LIKE butterflies, the Hunt children - Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe - came into the lives of many all too briefly.
Although their classmates and teachers at St Joseph's Catholic School - and the wider Lockhart community - wish those smiling, happy faces could have stayed, they are glad to have been part of their lives.
A service was held yesterday to remember the life of 10-year-old Fletcher, Mia, 8, and Phoebe, 6 - described by principal Debbie Sheather as "much loved members of the school community".
Dozens of cars and utes lined Ferrier Street outside the school and, within the gates, the playground fell silent as they remembered and celebrated the lives of three children taken too soon; taken in the most tragic circumstances.
The Australian flag, at half mast, flapped in the brisk morning breeze.
It was cool enough to send a shiver down the spine, but the feeling paled into insignificance when compared to the heartache endured by the close-knit communities of Lockhart and Boree Creek this week.
The Daily Advertiser respected the school's privacy by not attending the morning prayer service, where members of the extended Hunt family were understood to be present.
Mrs Sheather told the Advertiser yesterday afternoon each student was given a little bookmark memento in memory of the Hunt children and three balloons were released into the sky at the end of service.
Each memento had a butterfly on it - a special touch with a special message.
"It was just all about how a butterfly comes into our world, it flies again and, although we wish it could have stayed, we were lucky to have seen it," Mrs Sheather said.
"Yes we'll miss them, but we are just glad we were a part of their lives."
Students in each of the Hunt children's classes carried items - including special paintings and a football - in a precession during the service.
"Just things that they thought were special to those kids," she said.
Special prayers were also held, along with reflections about what the children loved and enjoyed.
Mrs Sheather said one of the main messages to students was it was OK to shed a tear.
* Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.