• Granger Smith performs, reveals new 'River' tattoo for first time since son's drowning death

    By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    CHICAGO -

    Granger Smith has returned to the stage for the first time since his 3-year-old son's accidental drowning death.

    "Today" reported that the country singer appeared at the Country LakeShake music festival in Chicago Sunday. As he performed, a new tattoo with his son River's name was visible on his left forearm.

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    Granger Smith and his wife, Amber Smith, made a video blog last week in which they reflected on their son's life. The 39-year-old musician made it clear he would be returning to the stage and touring with his family as it helps clear his head.

    During his set, he sang "Heaven Bound Balloons," a song he wrote about loved ones who died, He released as a single in April. At the end of the show, he pulled a Lightning McQueen toy from his pocket, which belonged to River.

    As Granger Smith performed, Amber Smith made an Instagram post reflecting on her son. The image showed their children London, 7, and Lincoln, 5, posing next to a tyrannosaurus rex skeleton at a Field Museum in Chicago.

    "We just happened to be in the same city as the 'biiiigggggggest T-Rex' ever found," Amber Smith captioned the post. "We had to make a trip to see it in honor of River. This dinosaur was discovered in FAITH, South Dakota by a woman named Sue. And he died by a River. Open your eyes and you will see signs all around you."

    The mother said it has been difficult being back on tour and going about day-to-day life without her youngest son.

    "I see his name everywhere, I see little red-headed toddlers everywhere. I miss his silly personality and his bright light. I see his face in our other kiddos. I have this pit in my stomach constantly, because I’m trying to make life as normal as possible for our other 2 incredible kiddos, London and Lincoln, while hurting so bad inside. I look around at everyone else and wonder if anyone is going through something like we are. Dumb little things don’t matter anymore. My family does. My faith does. We’ve got this, because God’s got us."

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    We just happened to be in the same city as the “biiiigggggggest T-Rex” ever found. We had to make a trip to see it in honor of River. This dinosaur was discovered in FAITH, South Dakota by a woman named Sue. And he died by a River ♥️. Open your eyes and you will see signs all around you. We think just maybe, Riv is having the best time of his life in Heaven with this 🦖. Getting back on the road and back into daily life without River has not been easy in the slightest. Every single thing reminds me of him, and all I can think about is how he would love exploring and seeing all that we are seeing. I see his name everywhere, I see little red-headed toddlers everywhere. I miss his silly personality and his bright light. I see his face in our other kiddos. I have this pit in my stomach constantly, because I’m trying to make life as normal as possible for our other 2 incredible kiddos, London and Lincoln, while hurting so bad inside. I look around at everyone else and wonder if anyone is going through something like we are. Dumb little things don’t matter anymore. My family does. My faith does. We’ve got this, because God’s got us ✝️. Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and love. It really does help us so much. #livelikeriv

    A post shared by Amber Smith (@amberemilysmith) on

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