Amber Smith is beginning 2020 by offering a powerful testimony about the loss she and her family experienced in 2019.

Singer Granger Smith wife Amber and their family experienced the most unimaginable tragedy when youngest son River died at the age of 3 after he drowned in the family's pool in June 2019. In a heartfelt reflection on Instagram, Amber explains how the loss taught her how grief and joy can intersect, particularly in how River was able to save two other peoples' lives when the family donated his organs. And in spite of the tears she shed each day, she and her family were able to share their story with others and become stronger together.

"2019 - The year that brought me to my knees. The year our beautiful red-headed boy turned 3 & went Home," she begins in a lengthy post alongside a cartoon drawing of Amber, Granger, son Linc and daughter London standing next to Jesus, who is holding River's hand. "The year that broke my heart into pieces but also tempered my spirit. The year we started The Smiths. The year we moved from our home and all the memories we made there." 

She also notes that Linc turned 5 and started kindergarten, while London entered second grade, and says they were able to help other parents experiencing grief. She also cites expanding the River Kelly Fund as a goal for this year, as well as continue to support their own children through the grieving process.

"The year my eyes were truly opened to what is important. The year we’ve never felt more love from our community. The year I found out that joy and grief can coexist," she says. "I can’t believe it’s been almost 7 months since we held our sweet Riv and that we will be starting a new year without him physically with us. Through this sadness, I’m hopeful for all that is to come." 

Amber announced in December that they had launched the River Kelly Fund in honor of their son. The charitable fund will donate to causes that are important to the family.

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