Craig Morgan and his wife, Karen, experienced every parent's worst nightmare in 2016, when their 19-year-old son, Jerry, drowned while tubing on a lake with his friends. The couple, who also have sons Kyle and Wyatt, and daughter Aly, still understandably struggle with their grief every single day.
"I would say we're good considering what we're dealing with. How are we supposed to be?" Morgan shares with PopCulture.com. "How is anybody who loses somebody like that? How are you supposed to be? Nobody knows. There's not a right or wrong. There's not a good or bad."
Even though it's been well over a year since the tragic accident, Morgan says he is still coming to terms with the loss of his son.
"It's the first thing I think about when I wake up and it's on my mind when I go to bed," Morgan acknowledges. "Every day and throughout the day, all day long. And I think it will always be that way."
The Tennessee native relies on advice he got from a friend of his, who also lost a child, when the grief seems almost unbearable.
"He told me, at first it's just minute by minute. He said you really literally have to tell yourself to breathe, but you'll get through it," recounts Morgan. "And then it's day by day, and week by week, month by month, year by year. He said one day you're going to wake up and you can't remember what he looks like. You're gonna run and try to find a picture and you'll study it.
"I don't know that I'll ever forget what he looks like cause he was such a beautiful kid, and he was so flamboyant with his looks that he made it easy for me," adds Morgan. "He made it easy for me to not forget him."
Still, the singer-songwriter is holding on to hope that, some day, the hurt won't be quite as intense.
"We were just so close," Morgan notes. "But [my friend] said, 'One day you're going to wake up and when you do, you're going to feel exactly the way you did the day before he passed. You'll think about him the same amount during the day, and you'll miss him the same. And you won't miss him the same as you do your other children.' He says it'll all go back. The only difference is he's just not there. And you'll know that you'll see him again so you'll be okay. That's the thing that I look to."
Although Morgan believes that day might eventually come, for now the pain is still raw.
"I'm at a point where I can't see that right now," he maintains. "So, when I get frustrated and it hurts so bad, some days I want to – I look at the glass table in my living room, and I want to take a bat and bust it. I don't know why. I want to bust out a window.
"But, I also know the instant I think, 'I'm gonna get a bat and do that,' it's not going to accomplish anything," he says. "It's not going to change anything. It's not going to help me, really. In fact, it's going to make it worse, because then I've got to clean up the glass."
Morgan's eyes brim often with tears, but he's just as quick to erupt into his characteristic, deep laugh, and is determined to not let this one tragedy derail the rest of his life, or his family's.
"I think people expect you to lose your mind," says Morgan. "But I have so much faith that God is truly in charge. Even though I don't understand this, and I probably never will. I know that for me I feel like when I get to Heaven it will be so irrelevant it don't matter. So, we just live with it."
Determined to channel their sadness into something positive, Morgan and family launched their own Morgan Farms store in their hometown of Dickson, Tenn. The idea began when Morgan turned to woodwork to cope with his grief in the loss of his son. Today the store features artisan products made by Morgan and his family, and some of Morgan's friends, including items by Zac Brown, Eric Paslay, Billy Dean, along with organic honey and other beeswax items, made from Morgan's own beehives.2comments
In addition, the family will appear in their own reality TV show, Morgan Family Strong, which premieres on Thursday night, March 1, at 9:30 PM ET on UP TV.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our interview with Morgan.