Luke Bryan speaks about dealing with numerous tragedies over the years in a candid new interview with People.

The 45-year-old’s older brother Chris was killed in a car accident at age 26 in 1996; his older sister Kelly, 39, died suddenly of still-unexplained causes in 2007.

Her husband, Lee, 46, died after suffering a heart attack seven years later, leaving behind three children, including a 12-year-old son that Bryan and his wife Caroline have since raised.

Bryan says of his and Caroline’s two young boys, Tate and Bo, waking up to find out they had a big brother: “Tate sleeps with Til every night. Things are really, really special.”

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“I’ve had so many tragedies in my life,” Bryan shares. “It’s almost like you don’t want to tell the story because you don’t want to feel like you’re out there craving sympathy.

“You’re never through your grief. You’re always breathing it. You truly never get over it. You truly never settle in your mind that it’s happened. I mean, it’s always there.

“If I can inspire people to move on from tragedy, hopefully by my behaviour, that’s what life’s all about for me.”

Bryan still counts his blessings: “Maybe Chris and Kelly and Lee have moved some puzzle pieces around to make my life so fortunate.

“When I say my prayers at night, I have to say, ‘Thank y’all for looking after us down here.'”

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“It’s a really special place I’m in because I don’t really feel I need to go reinvent something to complete my life as a country singer,” he says of his career. “I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do in music.”

Bryan also gushes about his marriage to Caroline, with the pair set to celebrate their 15th anniversary in December.

“We just have a ball in life and have a ball with our kids,” he tells the mag. His other half adds: “Marriage is a battle both people have to be willing to fight, and we fight for each other. I’ll love Luke until my last breath.”