Granger Smith Releases Balloon at Concert for Late Son [Watch]
Granger Smith and his family have endured what is likely the worst pain imaginable, having lost their youngest son River last month in a drowning accident. The singer and his wife have been struggling to make sense of what happened, and have come up with some unexpectedly beautiful and poignant moments in the wake of the tragedy.
In a video posted to his family YouTube channel Monday (July 22), Smith explained to fans where he and wife Amber are at in their grief process, noting they've been contacted by many people who are in a similar situation dealing with loss and grief, including several who have specifically lost a child.
"We've taken on the challenge of talking to these people, sharing that empathy, because it makes us feel stronger," he notes. "It helps us to find meaning."
Smith goes on to describe how it is very simple to fall into a social-media fueled image of how life is supposed to be — without any trials or tribulations. "That's an easy trap to get into. That's a bad trap," he asserts. "Life is going to throw a curve ball. Life is going to come at you hard."
What has kept the Smith family grounded? "Music has been at the core of my family. People say, how can you go up and play a show...how do you play a show? How do you get in front of people? Sometimes I don't even know the answer," he admits.
"It's because music is healing, and it's not that I'm going out there trying to heal people, it's that the fans are doing that back to me," he explains. "It's you guys that are lifting me. You guys are doing the healing."
Smith went on to discuss how his grandmother engraved the title of a Garth Brooks song, "If Tomorrow Never Comes," on his grandfather's tombstone. "That's when I realized ... how powerful songs could be," he muses.
"When I lost River, I had released a song a few months before that called 'Heaven Bound Balloons,'" he continues. "There's so much irony in that song, me writing that song before having any idea about what was going to happen."
Smith explained that everything came full circle on July 22, while out on tour with Brooks. The singer decided to tribute his late son, having his brother come out with a red balloon inscribed with a message to River. Smith let it out to the crowd, with a wish to his late son, and a message to all that music can, indeed, be healing.
The 3-year-old died on June 6 in a drowning accident at the family's home. The Smiths have carried on River's legacy is by raising money in his name through sales of a tribute T-shirt. The couple presented a check for $218,791 on June 25 to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, where River received treatment after his accident.
PICS: Granger Smith, Wife Amber Give Big Check to Dell Children's: