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Granger Smith's wife, Amber, remembers late son on 1st anniversary of his death

Granger and Amber Smith's 3-year-old son, River, died in a tragic drowning accident last year.
/ Source: TODAY

Amber Smith, the wife of country star Granger Smith, is paying tribute to the couple's late son, River.

The 38-year-old actress shared a gallery of family photos on Instagram over the weekend to mark the one-year anniversary of 3-year-old River's tragic drowning death.

"June 6, 2019. One year ago today, we took our 'honor walk' as we walked behind our sweet son down the long hallway to the operating room. River took his last breath in there, without his mommy and daddy. We know his spirit was with Jesus, but his earthly body was still present and it was so hard to let them close those doors without us," she wrote in her emotional post.

"I'll never forget waiting for what felt like hours for them to come back and tell us everything went wonderful, they were taking the organs to the recipients and he was at peace. They later told me they played the Cars soundtrack as they operated," she continued.

The actress recalled having to drive home to tell the couple's other children, London and Lincoln, that "their brother wasn’t coming home."

The heartbroken parents arrived home to see a sweet "Welcome home, Riv!" message that River's siblings had drawn in colorful chalk hearts on the sidewalk. The couple took London and Lincoln "out into the woods where Riv always played" to deliver the agonizing news.

"Today, one year ago, began our trek down this rocky road of grief," Amber wrote, noting that their strong faith has made the family "stronger."

"Today we start year 2," she added. "A lot of people say it’s harder than the first. I don’t know how it could be but I’m ready to take it on, even if I have tears streaming down my face."

In February, Granger, 40, shared his grief about River's death in a raw and emotional Instagram post marking the couple's 10th wedding anniversary.

Next to a photo of the couple kissing in front of a cameraman, Granger wrote that the happy image was "not real."

"What I see: 2 people in a storm,'' he wrote. "Hanging on to God for truth and guidance like a lone fence post in a ravaging wind. 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.

"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 added.

Amber responded to her husband's post by sharing the same photo on her Instagram and pointing out that he could never be a "failure."

"All of this is real, raw and so true,'' she wrote. "And I wouldn’t change but one thing. He’s not and never will be a failure to me. Happy 10 my warrior husband. No one else I would rather walk me Home than you @grangersmith."