Morgan Miller remembers daughter Emmy, who drowned at 19 months old in June 2018, in a heartfelt message about survival swim awareness

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 09, 2021 04:28 PM
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Morgan Miller is raising awareness about survival swimming lessons while remembering her late daughter Emmy three years after her drowning.

The athlete's daughter Emeline Grier drowned at 19 months old in June 2018. On that tragic day, Miller had dropped by a neighbor's house with Emmy in California's Orange County and was having tea when she noticed her little girl was nowhere in sight. Emmy had wandered through an open door to the backyard and into the shallow end of the pool. Paramedics arrived and rushed Emmy to the hospital, where she died the next day.

Looking back three years later, Miller writes on Instagram that "had I known then what I know now, my daughter would be alive."

"Today is the day we lost Emmy. 3 years ago today she drowned. 3 years ago tomorrow, she died. In ways it feels like yesterday and in others a lifetime ago. However, the feeling of loss is exactly the same," writes Miller, sharing photos of her kids in swimming lessons.

Miller - who is currently pregnant with a baby girl - also shares twin boys Asher and Aksel, 18 months, plus sons Easton, 2½, and Nash, 6, with husband Bode Miller. (Bode is also dad to son Nate, 8, and daughter Dace, 13, from two previous relationships.)

"3 years later, I'm now sitting face to face with what took my daughter's life and watching my boys learn to survive. The twins are only 3 days younger than Emmy was on this day and if they were to fall in, they have the skills to survive," she writes. "And the hardest part for me to grasp is what it all comes down to is knowledge. Had I known then, what I know now, my daughter would still be alive."

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"It's awareness of survival swim lessons, the false sense of security we give our children when we put them in puddle jumpers, it's awareness of the relationship and beliefs we teach our children in thinking that water is a fun and safe place to be, awareness that drowning should have been my #1 concern in any situation since most drownings occur during non swim times and is THE #1 CAUSE OF DEATH for children under the age of 5," continues Morgan.

"Had I known then what I know now, my daughter would be alive… Let that sink in," adds the mom. "So today, and everyday, make this a conversation. Share with parents and pediatricians what you now know because that conversation may just save a life."

Emmy Miller
Credit: Morgan Beck Miller/Instagram

Bode and Morgan told PEOPLE last month about how they keep their daughter's memory alive through conversations with their kids as well as advocating for water safety awareness in her honor.

"She comes up in regular conversation and she still has a bunch of her stuff around and her pictures," said Bode. "So I think in that sense, we try to proactively make the kids aware because the younger ones never met her, you know? Nash was pretty small, though he definitely remembers her. It really still seems like yesterday. Then there are parts that start to really feel like a long time ago."

"Not talking about her and not sharing her stories is denying our kids and us a relationship with her. We still have one. She's still very much a part of our family," Morgan said.

"She's still very much around us. She sends signs all the time and we would be doing a great disservice to our family to not actually still have her being a part, an active part, of the family because she very much is," she continued. "The lessons that we learned and the memories that we share in the love that never goes away."