How his new reality show helped Craig Morgan heal following son's death

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Many people suffering a tragic loss would find the idea of sharing their grief with thousands of strangers daunting, to say the least. However, for country musician Craig Morgan, doing just that was his own, extremely personal way of healing.

Morgan is currently helming the docuseries Morgan Family Strong, which debuted March 1 and follows Morgan and his close-knit family — wife Karen, daughter Alexandra, and sons Kyle and Wyatt — as they struggle to make sense of the death of son and brother Jerry, who died at the age of 19 in a 2016 boating accident.

The singer explained to Yahoo Entertainment that he conceived the show as an opportunity to express his reality in the midst of dozens of news articles describing his son and family. “Being who I am, as an entertainer, [the death] was made very public,” Morgan says. “So I would rather [fans] have the opportunity for them to see it for its truth, rather than read someone else’s interpretation of what our grief is. It was just that simple. That was my thought process.”

Morgan said that he and his family talked extensively about taking their story to TV before launching the project. Some members of the family were more hesitant. “My wife doesn’t feel exactly the same. She doesn’t think from the same mindset that I do, because I am in the public eye, every day, and have been since I started this business. … Not everyone, when they have something like this happen to them, it’s not plastered all over the news for everyone else to see,” he explained.

Morgan said his daughter, Alexandra — who has maintained her own public persona over the years via blogging — was a big supporter of the series and helped get the family on one page. “We’re not bothered as much as, say, my wife might be about what people might say,” he said. “I do [care,] but I only care to the extent that I can impact their thoughts.”

Morgan admitted that it was one thing to deal with his own grief, but that seeing his children working through their pain, on camera, was a struggle. That said, he believes their healing journey has progressed because of it.

“I’ll tell you what we learned in this process: We talk about it,” he says. “I think we talk about it a lot more, because we’re doing this. I don’t think we would have the discussions we’re having if we were not doing this show.”

The Morgan family worked together following Jerry’s death to open the Gallery at Morgan Farms in their hometown of Dickson, Tenn. — a brick-and-mortar shop that sells various items handmade by Morgan and other artists from repurposed and recycled materials. The store, too, was conceived as a project the family could work on together to help unite them after their tremendous loss.

Morgan, who’s currently in the studio working on new music as well as out on the road playing select live dates, also discussed with Yahoo Entertainment his various other business ventures — including organic beekeeping, as well as his love of wine and creation of a wine brand. Watch the full interview below.

Morgan Family Strong airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on the UPtv.

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