Taryn Delanie Smith was in the shower when she first thought of Denise, the fictional receptionist for heaven's gates. She started filming, in her bathrobe when she got out, welcoming a variety of fictional characters to the afterlife. Since her first TikTok on March 13, which got over 1.9 million views and 1,000 comments, she's posted over 20 TikToks about Denise and has 1.2 million followers. On March 18, after responding to the inquiry, "Did Whitney Houston make it?", one viewer wanted to "see you do one greeting my mom." That video, showing Denise welcoming the mom into heaven, led to a ton of other personalized requests from viewers. Taryn has posted more such videos but they take a long time to make, she says. TikTok users have duetted Smith's videos as a vehicle to share their own stories of loss and grief.

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