VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The bells of Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria echoed through the streets this morning for two young sisters killed on Christmas Day.
More than a thousand mourners filled the church to remember Chloe and Aubrey Berry at the service, which was open to the public.
The two young girls’ cremated remains were displayed in the same urn during the service, where Reverend Ansley Tucker told those in attendance the deaths have left everybody with scrambled emotions and asking where was God on Christmas Day.
Photos on social media showed mourners wearing pink polka dot ribbons to remember two girls brimming with joy. Sandra Hudson, a spokesperson for the family, says the girls will be remembered for their spirit.
“Aubrey and Chloe were very joyful, happy girls, and they brought joy to so many of us, and so much love,” she says. “And I hope that as the months and years go by, when people think of Chloe and Aubrey, they think of joy and love.”
Family friend and spokesperson Trisha Lees says she’s proud of the girls’ mother for the strength she’s shown during this difficult time.
“The last several weeks have been very difficult, and we’ve spent almost all of our time with Sarah, including this morning,” says Lees. “What I’ll say of her is that she’s showing remarkable courage and grace and dignity in a circumstance which is sort of beyond comprehension for most of us.”
Lees adds the community’s outpouring of grief is a reflection of all the good that the girls and their mother put out into the world.
Aubrey and Chloe were found dead inside their father’s home in Oak Bay late Christmas Day, after their mother reported the dad hadn’t returned the girls on time.
The father, Andrew Berry, faces two counts of second degree murder and remains in custody.
Tragedy affecting people all over BC
The girls’ deaths have affected people well beyond Vancouver Island. But psychologist Dr. Joti Samra says that’s not at all unusual.
“Recognizing that for many people, having strong feelings — even if we have no direct or indirect connection to this family — is very normal. It is very much tugged at the heartstrings of many, many people,” she explains.
Samra says it’s important to have an open conversation with your kids, if they have any questions.
“Children will often reveal to us how much information they need or want. Often, what children are needing are just a sense of safety and security.”
She suggests you encourage your kids not to hold their thoughts and feelings inside.