Granger Smith’s Painfully Real Anniversary Post Shows What Love Looks Like After Tragedy
Granger Smith and his wife, Amber, are celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary on Tuesday (Feb. 11), and he's being completely honest with fans about the struggle they've endured since their 3-year-old son, River, died in a drowning accident at their family home near Austin in June of 2019.
Smith turned to social media to mark the occasion, sharing a picture of the seemingly blissfully happy couple kissing in front of the porch of their house in an idyllic setting.
"It's not real," Smith writes to accompany the photo, which appears to be taken from a video shoot. He details the crew members, lighting technicians and direction it takes to obtain such a perfect shot, noting that it's part of his job to deliver a certain type of branding.
What he sees in the picture, however, is "2 people in a storm. Hanging on to God for truth and guidance like a lone fence post in a ravaging wind," he says.
"I see a girl hurting. Drawing on unimaginable strength just to continue on with necessary motherly duties. Clinging to the Bible like it’s a life raft hurdling through an unknown sea," Smith continues, opening up about his wife's internal battle, in addition to his own. "I see a man, savagely battling a relentless demon. Shielded only by Faith and masking the crippling weakness brought on by his deep shame; his failure as a father."
He adds that they are still in love — more than ever, actually — but that love is now tempered by time and experience. Smith notes that while "it’s always sweet to see a young couple exchange vows and rings," it's even better to see an older couple who are still together.
"Because you know the peaks and valleys they've climbed together, the storms they've weathered, the mature love that’s endured. That is the real fairytale," he states.
"I guess I just want to say that today is our 10 year wedding anniversary," Smith finishes. "And I love @amberemilysmith a whole bunch. And it will take more than 'til death do us part.'"
The couple have been very open about everything they've gone through since River's death. They moved their family — which includes their other children, 8-year-old daughter London and 6-year-old son Lincoln — to a new house shortly after the tragedy, and they've tried to make some good come out of their terrible loss by donating River's organs, which helped save two other people's lives. They also donated $200,000 to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, where their son received treatment.
The Smiths also recently announced the formation of the River Kelly Fund, through which they will continue to honor their son's legacy by helping others. They plan to support charities and causes that are close to the family's heart, including arts and education, wildlife preservation, first responders and more.
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