“What if you were given a gift of 1,000 days on this Earth?”
That’s how country star Granger Smith is now framing the tragic death of his 3-year-old son, River, who died after a drowning accident at the family’s Texas home earlier this month.
In an emotional, nearly 30-minute YouTube video titled “Finding Light in Our Darkest Time,” Smith and his wife, Amber, show photos and clips of their youngest child and speak about the time they had with him before he died.
Smith says his daughter, London, asked him how long her brother had lived, which is when he did the math and realized it was “just over a thousand.”
“If you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back on your tractor full speed ahead, if you could do that with your family around you, with no real cares in the world … that’s a good way to live,” Smith says in the video.
Per People, Smith also recalls what he was thinking during those last few moments before his world was shattered, as he hung out with River and his other two children, 7-year-old London and 5-year-old Lincoln. While he and London did gymnastics, his two boys were having a water gun fight, and he found himself thinking, “Soak up this moment, because it’s not going to last forever.”
Then, between “30 seconds and three minutes” later, he notes, he and his wife were doing CPR on their son.
Still, Smith implores well-wishers not to feel sorry for their family: “There’s a lot of people that he affected, and it’s important to not stay dark forever. We had an incredible little boy for three years, and we feel really good about that.”
The Smiths end their tribute with one request: “Live like Riv.” (Read more country music stories.)