No, not Allied...
[Image via Adriana M. Barazza/WENN.]
This is just so heartbreaking.
On Tuesday at Craig Strickland's funeral, his widow Helen pulled at everyone's heartstrings by sharing a poignant memory of her first date with the Backroad Anthem frontman.
The musician was memorialized at the Cross Church in Rogers, Arkansas just a month after his fatal duck hunting trip. During the intense service, Miz Strickland, Craig's parents, and his sister each took turns paying tribute to the late artist.
"For Craig's and my first date, he took me to Mt. Sequoia, that lookout point…for a girl, that made me a little nervous at first. He turned and looked at me and said, 'I've come to realize that relationships are the only thing that we take with us to Heaven… I love you Craig Michael Strickland. And I love each of you, as he did."
What a beautiful memory. Not to mention, Strickland's father shared an equally touching memory of when his son took him on the road to see him open for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Aww!
By the end of the funeral, Helen was given leave to exit first as the gatherers were asked to give the grieving woman privacy during this trying time. Despite her hardship, Helen remembered to thank Craig's fans and loved ones on Instagram (below) for all of their support.
Thank you to everyone who watched the memorial service, either physically present or via webcast, tonight. I wish I could thank and hug each of you individually. But for now, all I can do is say thank you and I love you. Because of your love and prayers I know I can get through this. Thank you for loving my husband. He cared so much about all of you. Thank you CrossChurch Staff and Sisco funeral home for the countless hours you put into this service. You paid attention to every detail which allowed our family to not worry about a thing. Thank you to Shiloh Christian School for serving our family and providing food for so many people. Thank you to everyone who sent donations and flowers. Our family feels so loved and blessed. @barrettbaber thank you for the wonderful performance you shared. It was so special. @awmen @nickfloyd8 @davidmckinneyjr and @backroadanthem for putting together the most perfect service to honor Craig. It truly touched so many people. I am already hearing stories of saved lives. I love you Craig Michael, I'm thankful you're with our Heavenly Father and everything is complete. I will do everything I can to carry on your legacy of establishing relationships and loving people. "I have come to realize that relationships are the the only thing we can take with us to heaven." - Craig Strickland ❤️A photo posted by Helen Wisner Strickland (@helenelizabethstrickland) on Jan 12, 2016 at 7:15pm PST
We can only imagine how hard this whole experience has been for Helen. The brunette beauty shared some insight into her struggles when she took to IG to share the sweet note (below) placed in her husband's pocket before his burial.
Today I buried my husband. This is a picture of the letter I put in his jacket pocket. I love him with every part of my heart, but I love our God more…and I know my God loves Craig and I more than we could ever imagine. Therefore, God has a purpose. He makes everything beautiful in its time. Craig established relationships with each of us so that he could see us again. So let us love one another like Craig did. Let us pray for strangers. And let us establish relationships with one another with the goal of establishing Christ-like relationships so that we can see each other again in heaven. ❤️ "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest… A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance… A time to search and a time to quit searching." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4, 6A photo posted by Helen Wisner Strickland (@helenelizabethstrickland) on Jan 12, 2016 at 11:34am PST
Our hearts go out to Craig's family and loved ones as they deal with this tragic loss.
[Image via Helen Strickland/Instagram.]