Granger Smith Opens Up About His 'Grief Journey' On His Late Son's Birthday

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Granger Smith opened up about the grief he endured after losing his child in a tragic accident, and shared his hope that his story can help others. Smith shared an update on his forthcoming book, Like a River, on his late son’s birthday on Tuesday (May 16).

“Could I share something with y’all?” Smith wrote in a tweet. “Today is Riv’s b-day. Amber and I don’t count the years. We’ll always know him as being three. That was the last birthday we shared with him.”

Smith’s son, River Kelly Smith, died by drowning in the summer of 2019. He was 3 years old. Smith and his wife, Amber, have since honored River, including by sharing information about swimming safety and by naming their son, Maverick Beckham Smith, who was born in August of 2021, partially because or River (including R-I-V in the name).

“You know—losing him just about killed me,” Smith’s tweet continued. “On that grief journey, I left NO stone unturned to heal myself, but nothing helped until…everything changed. These last four years have been the wildest ride of my life, and yet I’ve mostly kept it to myself until now. I want you to know the whole story (at times as unbelievable as it is). I want the information that I learned to be available to anyone that is hurting. I’ve written this intimate story in the best form of media that I know how: a book. It’s called ‘Like a River.’ Will you read it? Will you send this to a friend that needs it? I really hope you do.”

Smith previously confirmed that he would release a book on August 1. He shared plans for Like a River when he announced that he would take a step back from country music after his ongoing tour, and would focus on ministry instead. The After MidNite host said at that time that it “shouldn’t surprise you what that book is about. But, it’s about from when I lost my son, Riv, to when we had Mav, and everything in between.”