Many were shocked last January when American country singer Craig Strickland was found dead after a hunting trip.
The 29-year-old lead singer of Arkansas band Backroad Anthem died of hypothermia after the boat he and a friend were travelling in capsized. His widow Helen Strickland said he managed to climb his way out of the water.
His friend, 22-year-old Chase Morland, also died, according to ET.
Strickland and Helen, a former Miss Arkansas USA, shared a fairytale relationship, and were talking back and forth until just before the two friends got into their boat.
Helen Strickland shared their final text messages on her Instagram page Wednesday.
A year ago today, the search for my husband @backroadcraig concluded. I remember receiving these last texts from him before talking for the last time on the phone-I'm so thankful God gave me the blessing of getting to say and hear the words "I love you" to/from him just moments before he and Chase got in their 10ft flat bottom boat. It was truly such a blessing the day we found Craig. We were finally able to find some kind of peace knowing he was with his Heavenly Father. God showed us then, and continues to show us, that He takes care of his children. While the pain is great that we carry, our Lord will carry the burden if we choose to let Him. A year later, I can testify to God's goodness and the gift of love that He pours out to those in pain. Sometimes His gifts of love aren't what we want or expect-for example, our savior Jesus Christ coming as a baby-but in the end, God's way is always better than what we want for ourselves. God is good, and His ways are perfect- I trust that. Losing Craig was not what any of us desired; but as @strickark told me - when we get sad, we can think of all the ways God will bless others through Craig's story. What a wonderful and humbling reminder that God has chosen Craig's family to help others. At the closing of this year, I am thankful for God's gift of life. And one day, I will be so excited to sit with Craig and our Father in heaven, as we tell Craig about all the opportunities his family had to share the love of Christ with hurting people all over the world because of his testimony. What a gift of love that will be❤ *Please visit the Craig Strickland Foundation homepage to donate to scholarships established in honor of Craig; and be looking for the launch of my new website, which will be the home for my blog/vlog, as well as the place to contact/hire me for speaking engagements. www.craigstricklandfoundation.org
She had sent him a picture of her cuddling with a cat, and he responded by saying she looked "so precious."
He then said he was running some errands and was going to fetch his dog Sam, who would survive the accident that killed Strickland and Morland.
She shared details about the last time they spoke on the phone.
"I'm so thankful God gave me the blessing of getting to say and hear the words 'I love you' to/from him just moments before he and Chase got in their 10ft flat bottom boat."
Helen has been open about the pain of losing her husband, but said she's found strength in God.
On Nov. 29, the couple's anniversary, she posted a video on Instagram looking back at their wedding.
Dear Heavenly Father, continue to let your Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the water, wherever You would call me...and take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior. ❤️ Happy Anniversary Craig Michael. I will miss you every step of the way in this life...but I am thankful that I can always look back on the precious memory of our marriage with love in my heart. I can be thankful because you are with our Father...meaning I can find peace knowing that since we are both His, you both are mine. #loveyoualways 11.29.14 | Song: "Oceans (my feet may fail)" - Hillsong United | Pictures: @meredithmelody
"I will miss you every step of the way in this life...but I am thankful that I can always look back on the precious memory of our marriage with love in my heart," she wrote.