On January 4, 2016, the body of Backroad Anthem lead singer Craig Strickland was found. He had died several days earlier while out on a hunting trip with his friend, Chase R. Morland. Bad weather capsized the pair’s boat. Morland’s body was found the day after the search began, along with the capsized boat. It would take almost a week to find Strickland.
When they did, they found he had died of hypothermia, probably without pain, and was “lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his Father.”
Father, of course, refers to God–a central figure in Craig and his wife Helen’s life. The late country and pop singer even went as far as insinuating God himself had a hand in getting him together with his wife–this romantic sentiment was expressed in a private love letter to Helen, then his fiance.
As a tribute to her late husband, Helen Strickland posted the letter to Instagram, writing:
“Today I found this precious treasure Craig wrote for me to read on the day of our wedding. The Lord is good always… I know this because in the … most heart aching moments, when it seems too difficult to bare, God knows just how to make me smile… ”
Here’s the full post:
The note reads, in full:
Dear Helen (my love), I can’t believe the time is finally here where I get to be the luckiest person in the world and become your life partner forever. You are someone that I could never have even placed in my wildest dreams as becoming my wife. I laugh when I think about all the things I LOVE about you because there are so many!
I love your smile and how you laugh at my one liner comments . . . I love how much you care about getting the food you cook for me to be exactly the right taste. I love how you can cook asparagus 4 different ways. I love seeing the joy you get out of me doing something simple like cleaning the living room! Helen, I am so excited to begin this journey with you. Like I told my dad right after meeting you, GOD is all over it!!!
The touching tribute has sparked much interest in Craig’s life and accomplishments as a musician. Though devastated, Backroad Anthem says they will continue to perform as a band.
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