Granger Smith Tours Without His Family for the First Time Since Death of Son, River

Granger Smith returned to work a couple weeks after his 3-year-old son, River, tragically drowned in their family's swimming pool. Smith initially took his family, including his wife, Amber and children London and Lincoln, on the road, but is now performing a few dates out west while his family stays at their Texas home.

"This is my first time away from Amber and the kids in a month," Smith shared in a new video posted on his YouTube channel. "Part of the process is, I'm out here – they were on tour with me. I'm just out here on tour with my guys. We're actually in Montana, and we've done a few days out here in Idaho and Oregon. Ironically, that's where the tour was, but I also feel like being out here, in this part of the country is very healing for the soul."

Smith admits that being separated from his wife is profoundly painful, but also part of the healing process, for both of them.

"I also feel like Amber and I separating for a little bit, it's difficult because we've been each other's crutch," Smith noted. "But at the same time, it's good for us to stand on two feet for a few days. I'm going to see them in a few more days, and then they're going to go out on tour with me again."

The 39-year-old is still grappling with the reasons why the family suffered such a devastating loss, although he is getting closer to finding an answer.

"It's been a journey," reflected the singer. "So much searching for meaning, in such a terrible loss, understanding that I can't find the reason. I can't dwell on reasons, but it's that I'm choosing to focus on meaning. In a way, if anyone is watching this who is going through a loss currently, or maybe it's been years. You never really get over it. Maybe it's been 25 years.

"But if they see anything from us, from Amber and I, something to build on, or maybe something not to do at the same time, then that is meaning for me," he added, "and that is meaning for River's legacy."

Smith is coming to terms with the gaping hole his family will always feel in their hearts.

"You're not going to replace the loss, ever," Smith conceded. "You're going to find a way where it feels good again to live, and you know you have a purpose in the loss, something that you didn't have before with that loss."

Smith is determined to keep sharing his thoughts in the video, so that he can also help others, wherever they are in their grief process.

"I have to also find that meaning and I have to find that purpose," said Smith. "Right now, what I'm hanging on to is speaking to these videos, so that anyone else, if even one person, could hear something that Amber and I say, and it makes them grieve a little easier, or find a little hope in a dark time that they're going through, it's worth it. Then that's the meaning. That gives me strength to go back and repay my family with that new strength."


The Smith family donated a check for more than $218,000 to Dell Medical Center, where River was treated. The money was raised from the sale of tribute t-shirts made in River's memory. The shirts are available for purchase at

Photo Credit: Instagram/grangersmith