Nice: The living held their hands. They knew they were dead, but they could not bring themselves to let go.
Hours after unspeakable horror was visited on families who had gathered to watch the Bastille Day fireworks on the Nice seafront, the dead still lay scattered across the Promenade des Anglais.
Here and there people sat with them, sometimes alone, sometimes in little huddles of family and friends.
Some had only the comfort of strangers in the aftermath of yesterday evening's massacre.
One victim, a small child who like so many others had been allowed to stay up late to see the fireworks, lay dead on the tarmac with a doll close by.
"You would think you could do something to help by being there. But we were useless," said Tarubi Wahid Mosta, who tried to do what he could in the aftermath of the attack.
"All these families who have already spent a long time at their sides are likely -- given the horrible number of the dead -- to spend hours on the ground holding the cold hands of bodies dismembered by the truck.
"You can't even speak to them or comfort them. That is the hardest thing, to be useless at such a horrible moment," the actor wrote on his Facebook page.
One photograph he posted showed a women wearing a headscarf kneeling over a body.
"In the middle of all this is a Muslim family... One of whom did not escape this crazy lorry," he said. "Once again everyone has been touched, whether they were believers or not."
Outside a Nice hospital a grieving family later told reporters that their mother, a devout Muslim, had been the first of the lorry's 84 victims.
Long after dawn broke some of the victims were still lying on the promenade covered with blue and white sheets as the first of the morning joggers set out along the Bay of Angels.
Nice is a town that likes to party and was built to a great extent as a playground for the European aristocracy and industrialists who wintered on the French Riviera in the late 19th century.
Its carnival is the third biggest in the world after Venice and Rio.
Like the carnival, the Bastille Day fireworks display is a huge family occasion, with children allowed to stay up well after their normal bedtimes to enjoy the spectacle.
Several children were among the dead, President Francois Hollande said. Authorities later confirmed that around 50 were hurt, many seriously.