Granger Smith Discusses Heartache, Healing With Mattie Jackson Smith

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Granger Smith opened up about his story of loss, heartache, faith and hope in a new conversation with Mattie Jackson Smith. The former country singer-songwriter — who announced last year that he would end a chapter of his career as a touring artist to pursue ministry instead — appears on the latest episode of the In Joy Life podcast.

Jackson Smith, country legend Alan Jackson’s eldest daughter, spoke with Smith about his bestselling book, Like A River. Smith released the book last year, sharing his personal journey of navigating grief after losing his son, River Kelley Smith, in a tragic drowning accident in 2019. He was 3 years old. The After MidNite host and his wife, Amber Smith, welcomed another child, son Maverick Beckham Smith, after River’s loss in 2021. Smith previously called Like A River “the most important piece of media that I could ever release, that I ever have released. So, it’s gonna take a lot of time for me to get out, and Lord willing, do some kind of book tour, tot all about that get it in front of as many people (as possible) to hear that message. It’s become a life mission for me.”

“Following the tragic, sudden loss of his 3-year-old son, Granger walks us through not only the crippling fears and failures of his grief journey but also the radical spiritual and mental transformation that has led to his healing,” Jackson Smith, who recently announced she’s pregnant with Baby No. 1, shared in her In Joy Life description of the newest podcast episode. “For anyone struggling with loss or simply battling the how’s and why’s of life’s heartbreaks, Granger is your friend and guide through darkness.”

“Your pain is not purposeless. Your pain is not permanent,” Jackson Smith quoted as she shared a clip from the podcast interview on Instagram.

Smith recently announced that he’s releasing another book, Up Toward the Light, a children’s book that helps navigate coping with loss. It’s set to release on April 2. Smith said when he announced plans for the book: “I think this is gonna be an important project for me, so that we could all stop worrying about what’s down below and start realizing that we have to be moving up toward the light.”