JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The news of Cherish Perrywinkle's death is proving to be difficult for the community. Chaffee Trail Elementary School says they will have grief counselors available all day Monday for students, faculty and the school community.
Many of Cherish's classmates attended a candlelight vigil on Sunday afternoon, they cried and sang songs in honor of their friend.
Many parents said what happened to Perrywinkle could've happened any child so they wanted to rally around the family and show their support.
One of the most affected children at the vigil was Kendall Cabanda.
"We kind of felt like we were sisters," said Kendall Cabanda, classmate.
Cabanda went to school with Perrywinkle. She remembers how much fun she had riding the bus with her and telling each other stories.
"We talked about stuff like TV shows, like girly things about dolls and fairies about stuff that is imaginary," said Cabanda.
They're conversations she'll will never get to have with Perrywinkle again. It's a thought that has crushed so many children who knew her and are too young to understand why she's gone.
Marcus Williams remembers Perrywinkle as the girl in his ministry class with the spunky personality.
"She was a children's mother. She was one of the ones that corrected, kept you laughing and had her own personality. She already was wise beyond her years," said Marcus Williams, Paxon Revival Center.
A sea of people and candles stood outside Highlands Baptist Church after a prayer service inside the church in honor of Perrywinkle. Williams says the only way our community will get through this tragedy is to have faith and stand together.
"Right now in this situation it's easy to hate it's easy to be disgruntled because that's the spirit and that's the nature of man but we have to take the opposite approach and love and forgive and move forward," said Williams.
Meanwhile Cabanda and the rest of her friends struggle with the reality that their friend won't be coming back.
"I just want to see her," said Cabanda.
The makeshift memorial in front of the church where her body was found continues to grow. Many who did not even know Perrywinkle or her family have left her flowers, balloons, cards and stuffed animals.