THE 14-year-old daughter of Jacintha Saldanha yesterday spoke of the "unfillable void" left by the nurse's apparent suicide.
Lisha Saldanha said she, her brother, Junal (16), and their father, Benedict Barboza, were "shattered" by her mother's death, which followed a prank call to the hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was treated.
The family spoke after a memorial Mass held at Westminster Cathedral in London, where Mrs Saldanha (46) was a night sister at King Edward VII Hospital.
Junal said she was the "core of the family who kept us together" and "worked tirelessly to give us everything we have today".
Mr Barboza said: "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. Without your beautiful smile and sparkling personality, the house is an empty place to live."
Mr Barboza added that the Duchess and her husband had offered their condolences, as had Prime Minister David Cameron.
Junal said: "In times of difficulty you showed us the way forward to happiness and success. Your priority for us was a good education and a bright future. You worked tirelessly to give us everything that we have today."
Lisha said: "We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together.
"The house is an empty dwelling without your presence.
"We are shattered, and there's an unfillable void in our lives. We love you, mum, sleep in peace and watch over us until we meet again in heaven.
"We will always love you and keep you close to our heart."
The tributes were the first to be made in public by Mrs Saldanha's family after her death, three days after she transferred a hoax call from two Australian radio DJs to a colleague who then gave details of the Duchess's condition.
She will be buried tomorrow in her home town near Mangalore, southwest India, where she trained before moving to Britain.