In poignant scenes, nurse Jacintha Saldanha’s teenaged children Junal and Lisha on Saturday spoke movingly of the “unfillable void” their mother’s death had left in their lives while her husband, Benedict Barboza, said he felt “a part of me has been ripped out.”
Speaking after a mass held in Ms. Saldanha’s memory at Westminster Cathedral in central London, the three struggled to suppress their tears as they described how their lives had been “shattered” and their once-happy home was now an empty dwelling without her presence.
“We love you Mum, sleep in peace and please watch over us until we meet again in Heaven. We will always love you and keep you close to our hearts,” said 14-year-old Lisha as her father standing next to her wiped his tears.
Junal (16) described his mother as having been “the core of the family that kept us together.”
“You taught us right from wrong which we appreciate. You worked tirelessly to give us everything that we have today.”
“My wife, you were the light in my darkness, who always showed me the way forward. From the day we met, you always stood by me in times of hardship and happiness. I feel a part of me has been ripped out.”
In a joint tribute read out at the mass, the family described her as “kind-hearted, generous and well-respected.”
A memorial mass was also held in Bristol where the family lived.
He thanked all those who had offered support and comfort, including Prime Minister David Cameron, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and MPs Keith Vaz and Charlotte Leslie.
Ms. Saldanha (46), who worked at London’s Edward VII hospital, committed suicide last week — three days after being duped by a hoax call that led to the confidential medical details of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Williams, being unwittingly revealed to two Australian radio presenters posing as the Queen and Prince Charles. She left three notes, one of which contained criticism of the hospital staff.
The hospital insisted she was given “full support” after the incident.