TikToker pretends to be her dead twin for her grandparents – Insider

Annie Niu, a TikToker with over 100,000 followers, posted a TikTok over Christmas where she said her twin sister had died three years ago, but she calls her grandparents every holiday pretending to be her because they don’t know yet.
Niu shared a short video of her talking on the phone with her grandparents, which has been viewed 8.9 million times.

Niu followed the initial video up with an explanation, which also received over a million views. She said her sister, who she didn’t name, died from meningitis — an infection of the protective membranes around the spinal cord and brain which usually affects babies, children, and teenagers. While vaccines that offer some protection are available, a meningitis infection can be fatal because it can cause blood poisoning.
Niu said it’s common in Asian culture to “shield the elderly from terrible news.”
“A lot of people are like, ‘oh well, they deserve to know,'” she said. “Well, they don’t deserve to die, and you can’t guarantee that’s not going to happen if you tell them.”
She added that her grandparents “basically raised” her and her sister, so they were very close.
“We’re probably just going to continue making up excuses why she isn’t visiting them,” she said.

Niu said she dreams about her sister almost every night.
“So I treat it as I am spending half of my life with her still because I see her every night,” she said.
Niu’s video received thousands of comments, some offering support but others questioning her choices. Fellow TikToker Danisha Carter said her decision to pretend to be her twin “makes complete sense,” and she was “surprised people didn’t understand.”
“It’s so selfless of you to do that to protect your grandparents even though it must be painful,” another viewer wrote. “Sending you so much love today.”
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