Craig Strickland's family and friends gathered to bid him farewell in an emotional ceremony on Tuesday evening, but for his wife, the sadness is only beginning. The singer's body was uncovered Jan. 4, over a week after he and close friend and fellow musician Chase Morland went missing during a winter duck hunt. Strickland's wife, Helen Strickland, is speaking out about life after her husband's death, making it clear that it won't be easy, but she plans to get through it.
According to People magazine, Helen took to Instagram to share a note she wrote to her husband after his passing. The note, dated Jan. 11, thanks Craig, 29 at the time of his death, "for sharing the last few years" with her, adding that she knows he's in a better place. Helen ended the note by saying that she is certain they'll be reunited some day. In her photo caption Helen reveals to fans that she put the note in the pocket of the jacket he was buried in. His memorial service took place in Rogers, Arkansas, at Cross Church's Pinnacle Hills Campus. Helen and those close to Craig invited fans to join them in remembering Craig either in person or via live stream.
"There is a Time for Everything" Ecl 3 ❤️ Today was the time to grieve, but one day there will be a time to dance. pic.twitter.com/DM0k6UHTs4
— Helen Strickland (@HelenWisner) January 12, 2016
Thank you sweet friends for sharing in Craig's memorial with us. We truly value your love and friendship. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/s2D5vRos5B
— Helen Strickland (@HelenWisner) January 13, 2016
The publication reports that during the memorial service a pre-taped video showed Helen looking back on her relationship with Craig. She recalled their first meeting, adding that her "path of grief" had only just begun. Members of his family also spoke fondly about Craig, telling fans about the "special relationship" they shared.
This is the second time Helen has spoken out publicly about her husband's death. Her first comments came Jan. 4 after her husband's body was found. The former Miss Arkansas told her Instagram followers they could "finally rest knowing that he is at Home in Heaven."
Craig and Morland, 22, were reported missing Dec. 28, 2015, two days after setting out on a duck hunting trip together. The pair were on a lake when winter storm Goliath hit, causing the vessel to capsize. Craig was able to swim to land, but did not make it out of the woods before the elements got to him. He was found lying on a hill "in the shape of a cross." According to Helen it was hypothermia that took Craig. She said "he experienced no pain in his final moment and simply felt like he was falling asleep."