George Strait wanted to deal with his loss in private that he shut himself away from interviews and the press.
Children are the biggest treasure for most parents. They are so important to them that even before they come to this world, parents dream of their future with them. Therefore, the pain that is caused when those dreams shatter is inexplicable. Country music legend, George Strait went through that intolerable pain. It left him torn and broken that despite the number of years that passed by, he finds it difficult to even speak about it.
George Strait married his high school sweetheart, Norma on 4 December 1971, according to Taste of Country. The country music legend who hadn't started his music career back then was serving the U.S army at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. On 6 October 1972, he was blessed with his eldest daughter, Jenifer. Nine years later, the couple welcomed their second kid, George "Bubba" Strait Jr. By then, George had launched his country music career. He made hits after hits and climbed the ladder of success in the music world. But soon, things took a different turn in the life of the artist.
On 25 June 1986, a tragedy shocked the Strait family. The 13-year-old who was riding with three other friends was hit by another vehicle. The girl was seated at the passenger seat and lost her life, leaving her loved ones in utter despair. The family struggled to come to terms with the loss. According to Straitfever.homestead, the heartbroken singer said in a statement, "She was like a second mother to Bubba in a way. They had their arguments like a brother, and sister do but in the end, she always made Bubba feel like he came out on top... We will all miss Jenifer very much, and we will never forget her, her smile, and laugh."
He thanked his fans for the support and wrote, "She meant the world to us and we'll miss her dearly. We're doing our best to make it through this with your help we will. It's hard to think of the years ahead without her to see, but her memory will always be with us."
George did not want the world to know the extent of his traumatic pain. He preferred to bury himself with work and keep his lips sealed about the sorrow that gripped his heart. He stopped giving interviews and avoided every opportunity to address the tragic incident. "I got real private after I lost my daughter... I really shut things down," revealed the singer years later.
In 1986, he started the Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation in memory of his beloved girl. He used the charity to help children in need and kept the spirit of his daughter alive. After swallowing the pain of his loss for long, the Texas country singer released the emotional song “Baby Blue.” The heartbreaking lyrics of the song proved that the father was not over his daughter's death. He sang, "Like a breath of spring, she came and left, and I still don’t know why."
In 2005, he released yet his first single You'll Be There. It was very special to George because he sang about his hope of seeing his daughter on the other side. "So I'll see you on the other side if I make it. And it might be a long hard ride, but I wanna take it," sang the singer.
However, as the years went by, he gathered the courage to talk about the incident and why he shut himself from the press. On being asked of his long silence, he said, "I just didn’t feel like talking about it, so I quit... I did want to keep singing, absolutely. But I was at the point where I’m [like], ‘Alright, if this is going to cost me my career, then so be it, but it’s the only way I’m going to be able to cope with it.’ It just kind of turned out the way it did. It wasn’t an intentional thing."
Despite grieving his loss in silence for years, in 2012, he told People that he was blessed to have Jenifer in their life. He said, "We were blessed to have been able to spend 13 years with our beautiful daughter Jenifer."