A small gift Craig Strickland gave to his wife, Helen Strickland, on their wedding day is bringing her peace in the midst of tragedy.
The former Miss Arkansas USA shared a snippet of a wedding day video the country singer made for her before their 2014 nuptials. She uploaded the video to Instagram the same day that his body was found after being reported missing for seven days.
"On the day of our wedding, Craig had me watch a video he had made to tell me how much he loved me," she wrote. "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."
In the clip, Craig declares his love for Helen.
"There would be times when we're sitting in our car and stuff, and you don't notice," he says with a big smile on his face. "But I'll look over and be like, 'This is the person that God has created for me' and that's really special to me. And I couldn't be more lucky."
The widow also gave a special thanks to the people who helped her husband edit the “cherished” message.
"Thank you Lord for sharing #craigstrickland with me,” she wrote. “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."
On Jan. 4, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Enforcement Division recovered Craig’s body in an area referred to as Bear Creek Cove. The 29-year-old singer and his friend Chase R. Morland, 22, were first reported missing following a duck hunting trip. Chase’s body was found on Dec. 28.
“The night of the accident he had fought his way out of the water and up a hill before the stages of hypothermia set in,” she wrote on Instagram. “He experienced no pain in his final moments and simply felt like he was falling asleep. They found him lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his Father.”