Granger Smith Reveals Final Moments before Son River's Drowning Death

Moments before Granger Smith and his wife lost their 3-year-old son, the family was sharing an idyllic moment in the yard of their Texas home.

Smith and his wife Amber were having fun activities with their daughter London, 7, and sons Lincoln, 5, and River, 3, they said in a video.

"We are going to constantly search for the meaning - not the reason - not going to get caught up in the reason because we will never know, but we will find the good.”

“I just had this through, ‘Soak up this moment because it’s not gonna last forever,” Smith said.

After a few moments, Smith and his wife found themselves doing CPR on their son inside their pool gate. River had fallen into the pool and drowned.

Before the tragic drowning, River and Lincoln were having a water gun fight while Smith and his daughter, London, were doing gymnastics in the yard. River died two days later at the hospital.


In a video, Smith turned emotional as he shared about how he pondered on their daughter’s question about how long River had lived.

“What if you're 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?" the singer said.

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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!

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"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,” he continued. “He lived a good 1,000 days. That’s a huge example for me and how we’re going to look at every single day."  

Smith also shared how his family is holding up amidst the pain of losing River.

"We are stronger than ever,'' he said. "We’ve gotten so close. We are going to constantly search for the meaning - not the reason - not going to get caught up in the reason because we will never know, but we will find the good.”

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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. 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. Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father. Riv was special. Everyone that met him knew that immediately. The joy he brought to our lives cannot be expressed and his light will be forever in our hearts. If there are words to say more, I cannot find them in this moment. Love the ones close to you. There has never been a more difficult moment for us than this. . . In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send donations to Dell Children’s Medical Center in River’s name. The doctors, nurses and staff have been incredible.

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Smith 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."

Messages of support from fans and fellow celebrities poured in following Smith’s announcement of his son’s death.

Country music singer Dierks Bentley even dedicated part of his presentation at the CMA Fest to his grieving fellow singer.

Before singing his song “I Hold On” on the stage in Nashville, Tennessee, Bentley took a minute to pay tribute to Smith’s son and extended his sympathies to Smith.

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