In the wake of the heartbreaking news that country singer Craig Strickland was found dead early Monday, his wife Helen is choosing to cherish memories of life with her late husband.
Strickland disappeared just after Christmas when he and buddy Chase Morland took off for a duck-hunting trip during the winter storm dubbed Goliath.
Morland’s body was discovered Dec. 28, reportedly being watched over by Strickland’s black lab, Sam, who was brought back safely. Following an exhaustive search, authorities released a statement this week confirming the worst-case scenario — Strickland had been found dead as well.
Helen, who had been holding out hope her husband would return home alive, handled the news with grace, tweeting, “Craig was found today. He is safe with his Father in Heaven. Thank you Lord for leading us to him today. I will praise you, Amen.”
And today, she is opening up about the love the sweet couple treasured.
Posting on Instagram, she shared a heartbreaking message along with a video that Strickland made for her before their 2014 wedding.
“On the day of our wedding Craig had me watch a video he had made to tell me how much he loved me. I am so thankful for technology in this moment because I will always have this. I watched this privately prior to walking down the aisle, and so now I want to share this small excerpt with all of you,” she wrote.
After thanking the person who helped the country singer create the video, Helen expressed that she would cherish the video — and the time she shared with Craig — always.
“‘Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalms 116:15,'” she posted. “Thank you Lord for sharing #craigstrickland with me. You allowed me to borrow him on this earth, but he was always Yours. I will forever cherish our year of marriage. This was truly the type of man you were and will always be remembered as. I love you Craig Michael.”
The sentiments expressed by Strickland in the video message are no less heartbreaking in light of his untimely and tragic passing.
“There’ll be times where we’re sitting in our car and stuff where you don’t know this, but I’ll look over at you and be like, ‘This is the person that God has created for me,'” Strickland said to his wife, “and that’s really special to me and I couldn’t be more lucky.”
Shortly after sharing the wedding message, Helen shared another short video, this time showing Strickland goofing off with his groomsmen on the couple’s wedding day.
Helen captioned the video, “God filled Craig with so much life. Thank you #craigstrickland for teaching everyone around you how to live life to the fullest. I’m so proud of you.”
The first year of marriage is such a joyous time in a couple’s life, and we truly can’t imagine the grief Helen must be feeling in this moment. Our thoughts will continue to be with her, as well as Strickland’s other family and friends during this unthinkably difficult time.