Reporting the news often comes with the difficult task of sharing the worst day of people's lives. But no matter how many times such news is reported, the impact is never minimised.
The loss of any life is heartbreaking; however, the loss of several young, innocent lives is gut-wrenching.
It is a shocking reminder of the fragility of life.
The tragic events that took place at a North-West primary school will impact many for many years to come.
The unfathomable situation left parents grieving their children and others waiting in fear to hear any news as emergency services tried to save the lives of other students who were seriously injured and taken to hospital following the incomprehensible accident.
A single image from the scene of two police officers on the ground, arms linked and visibly emotional, underlined the utter devastation this incident caused.
Every Tasmanian - and those across the country hearing the news - would have felt instant heartache.
Not just parents, but anyone hearing that young lives were taken so suddenly would be impacted in some way.
The tragedy comes at what should have been a happy time for families and their children.
The final day of school, the lead-up to Christmas and the summer holiday beginning.
The eyes of the nation have been on our relatively small and close-knit community for the past few days, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison paying his respects yesterday by laying a wreath at Hillcrest Primary School.
We have shown time and time again we can unite in the face of tragedy and put both physical and symbolic arms around one another.
Now is the time to reach out and offer support to anyone who needs it.
Our thoughts remain with the entire North-West community - the parents of the children, siblings, other children at the school, teachers, emergency services who attended the scene, those who treated the children at various hospitals across the state, and anyone impacted.
Please know that you are not alone in your grief.
For immediate counselling or support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Acting editor Melissa Mobbs
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