Vivienne talks about how she and her family supported her granddaughter, Shaneeka, who was four when her mother, Helen, died from an acute form of leukaemia

After my daughter Helen died, there were times when we could see that Shaneeka was sad. One thing we never did was shut down any talk about her mum; we would talk to her about her mum and tell her that, no matter how she was feeling or how sad she felt, she could tell us. We allowed her to cry if she needed to; if she was upset, we’d hold her and let her cry it through.

I didn’t think twice about letting tears flow in front of her because she appreciated that.

I was always good with Shaneeka, I didn’t think twice about letting tears flow in front of her because she appreciated that. She said to me once that she thought we didn’t remember her mum anymore. I said: “No, I still do, and I cry,” and she said: “But I don’t see it,” because I cried when she wasn’t there. And she said to me: “If it does happen, when I get home will you tell me Nanny so I can give you a hug?”.

Our family are very close, they say it takes a village to bring up a child; that applies to our family. Everybody just came in and helped with Shaneeka. She knows whatever she’s going through she has different people she can talk to that can help her.