Granger Smith, 39, and Amber Bartlett, 37, let the world know how they’re doing in the wake of the tragic death of their three-year-old son, River. It has been nearly two weeks since the country music community was rocked by news that Granger and Amber’s young boy “died in a tragic drowning accident at home” on June 6, which Granger’s rep told People. After staying silent on social media in the days since, the couple broke its silence in an emotional YouTube video titled “Finding Light In Our Darkest Time” on June 19. However, Granger assured viewers this wasn’t intended to be a “sad” video — after urging fans to seize the day, the video launched into a montage of sweet memories with River.
Staying true to his message, Granger revealed that he’ll also be returning to tour “next week” and is bringing the whole family with him — that includes his wife, daughter London, 7, and son Lincoln, 5. However, the country singer will be holding off on meet and greets with fans for the time being. Granger dived even deeper into his mourning process in the video’s caption.
“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,” Granger began. The singer used his respectable reputation in country music to sell tribute shirts for River, profits of which will go to the Dell Childrens Medical Center (the same pediatric facility in Central Texas where River was admitted before passing away). The shirts have raised over $120,000 as of June 19!
Amber also posted her own tribute to Instagram on June 19, but didn’t downplay how traumatizing the ordeal has been for her family. “This has been the most horrific, life-altering, soul-defining 2 weeks of our lives,” the actress began. “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. It all happened so fast.” Despite the tragedy, Granger promised in his respective post that his family has “united stronger and [is] closer than we’ve ever been” — you can read both their letters above.