Country singer Granger Smith and his wife, Amber, opened up about the final moments before the death of their 3-year-old son, River, and how the family has been holding up since the tragic accident.
In a YouTube video, the couple thanked fans from around the world for the outpouring of support they’ve received since their son’s accidental drowning at their home in Texas.
“I’m really nervous to do this video right now. I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous to do a video in my own house,” Smith said, who noted that it had been two weeks since River’s passing.
The “Backroad Song” singer said they have spoken to other families who have gone through similar tragic situations, which has helped in their grief. He thanked all the first responders and hospital staff and said they hope to carry on River’s legacy in the future.
Amber and Granger Smith attend the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
“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,” he said to the camera.
Smith explained that the day River died, he was outside with his daughter doing gymnastics and his two sons were having a water gun fight. He remembered thinking to himself, “Soak up this moment, because it's not going to last forever.”
Within 30 seconds to three minutes, the couple was by their pool performing CPR on their son, he said.
At the time of River’s death, Smith shared a heartbreaking post on social media.
“I have to deliver unthinkable news. We’ve lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived,” he wrote. “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.”
In the YouTube video, Smith said they believe River was put on this earth by God “for that exact amount of time.” He explained that his 7-year-old daughter asked how many days River had lived, and he told her just over 1,000 days.
“I thought, what if we were all given a gift of 1,000 days on this earth? And you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back, on your go-kart, on your tractor, full speed ahead,” Granger said, holding back tears. “If you could do that with your family around you, with no real cares in the world, that’s a good 1,000 days.”
He said that in the wake of such an incredibly sad event to happen to their family, their relationship is “stronger than ever.”
“We have gotten so close and we are going to constantly search for the meaning behind all of this,” he said.
Smith said he’ll be bringing his family on tour this summer so they can all be together, adding that he won't be doing fan meet and greets just yet.
“Music has always been my healing, that’s the place I’ve always turned to,” Smith said.
On Instagram, Smith said that River’s death "makes life feel fragile," but reminds us "never to take a moment with those we love for granted."
“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,” he wrote.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.