Just as he cuddled her in life, so did Stefon McLeod continue to embrace his two-year-old daughter Aniah Jaggernauth (McLeod), as they shared a casket at their funeral on Friday.
Throngs of mourners flocked to the Gospel Deliverance Temple on Fairley Street, Tunapuna, to pay their final respects to both father and daughter whose lives were celebrated during a two-hour-long ceremony.
During his homily, pastor Dwight Ferguson called on mourners and the community to use the deaths of both McLeod and Aniah as an opportunity to better the lives of others as they seek to break the cycle of crime and violence in TT.
Using the gospel of Luke to illustrate the urgent need to repent and seek guidance from God, Ferguson prayed for change in the community and implored mourners to do the same.
"Violence begets violence and if we continue along this line we will all die.
"If it's one lesson we have learned from this covid19 situation (it) is that what affects our brother will ultimately affect us. What we need to do is make a transformation. One gentleman before spoke about how it takes a village to raise a child, but if we do not recognise our role in raising a child, we will be lost."
During the service, Ferguson opened the floor for mourners to pay tribute to McLeod and Aniah.
One man who identified himself as a "community elder" said he was hurt by the murder of both a father and daughter, and questioned whether older generations were doing enough in reaching out and providing the necessary support to youths in need.
He said while the world has changed a lot since he was a child, the need for older generations to offer advice and support to young men and women was greater now than ever.
"Looking at the faces of all those here brings so much sadness to my heart. As a senior person I wonder whether we, as the senior ones, are reaching out enough to touch the lives of those that we truly love, the young men and women that we so cherish.
"Every time a situation like this happens, something deep in my heart tells me that we have a greater responsibility to go much further than just the superficial things that we get accustomed to. So I just want to remind the young ones that your lives are very precious. Young men, the world is not running away, and God will make provisions for you, once you do what is required."
Another mourner, Abdul Rahman, said McLeod was a close friend whom he considered a brother, and recalled the last moments they shared at a lime in Tunapuna.
Aniah's aunt Jameela Jaggernauth delivered an emotional eulogy in which she recalled her time with Aniah and said while they did not have much time to interact, the toddler had a significant impact on the lives of her relatives.
"One day Aniah walked up to her uncle and asked if he was good. He was so shocked, because Aniah was afraid of him. He said every day with her was a blessing and he said that child would put him in trouble."
After the service, mourners, accompanied by a music truck, processed from the church to the Tunapuna Public Cemetery, where father and daughter were buried.
McLeod and Aniah were shot dead in a car at Bamboo Road, Tunapuna, last Friday night. McLeod had just picked up his daughter when they were attacked.