Community Mourns Death of a Toddler

October 7, 2018

FITCHBURG -- Members of the community offered prayers, a heart-shaped card and stuffed animals during a Saturday vigil for a 2-year-old girl who fell out of an apartment window Thursday.

“A child’s life is gone when a candlelight goes up,” said Judy Reardon, who organized the vigil at Green Street Park. “No child should lose their life.”

The girl, who investigators have not yet identified, fell at the Willow Loft apartments Thursday afternoon. Police Chief Ernest Martineau said it was “an unattended death.”

State and local police and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the child’s death.

About 10 people came to the park to sign the card and pay their respects.

“Loss of a child is never easy,” one attendee wrote. “Prayers for peace and comfort.”

Several children who came with their family signed their names with hearts.

They gathered around flameless candles placed around the heart card. Inside were stuffed animals and a jar of flowers with a white rosary around it.

Reardon led a prayer and asked for support for the child’s family.

“We need our heart to know that even when we cannot fathom the grief of this family loss, (God) is present ,” she said.

After Reardon finished, she played a few minutes of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” off her phone.

Reardon has held similar vigils in the city and wanted to hold one for the child to give the community the chance to heal.

She can’t imagine what it would be like to lose her child or 2-year-old grandson.

After the vigil, the group walked over to the Willow Loft apartments to add their items to the flowers, balloons and stuffed animals left outside.

They hung up the heart card in the middle and placed candles on the ground and fence to illuminate the memorial.

Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz.

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