WHITMAN — Through emotion and tears, a crowd gathered at dusk on Sunday in Whitman with white candles that shone brightly in memory of a child who had her life taken away.
Lyric Farrell, 2, of Whitman was remembered Sunday, Jan. 19 — those who gathered celebrated the life of a little girl whose life was cut short leaving all to wonder how? and why? — as the golden sunlight set over photos of a smiling face,
Oversized pink ribbons adorned the doorway of Miss Kay’s dance studio as owner Kay Duffy offered her parking lot to host the vigil after learning of Lyric’s affection for music and dance.
She was also remembered for the hugs she gave all her daycare friends, and as a light who shared her radiance with everyone.
“She left her mark on us,” said Jackie Freestone, Lyric’s former day care director.
“We were blessed to know her. Her memory shines on,” said Michelle Carter also her teacher at the same center for the last six months.
Miriam Theodore, a pastor at the First Congregational Church of Whitman offered remarks at the memorial, and event co-organizer Jenn Marley handed out pink pins and helped to light candles during the vigil with friend Heather Clough, both mothers and both of Whitman. Clough spoke at the vigil.
Gently reminding those in attendance to use the vigil to remember the light Lyric brought to those around her.
“As members of the community kids are so important here- there is so much for them to do and there are so many ways for them to express themselves,” Coughlin said to the crowd. “It is a sad occasion and we can only imagine what Lyric could’ve grown up to do and she deserved more.”
Encouraging the use of their voices to make changes Clough encouraged the group to seek out organizations that can assist children alluding to the open court case.
“If you believe things need to change there are organizations to join … to turn the ‘could have- should have’ to ‘I will, I can.’” added Clough.
Teachers from Lyric’s daycare among the crowd were visibly upset as they talked about Lyric’s struggles in the weeks she had been returned to her mother.
Freestone said she raised red flags about the changes in Lyric’s behavior after slowly transitioning out of her grandmother’s care.
“I used to bring Lyric to the worker for DCF,” Freestone said. “I hated to send her but we had to.”
Lyric reportedly died of a non-accidental head injury, which left her on life support. She passed away on Dec. 31.
The open case is currently being processed in Brockton District Court with Shaniqua Leonard of Whitman Lyric’s biological mother being charged with reckless endangerment of a child. She is facing additional charges as the case evolves, according to statements through the Plymouth Country DA Timothy Cruz.