The mother of two children found stabbed to death in a home in Piedmont, Que., says farewell to her "champ and big girl" in an obituary in a Montreal newspaper on Thursday.
The letter from Isabelle Gaston that appears in Le Journal de Montreal is addressed to five-year-old Olivier Turcotte and his three-year-old sister, Anne-Sophie.
"Your lives were stolen away and your presence next to me was too short. I ask myself why something like this happened," wrote Gaston.
Police discovered the children's bodies in their father's home in the Laurentian town of Piedmont on Saturday. Autopsies have confirmed they both died of stab wounds.
Their father, Guy Turcotte, 36, was also found in the home. He has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with both deaths.
Turcotte, a cardiologist, remains in hospital and is recovering from what police describe as a self-inflicted drug overdose.
Gaston, who worked at the same hospital as her husband, was out of town when the deaths occurred. She has not returned to work and has not spoken publicly about what happened.
Work colleagues confirm Gaston and her husband were having marital problems and had separated.
Mother admits she wasn't the perfect parent
In her letter, Gaston confesses to her children that she found parenting difficult at times.
"I tried, I cried, I laughed, I wanted at times to quit, I admit. It's not always easy to be a parent," she wrote. "I love you."
She ends the letter by saying she will see her children again one day.
"Olivier, my little champ, and Anne-Sophie, my big girl, take care of one another," she wrote.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday afternoon in the Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe-aux-Trembles. A separate funeral will be held for family on Monday morning.
Instead of sending flowers, Gaston is asking people to use the money to spend time with their families.