(MASON, OH) -- It's hard enough to say goodbye to one family member who dies too young.
But Thursday night in Mason, neighbors and friends bid a tearful farewell to an entire family murdered police say by the man who was supposed to love and protect them.
FOX19's Sara Gouedy reports in Mason, where a thousand people came out for a prayer service for the Veillette family.
This might be the Mason's community's only chance to publicly grieve.
Natives of Canada, Nadya, Jacob, Vincent, Marguerite and Mia will all be buried in their home country, so at Thursday's night prayer service, close friends and strangers came together in a search for closure.
"I don't think that anyone will be able to get their head around what has happened, but I do believe at least for maybe myself and hopefully for a lot of people that the community will be able to let go of the anger they have toward Michel," said family friend Brenda O'Neill.
Before and after the service classmates of the Veillette children also made memorials to their grief.
"A lot of them drew themselves with the children that died," said organizer April Stenger. "This was kind of a final offering of hope and peace and prayer for their friend that this happened to."
There's still the unanswered questions of why, but Thursday night also brought something else -- knowledge of those here that the spirit of those laws would want the community to find strength.
"They'd be at a whole lot of peace. They'd be at peace," said O'Neill.
An anonymous donation was also made that will cover a large portion of the burial and funeral costs for all five victims.