I think that Ray, the youngest daughter of Mildred and Bert, was the one who made the story more real. It was her personality that seemed to make feel real, because the way she acted, was the way that most kids did and it really added more emotion to it. I’m able to imagine her doing things like running around in circles or playing Elephant and Monk with her dad because of her character. Also, her death made it more real too, and I felt it made Mildred Pierce a more emotional book, especially hoe Mildred reacts to her daughter’s death. Ray just seemed to make the story come to life because she is a child and her personality as well.
I don’t know if its wrong for Mildred to be glad that it was Veda who didn’t die, but Mildred seemed to be more attached to Veda, like Bert is to Ray, since he seems to show more emotion when he’s at her funeral.