Granger Smith's Wife Opens Up About Going Back to 'Daily Life' After Death of 3-Year-Old Son River
By Scott Baumgartner
Granger Smith’s family is attempting to return to normal life following the tragic death of his 3-year-old son, River.
On Sunday, the country music star's wife, Amber Bartlett, posted a photo of their son, Lincoln, 5, and daughter, London, 7, posing beside Sue the T-Rex at the Field Museum in Chicago. In the caption, she reflected on how much River loved dinosaurs and how she is coping with the loss.
“We just happened to be in the same city as the “biiiigggggggest T-Rex” ever found. We had to make a trip to see it in honor of River,” she wrote alongside the image of her kids smiling beside the fossil statue. “This dinosaur was discovered in FAITH, South Dakota by a woman named Sue. And he died by a River ♥️. Open your eyes and you will see signs all around you. We think just maybe, Riv is having the best time of his life in Heaven with this ?.”
“Getting back on the road and back into daily life without River has not been easy in the slightest,” she continued. “Every single thing reminds me of him, and all I can think about is how he would love exploring and seeing all that we are seeing. I see his name everywhere, I see little red-headed toddlers everywhere. I miss his silly personality and his bright light. I see his face in our other kiddos. I have this pit in my stomach constantly, because I’m trying to make life as normal as possible for our other 2 incredible kiddos, London and Lincoln, while hurting so bad inside. I look around at everyone else and wonder if anyone is going through something like we are.”
“Dumb little things don’t matter anymore,” she concluded. “My family does. My faith does. We’ve got this, because God’s got us ✝️. Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and love. It really does help us so much. #livelikeriv.”
Then, last week the 39-year-old singer and his wife released a new video on their YouTube channel, where they thanked fans for their support and announced that $100,000 had been raised for Dell’s Children’s Hospital, the facility where River was treated.
"We are going to search for every bit of good that we can find in this situation, you know, the worst situation we've ever been through. Hopefully ever," Smith said. "We're going to constantly search for ways that good will come out of this. That's my commitment to River's legacy."
He also shared new details regarding the moments leading up to their son’s death.
"It was actually a night just like this and I was outside playing with London. We were doing gymnastics in the yard and the boys were playing a water gun fight. I remember thinking, I was looking at London, as she was doing gymnastics and I thought... 'Soak up this moment because it's not going to last forever,'" he recalled. "Somewhere between 30 seconds and three minutes [later] Amber and I are inside our pool gate doing CPR on our son."
Later he added: "London asked me how many days River lived and I said, 'Well, just over 1,000.' And I thought about that after I said that and I thought, 'What if we were given 1,000 days? What if you were given the gift of 1,000 days on this Earth and you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back on your go-cart, on your tractor, full-speed ahead?'" Smith continued. "If you could do that with your family around you, with no real cares in the world, that's a good 1,000 days. That's a good way to live. And I think that's a huge example in me, in my life, and Amber and how we're going to move forward and how we're gonna look at every single day."