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Granger Smith Says His 2 Living Children Are ‘God’s Gift’ After Son’s Death

Photo from Granger Smith’s Instagram

Granger Smith Says His 2 Living Children Are ‘God’s Gift’ After Son’s Death

By Movieguide® Contributor

Granger Smith is chronicling how he handled his grief after the death of his 3-year-old son, River, in a new children’s book.

River passed away in 2019 after falling into the family’s backyard pool. Though he was quickly pulled out, he had gone too long without oxygen and died two days later. After his son’s death, Smith hit rock bottom, but he credits his other children for helping him find light in that dark time.

“I thought of my children, Lincoln and London, the ones that I had. I lost my son River,” Granger told Fox News Digital. “I had Lincoln and London, and I saw their faces, and during a moment when I just wanted to end my life, I thought about them. And there was such a radiance of joy.”

“God’s gift to me was them, and to know that they needed me as a father was a powerful understanding,” he continued. “It sounds kind of obvious when I said it that was, but man, when the walls are closing in, and you’re in the darkness – any ray of light you can take is a godsend.”

While Smith is extremely grateful for the support he found from his family and his community, one of the methods to work through his grief that impacted him the most was talking to a tree. Discussing his hurt with something that would listen without judgment impacted the former country singer. It also gave him the idea for his new children’s book.

“That’s exactly what I thought of. Like, this is weird, but as I kind of went out there and settled in, it was very therapeutic,” he said, explaining the experience of talking to the tree.

“And so I thought, well, what it there was a book that was kind of mimicking that situation in a kid’s view, where maybe the kid lost his grandpa, and he wants to talk to…he want to talk to this tree about his grandpa,” Smith continued. “And somehow, the tree has this wisdom that he couldn’t have found talking to anyone else. That’s literally what happened to me. And that was the inspiration behind [‘Up Toward the Light’].”

“In this wonder-filled and inspiring story of surprising loss but found strength, a boy encounters a red oak who shares forest wisdom about the rich soil and the nourishing sun, pointing the boy toward a simple truth about moving on: we must grow toward the light,” a summary of the book reads.

“It was so special for me,” Smith said of writing the book. “I believe it will help so many people look at [grief] from that kind of perspective from this wise tree and humanizing the the grief that the little boy is going through.”

Movieguide® previously reported:

Country artist Granger Smith recently opened up about finding hope in Jesus after he hit “rock bottom” following the death of his three-year-old son, River, in 2019.

For a while, Smith turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain.

“I would wake up in the middle of the night many times and I would wake up and go, ‘I lost my son,’ and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was every night, so I would take weed in some form so that hopefully I would sleep all night and it worked,” he shared with ET. 

The relief was only temporary, and he began using the substance during the day. When he wasn’t under the influence, his mind raced.


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