In 2014, Luke Bryan’s life changed forever. A car accident occurred that took the life of his brother-in-law. Since that time, Luke has talked about the change within his family dynamic and the ‘social experiment’ that has affected his life in so many ways.
This wasn’t the first time that a death has affected his life. Seven years before Ben died, Luke Bryan’s sister, and Ben’s wife Kelly also passed away.
“They never determined what happened [to Kelly],” Luke said. Kelly was caring for her son at home when she passed away in 2007. It was never determined why it occurred. Ben had raised their son Til and their two daughters, Kris and Jordan since that time.
When the children lost their father in 2014, Til was 16 years old, Jordan was 22 and Kri was 19. Immediately, Luke and his wife, Caroline took in the children as their own with Til moving into their Nashville home.
“I woke up one day and I’m raising a teen,” Luke exclaimed. “We never thought twice about it,” Caroline added. The two of them have been married since 2006 and have their own children, Thomas (11) and Tatum (8)
“You know, it was never something that he and I had to sit down and talk about,” Caroline continued. “It’s a challenge,” Luke added, alluding to the major adjustment that the family has had to make, both domestically and psychologically. “I have to be that parent role,” the singer explained, referencing the delicate balancing act involved in raising teenagers, “where if [Til] does something, he needs to get in trouble.”
“But I want to be a friend to him, too.”
Luke and Caroline try to do their best to be diligent as parents. They want to give Ben’s son the best opportunity for his academic career, despite what happened in the family. “We’re having to watch grades and watch Instagram and Snapchat,” Luke said, a year after he and his wife took Til into their family home. “Obviously, my nieces and nephew, they didn’t ask for this.”
A number of benefits came from the change in circumstances. Til has had an influence on Luke’s youngest sons and in a great way. He has become a role model and they play board games, fish and even play a role in their father’s country music career. They were both featured in a music video for “What Makes You Country” in 2017.
Luke also talked about the complicated part of finding joy and peace after losing so so much of his family. “Maybe we’ll be a positive inspiration for people that had these things happen to ’em,” he offered. “You just have to plow on and play the hand that’s dealt.”
Luke still has his priorities straight and he sums up their position in the following way: “You don’t want to sound like you love having them so much that you’re glad it’s the situation,” he explained, “but we’re honored to be doing what we feel was the right thing.”