funeral-cp-6337796

Mourners console each other after funeral services for Anne-Sophie Turcotte, 3, and her brother, Olivier Turcotte, 5, in Montreal on Monday. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))

A private funeral was held Monday morning for two young children found dead in their home north of Montreal on Feb. 21. Their father has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with their deaths.

More than 100 family and friends came to the service at the Complexe Funéraire des Trembles in Pointes-aux-Trembles at the east end of Montreal Island.

Father Raymond Gravel, who presided over the ceremony, said the children's mother, Isabelle Gaston, showed incredible strength during the funeral.

He said she spoke to her dead children, saying she loved them, but she had to let them go.

He said she asked them to help their father, because he is in a dark place.

The bodies of Olivier Turcotte, 5, and his sister Anne-Sophie, 3, were discovered by police at their home in the Laurentians town of Piedmont after worried relatives called because it had been some time since they had heard from the children's father, Guy Turcotte.

mtl-guy-turcotte-0224

Cardiologist Guy Turcotte, 36, has been charged with murdering his two young children. ((CBC))

Turcotte, 36, was also found in the home in need of medical attention because of a self-inflicted drug overdose, police said. He was taken to the St-Jérôme health and social services centre in Quebec's Laurentians region, where doctors recognized him as a cardiologist who worked at the hospital.

Turcotte has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He remains in a Montreal hospital. Crown prosecutor Claudia Carbonneau said he will be transferred to a detention centre after his health improves. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 30.

St. Jérôme hospital director François Therrien has confirmed that Turcotte was having marital problems. His wife is also a doctor at the hospital. She was out of town on a ski trip when the children were killed.

Gaston asked in an obituary that people refrain from sending flowers.

Instead, she asked that people spend time with their loved ones.