A PAINTING sitting in front of Rachael Golinski's coffin said so much more than words ever could.

Dark, yellow flowers on a grey background.

"I love you Rach", a love heart and "Matty".

Matt Golinski was not physically able to attend yesterday's funeral for his wife and three daughters but his spirit was everywhere.

More than 1000 people farewelled Rachael and their daughters Sage, Willow and Starlia at the Drysdale Funerals chapel in Tewantin.

Their four identical white coffins stood in a cross formation, linked by a floral arrangement.

In the centre was a tree, its leaves replaced by paper butterflies in pink, purple and gold.

They were the girls' favourite colours - pink for Rachael and Willow, gold for Starlia and purple for Sage.

Roses and flowers in the same colours adorned their coffins.

Almost three months after the Boxing Day house fire that claimed their lives, their husband and father was still too ill to say goodbye in person.

The celebrity chef was still in Royal Brisbane Hospital where he is being treated for burns to 40% of his body.

Fittingly, the heavens opened as the community said goodbye.

For more than three hours they arrived at the chapel.

They knew the Golinskis from many areas of life - the young girls from their time at Noosaville State School and dancing classes; Rachael from the Eumundi Markets and her community work with disability services.

Inside the chapel, they were greeted by the haunting sounds of a Tibetan gong being tolled by Matt's father, Keith.

Pictures around the chapel and a video playing constantly on two TV screens offered a look inside the family's life.

A stunning Rachael on her wedding day; Sage and Willow learning to ride a horse; Rachael and Matt sitting together having a drink.

Many shed tears but there were also smiles at the memories of happier times.

Children had been encouraged to attend with their parents and they brought simple gifts for the girls - stickers, lipgloss, flowers and cards.

Butterflies were a common theme for the service.

The three young Golinski girls were known for their love of "all things with wings".

Dottings of butterfly and star-shaped confetti lined the chapel's aisle and adorned the tables and walls.

Live butterflies were also released several times during the day.

Later, after closest family and friends had said their goodbyes in a private service, four white doves were released - symbols of the spirits of Rachael and her girls.

Keith Golinski, Rachael's parents Raymond and Suzannah, and siblings Leonie, Winston and Angus set the birds free before others did the same with another 40.

A private cremation followed the family's service.

Photos and videos were taken so Matt Golinski could watch when he is ready.

He will hold his own farewell at an appropriate time.



For Rachael, Starlia, Willow and Sage Golinski:


As we gather here with our heads bowed,

our hearts heavy with pain,

let Rachael, Starlia, Willow and Sage

invite you into their circle

to celebrate and relish their power, their passion,

their purity and their play.

They touched us all differently,

softly, they wound themselves into our hearts

and our tapestry of life is richer for their weavings.

The bounce of a curl, the flick of a skirt, the giggle of joy,

they play a symphony of delicious sounds that will

forever echo within our hearts.

We ache for what might have been

but maybe we can honour them most

by living as though each day is the greatest gift.

They were, and are the light and sound of love and life;

I know that nothing will ever extinguish that whisper.


A family friend.'K'.