Granger Smith Reveals Final Special Moment He Shared with Son River That Suddenly Turned to Tragedy

"We had an incredible boy for three years and we feel good about that," Smith said in a video shared on YouTube Wednesday

Granger Smith is opening up about the final special moment he shared with his 3-year-old son River Kelly before the little boy’s tragic death earlier this month.

After taking time to process their son’s death, Granger, 39, and his wife Amber shared a YouTube video on Wednesday, giving fans an update on how they are doing and what led to the fatal incident.

Granger explained on that day, he was outside doing gymnastics with his 7-year-old daughter London as his sons River and Lincoln Monarch, 5, were playing water gun fight.

In that very moment, Granger said he thought to himself, “Soak up this moment because it’s not going to last.”

Within “30 seconds to 3 minutes,” Granger and Amber found themselves “inside of our pool gate doing CPR on our son.”

River would be rushed to hospital but doctors were not able to revive him and he died two days later.

As Granger and Amber continue to come to terms with River’s sudden death, they are doing their best to find the “good” in the situation.

Granger explained he believes “God gave River to us for three years and that was his mission.”

“I don’t think God takes anyone too soon. I believe he was put on this earth for that exact amount of time,” he said.

The singer went on to share that his daughter asked “How long did River live?” to which he replied with “Just over a thousand days.”

That’s when Granger said he thought “What if you were given a gift to live 1000 days?”

“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 said fighting back tears.

“He lived a good 1000 days,” Granger continued. “That’s a huge example for me and how we’re going to look at every single day.”

At this time, Granger and Amber explained they are “committed to each other and our kids.”


“We are stronger than ever. We’ve gotten so close,” Granger said. “We are going to constantly search for the meaning [behind the accident], not the reason, not going to get caught up in the reason because we will never know, but we will find the good.”

Granger added, “Don’t feel sorry for us. We feel very blessed. We had an incredible boy for three years and we feel good about that.”

“We are going to live our best life.”

Granger also shared that he will be going back on tour as music has always been his “healing.”

The emotional clip concluded with a sweet compilation of photos and videos of River’s vibrant personality which were shown at his recent funeral.

Granger and Amber Smith.

“When you think of River we want you to smile,” the couple said. “Live like Riv.”

While Amber was fairly quiet throughout the clip, the grieving mother shared a post about River’s death on Instagram.

“Where do I even begin? This has been the most horrific, life-altering, soul-defining 2 weeks of our lives. We went from such a happy, fun-loving, exploring, dancing, party of 5, to hitting our knees, praying, asking why God, how God, and to losing our youngest son in a matter of minutes,” Amber wrote alongside a photo of River smiling widely.


“It all happened so fast. We spent the next 2 days in the hospital praying that our little Riv would be healed. We had hundreds of prayer warriors behind us, but God had other plans for our angel, bigger plans. If you believe in our God like we do, we know now that Riv was sent to this Earth so we could experience his joy, laughter and love for 3 years. And then Jesus came and took his hand before he went under and took him home.”

“Grief is such a strange thing. One minute you feel like you have the strength of a lion and you can handle what God has given you, the next you’re sitting by your son’s crib, holding his blanket and crying so hard that no tears or sound comes out, or punching your steering wheel crying and screaming at God, or smiling and laughing at the memories you have of such a special person.”

“Sadness, anger, shock, questioning, fear, hope, the joy of remembering, emptiness, worry, heartbreak, trust in our faith – we feel all of this and more. But we also feel all of the prayers and love from every one of you who have reached out to us during this time. Our family, friends, fans and even strangers have brought us so much comfort and we cannot thank you enough.”

Granger also shared the photo on his own Instagram page writing, “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.”

Lincoln, River and London.

“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,” he added.

On June 6, Granger’s rep confirmed to PEOPLE that River’s tragic death was due to a drowning accident at home.

Since his death, Granger and his team have honored River’s life by giving back to those who helped the little one in the hospital.

The country singer shared the “unthinkable” news on Twitter and Instagram that his and wife Amber’s 3-year-old son River Kelly died “following a tragic accident” where “despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived.”

Granger and Amber Smith when River was born.

Supporters close to the country star launched a fundraiser to donate funds to the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Texas, where his youngest child was treated on June 6. A T-shirt was created through the singer’s Yee Yee apparel line as a tribute to the toddler.

“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.

In the YouTube video, Granger and Amber revealed over $100,000 has been raised.

“This shirt has a Yee Yee Excavator on it (Riv’s favorite thing to do was watch excavators scoop up dirt) and is red – Riv’s favorite color,” the description reads.

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