Country music star Granger Smith and his wife Amber suffered a tragic loss when their 3-year-old son River died in a drowning accident in 2019. He was found unresponsive in the family swimming pool and could not be rescued after being taken to the hospital. Granger later explained that River somehow managed to bypass the pool’s locked gate without being seen by his parents and was in the water for about 2 minutes before they pulled him out, according to TODAY. According to the Tennessean, the boy’s death was investigated and ruled an accident.
Speaking about the tragedy during an interview with TODAY, Granger said: “I was 20 feet away. He was outside the locked gate with our other son. There was no music playing, no distractions whatsoever.” He continued, “It was just a quiet summer evening at 7pm. It was so quiet. There was no splash, there was no cry for help. I only saw him. I turned around and saw him.”
The couple mourned their son and shared memories with him on social media following the tragic accident. Granger and Amber kept their son’s memory alive through their charitable work and later founded the River Kelly Fund, which has since raised over $400,000 for those in need. And while dealing with a tragic loss is never easy, some social media users have made this family’s experience even more difficult.
Amber Smith forgives those who blame her for River’s death
It’s been three years since Granger and Amber Smith lost their son River in a tragic drowning accident and sadly they are still being blamed and attacked on social media for their son’s death. When Amber recently shared an encouraging comment on Instagram for a family grieving the loss of their child, she was met with hateful news.
One social media user wrote (via People), “This makes me sooooo angry! Why would you guys be such irresponsible parents?!? Teach babies to swim, fence off the pool, PROTECT your kids! This is your fault, you KILLED your victory [sic] Child. Really gross.” Amber responded to her Instagram story with a Bible passage and a comment that said, “I can’t fault these people. We live in a fallen world,” she continued, “It took me three years to not let those comments hurt me, but I forgive them. I am rooted in Jesus.”
Amber also shared hateful direct messages on her Instagram Story from people who accused her of not supervising River and of trying to replace him with their infant son Maverick, according to Page Six. She explained that even three years after River’s tragic death, she’s still getting these messages. According to People, the couple’s Christian faith and strong sense of spirituality have helped them cope with their loss in recent years.