New Zealand teen has headstone in shape of iPhone

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A New Zealand girl who took her own life at age 15 loved cellphones so much that her family erected an iPhone tombstone at her grave.

Theresa Matautia, of Auckland, was “glued” to her phone in the years before her suicide in August 2018, her brother Geoff Matautia said last week in a TikTok video that has amassed over 22 million views.

“When our sister died we made her phone her headstone because she was always on it,” he said in explaining the quirky gravestone.  

“Not everyone copes with loss the same, and our family did it in a different way,” Geoff added. “We give you permission to laugh at this video.”

The headstone features messages the family sent Theresa.

One from her dad, which includes heart emojis, reads: “Thinking of you today Sweetheart, just like I do every day. I miss and love you my lil Angel.”

Theresa Matautia.
Theresa Matautia died of suicide in August 2018.
TikTok/@ssouthsides
Theresa Matautia.
Her family says Theresa Matautia was “glued” to her phone in the years before her death.
TikTok/@ssouthsides

Her mom wrote in another message that appears on the stone that “the memory of your little hand holding mine brings a warm glow to my heart.”

She added: “I miss you my beautiful daughter.”

The video shows several photos of Theresa holding her beloved phones.

Her brother also joked that despite the Wi-Fi symbol on the faux phone, the cemetery doesn’t have a signal.

Headstone.
The headstone features messages the family sent Theresa Matautia.
TikTok/@ssouthsides
Headstone.
“Not everyone copes with loss the same, and our family did it in a different way,” Theresa Matautia’s brother Geoff explained.
TikTok/@ssouthsides

The clip generated hundreds of comments.

“Please update the iPhone regularly, she deserves the new ones!” a user wrote.

“Ok the uniqueness of it & the idea of placing those ‘texts’ inside are beautiful. Sounds like she would love it,” another wrote.

A third noted that the Wi-Fi signal lines are actually “halos … one for when she was born, one through childhood, and one when she gained her wings.”

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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