Granger Smith on Coping With the Loss of His Son: ‘Every Day is Different’

Granger Smith and his wife, Amber, endured an unimaginable loss in 2019, when their three-year-old son, River, drowned in the family’s swimming pool. The family, which also includes their daughter, London, and son, Lincoln, has been honest and open about their grief, which the singer admits is still a process, and will be for years to come.

“Every day is different,” Smith said on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna. “We try to hang on to the days where we find meaning and purpose, and spreading the message where we could help others that are going through something similar or anybody that’s suffering. But there’s other days where it feels like there is no hope, and we just keep pushing forward and pushing forward to find more meaning and to find his little legacy,”

Granger just released his latest album, Country Things, Vol. 2, with the first volume coming out in September. For Granger, the chance to release new music was therapeutic for him, as he works to honor his son’s life and legacy.

“It’s always been such a healing thing for me to make music,” Granger acknowledged. “I’ve never been one to keep a diary and a journal, but I could express my feelings and my thoughts through music and lyrics and melodies. I’ve been doing that since I was a teenager, so it only felt natural to go in and make a record. And I don’t necessarily have to be specific on things that are happening in my life to still be able to express those emotions through music. It’s a big healing thing for me.”

Granger is fulfilling the dreams he held since he was a young boy, when all he wanted to do was make music. With the loss of his youngest child, in many ways he is still the young boy with big dreams, only with a much stronger grip on the ups and downs of life.

“If I could talk to that teenager, I would say: ‘Buddy, just enjoy today, enjoy this moment, every moment you have on stage, singing a song,” Granger reflected. “Just live there, be there, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.”

Granger and Amber have become outspoken advocates for water safety after the loss of River. They have also created the River Kelly Fund, in honor of their son. Find more information here.