Denise, heaven's receptionist, is helping people through the grieving process with humor and kindness

I adore Taryn Delanie Smith, the 26-year-old former receptionist and 2022 Miss New York who has more recently become a social media sensation for her TikTok videos, which she stars in as the character "Denise," a gum smacking, nail tapping receptionist in heaven's front office. Earlier this year, NPR ran a delightful story about Smith, where they describe her online character and the role her videos are playing for some viewers:

As heaven's receptionist, Denise will hand you a welcome packet and ask what you want your ghost outfit to be. She'll fill you in on heaven's amenities (there's a free margarita bar), and she'll likely leave you with a little bit of gossip, lowering her voice to gripe about Paul Revere's latest email (all caps, subject line: URGENT) or that time in the nail salon when Jackie Kennedy met Marilyn Monroe ("like two cats on a hot tin roof").

But for all her office-gal kvetching, Denise is a people person. When someone shows up in the waiting room with fear or confusion — having died too young or too soon — it's Denise who's there to scoop them up in a hug and show them all of heaven's silver linings.

And for the TikTokers watching along, she has become a tool for thinking through the afterlife — and for grieving those who've already made their way there.

Her videos are really great—Denise is a bit snarky, but mostly full of empathy and kindness.

Viewers often write in, asking if or how Denise has greeted their loved ones. One viewer wrote: "Please tell me that you greeted my daughter Ella-Rose. I'm sure she was scared and sad she didn't get to stay with us." Smith created this video in response. And here's Denise greeting a viewer's mom, Gerry. Here's another video where she addresses feedback from viewers about how much her videos help them with their grieving process. 

Denise also greets celebrities like Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, and Barry White. And yes, even heaven's receptionist has to deal with mundane office tasks. For more Denise videos, follow Smith on TikTok.


Replying to @MJBM0723 I hope its ok I assumed her age, she just felt like a little one as Ive thought about her over the last week or so. For anyone who has ever lost a little one. #heaven #receptionist

♬ original sound – Taryn Delanie🤠

As you can imagine so many requests asking if the queen arrived safely. She did. And baby she ARRIVED. #tina #tinaturner

♬ Tina Turner Live in Netherlands 2009 – Jess Lynn