Grief envelops Portapique as mourners come from near and far to honour victims
PORTAPIQUE, N.S. -- Portapique and the surrounding communities remain in a shattered state.
Grief envelops the entire area as a roadside memorial becomes a stopping place for those who want to mourn.
The roadside memorial saw dozens of visitors Wednesday.
Some were family members and friends from the community. Others came from other parts of ns to support the people who live here and mourn those who died.
Lori Buckler, a Victorian Order of Nurses employee from Amherst, drove more than an hour Wednesday to pay her respects at the road-side memorial.
“I just felt compelled to come down and pay my respects," Buckler said. "There is not much else you can do.”
The emotions Buckler feels for her two fellow VON workers who were murdered are raw and overwhelming.
“Grief for the families left behind," Buckler said. "I can’t even put into words.”
Dennis Benere’s cottage offers a clear view of some of the properties on Portapique Beach Road where some of the shootings took place.
“Hard to believe," Benere said. "You never think it’s going to happen in your hometown.”
"His neighbours murdered.
Benere’s community is in shock. On Wednesday, he decided to honour those who have been lost and got out a piece of plywood so people could leave a heart.
"Make a heart," Benere said. "All of the hearts on there for all the victims.”
Wilfred Miller has lived in nearby Great Village for 80 years.
Miller and his wife Fronz say the tragedy has impacted everyone they know.
“We knew several of them,” Miller said.
Family friendships and community activities in Portapique are the ties that bind these people together.
“They joined our garden club, said Fronz Miller.
Healing from this grief seems like an impossible task, but miller says the people here are strong and resilient.
“Knowing things that have happened in the past, we just continue on,” said Wilfred Miller.
Fronz Miller also says she is haunted knowing that when people visit this picturesque community known for its beauty, charm, and its people, they’ll always be reminded of this tragedy.