Granger Smith’s Wife Shares Heartbreaking Photo on One Year Anniversary of Son River’s Death
Granger Smith's wife, Amber, tuned to social media to reflect on the death of the couple's son, River, on the one year anniversary of his death on Saturday (June 6), sharing a heartbreaking picture from the day he died.
Three-year-old River died in a drowning accident at the family's home in Texas, and the couple decided to donate his organs after it was clear he would not survive. In a post to Instagram, Amber relates, "One year ago today, we took our 'honor walk' as we walked behind our sweet son down the long hallway to the operating room. River took his last breath in there, without his mommy and daddy. We know his spirit was with Jesus, but his earthly body was still present and it was so hard to let them close those doors without us."
She reflects that after the hospital staff came to tell them that surgery had gone well and that River's organs were on their way to their recipients, she and her husband still "had to tell our children their brother wasn’t coming home." She shared a photo of some sidewalk chalk art their other kids had made to greet their brother upon his return, with chalk hearts and the phrase, "Welcome home Riv!"
"We sat together, held each other and had one of the hardest conversations I hope we ever have to have," she writes, adding that one year later, despite many challenges, "In a strange way, we are stronger by His grace."
"We have learned so much about ourselves and our family and our God," Smith adds. "Today we start year 2. A lot of people say it’s harder than the first. I don’t know how it could be but I’m ready to take it on, even if I have tears streaming down my face. I’m ready to keep learning and keep growing and keep trusting my God. Greater is He that is in me in me, than he that is in the world."
The couple and their family are keeping River's legacy alive by launching the River Kelly Fund, which raises awareness and generates money for childhood drowning prevention, among other important causes. Amber turned to social media on what would have been River's fourth birthday on May 16 to raise money for the River Kelly Fund, ultimately collecting more than $18,000.
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