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In a single, shared casket, Hannah Clarke and her precious babies are laid to rest

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Hannah Clarke and her three young children have been laid to rest – together, in the same shiny white casket, adorned with butterfly stickers – after an outpouring of grief and fond memories at their Brisbane funeral.

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Nineteen days after their shocking murders on a suburban Brisbane street, hundreds of mourners turned out to remember and celebrate Hannah, 31, her daughters Aaliyah, 6 and Laianah, 4, and three-year-old son Trey.

Simple black and white signs led mourners to ‘The Clarke Family Funeral” in Mansfield. And they were, as in life, tragically united in death as a beautiful four-member family, with no mention of their familiar killer.

In the funeral service, Hannah’s younger brother, Nat, spoke of growing up as playful siblings. They drifted apart, for reasons Nat has only recently come to fully understand, before bonding again for what ended up being Hannah’s last six months. Their time reunited would include a trip to Sea World with their kids; when he, one of the adults, still greeted his sister with a “wet willy” finger in the ear, and she couldn’t help but farewell him with playful mockery, before they all said “I love you” and left.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way, I only wish there was more time,” Nat said today.

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t protect you Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey. We love and miss you all so much.”

Hannah’s friend Nikki Brooks remembered a woman who was “kind and selfless, fierce but so funny – and fitter than anyone”. She and another friend, Lou Farmer, marvelled at how Hannah encouraged her children to embrace life. For Lou, their tragic deaths came with the knowledge that Hannah was “up there with your babies, all together again, dancing up a storm”.

Police and emergency services officers, the Prime Minister, the Premier and the Lord Mayor were among those attending the service, where some dressed in pink to draw attention to the scourge of domestic violence, while others mourned in customary black or full uniform. Hannah and her children were all around, in memories, in the stories, and in the photos displayed on-screen, where they appeared full of love and life. Ultimately, their casket had to be carried from the church, and left in a single hearse, as rain poured down outside.

Mourners left the church with colourful bookmarks, featuring one of Hannah’s final social media posts: “I am a strong woman. I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, nor will I ever let anyone mistreat me again. I don’t respond to people who dictate to me, or to try and bring me down. I am a survivor and not a victim. I am in control of my life and there is nothing that I can’t achieve. My girls will grow up strong women, who understand their worth.”

On the night after Hannah and her children were murdered, an electrical storm fractured the Brisbane skyline, as Brisbane struggled to reconcile its emotions and the tragic events of the day. Today, there was only the rain, and the tears of those who knew them or came to know what they had been through.

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