When Craig Morgan wrote "The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost," about the loss of his 19-year-old son, Jerry, he had no idea if he would ever play it for anyone, let alone sing it live from a stage. But the 55-year-old took a chance and sang it one night at the Grand Ole Opry, where Ricky Skaggs was watching backstage, and gave Morgan some advice about the powerful song.
“I walked off the stage, thinking I might never perform it again,” Morgan recalled to PEOPLE. “But standing there was Ricky Skaggs, and he told me that I simply had to perform it again. I had to get through this and find a way to share this song with as many people as I could.”
Morgan didn't even have plans to ever write about Jerry, who drowned in 2016 while out tubing with his friends. But the song started all but writing itself, and Morgan felt compelled to complete it.
"It was 2:30 in the morning and there I was, singing the entire chorus in my head before I even woke up enough to put the words down on paper,” Morgan recalled. “It was the first time something like that had ever happened to me."
"The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost" is an open statement about Morgan's faith, which is what he credits with him being able to survive the overwhelming loss.
“I attribute my healing to my faith,” Morgan, who converted to Catholicism a couple years ago, said. “It’s still difficult. I mean, Jerry is the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I fall asleep. There are times when I am angry and I don’t understand it, and then there are times that I am joyous that we had him for 19 years.
"You have to let those joyous moments steer you away from the anger," he added. "I pray about it all the time. I don’t understand it and I probably never will until I get to heaven.”
Morgan is now grateful he released the song, if only to help others experiencing the same kind of heartache he is experiencing.
“I have heard from so many people already who have said that they had given up on their faith until they heard this song,” Morgan acknowledged. “But I’m purely the one singing that song. It’s not about me. I was just the outlet, the way to get the song to the people who need it the most.”
"The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost" just landed at the top of both the iTunes country and all-genre chart, which is thanks in part to Blake Shelton's efforts on social media, which garnered support from celebrities, like Ellen DeGeneres, Carson Daly, Hoda Kotb and more.
Download "The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty images / Al Pereira