Mama June Is 'Constantly' Reminded of Late Daughter Anna While Caring for Granddaughter Kaitlyn (Exclusive)

Shannon spoke with PEOPLE about her role as Kaitlyn's caretaker after her late daughter Anna's death in December

<p>mama june/instagram</p> Mama June with Kaitlyn

mama june/instagram

Mama June with Kaitlyn

Mama June Shannon loves raising her granddaughter Kaitlyn — even though it can often be a reminder of her late daughter Anna Cardwell.

The Mama June: Family Crisis star, 44, spoke with PEOPLE ahead of the show's season premiere, giving an update on how it's been parenting her granddaughter Kaitlyn, 11, who currently lives with Shannon and her husband Justin Stroud following Cardwell's death in December.

"Kaitlyn is Anna's twin through and through," Shannon tells PEOPLE. "Caring for Kaitlyn. She reminds me constantly of Anna. The way Anna was at 11, Kaitlyn is."

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<p>Anna Cardwell Facebook</p> Anna Cardwell and her kids, Kaitlyn and Kylee

Anna Cardwell Facebook

Anna Cardwell and her kids, Kaitlyn and Kylee

Related: Mama June Helps Anna's Daughter Kaitlyn Prepare for 'First Grownup Dance'

"The way that Anna was growing up. I mean, again, looking at Kaitlyn sometimes, it's not difficult. I wouldn't say it was difficult, but it is kind of like, 'You look like your mama,'" she continues.

"It's just things like that. I'll catch myself or she'll do something like Anna would've, crazy would've done. I'll be like, 'You act just like your mama.' She's like, 'No I don't. I act like Kaitlyn.' And I was like, 'No, you are still.'"

In March, Shannon told PEOPLE in an exclusive conversation that "Kaitlyn currently lives with me and Justin [Stroud]."

"Then, Kylee, she lives with her biological father, but we all knew that. People will see that also probably they're talking about the situation as the season goes along," Shannon added at the time.

Cardwell's husband, Eldridge Toney, opened up to PEOPLE about Cardwell's daughters in a conversation with PEOPLE in December 2023.

"The day before she passed, we had our talk and said our goodbyes. Her dying wish was for her girls to grow up knowing who their mother was. And I promised I would do right by the girls always. I will spend my life doing right by Anna and the girls," Toney told PEOPLE in a December 2023 conversation.

In April, June shared an Instagram post as she helped her granddaughter get ready for her "first grown-up dance," posting photos of Kaitlyn smiling as she posed in a sparkly blue dress. For some of the images, Shannon and her husband also joined in, standing proudly next to Kaitlyn.

"These are the times and moments I wish @annamarie35 was still here to help her get her dress and get her ready and all but @officialsmallz1 and her finds out how to do her hair like she wanted and she was excited to go to her first grownup dance," Shannon wrote.

The reality TV personality said that Kaitlyn had a "piece of her mama with her around her neck at the dance" and wrote that "she is her mama made over for real."

Mama June: Family Crisis airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on WEtv.

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