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Final words of teenager who took his own life inscribed on memorial bench

PUBLISHED: 08:52 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:04 20 March 2019

A bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Pictured is Claudiu's sister, Monica, 12. Picture: Archant

A bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Pictured is Claudiu's sister, Monica, 12. Picture: Archant

Archant

The final words of a teenager who took his own life have been inscribed on a memorial bench placed in his memory.

Claudiu Cristea, 18, from Norwich but originally from Romania, took his own life after watching suicide videos online. Picture: Cristea familyClaudiu Cristea, 18, from Norwich but originally from Romania, took his own life after watching suicide videos online. Picture: Cristea family

Claudiu Cristea, 18, of Yarmouth Road, Norwich, died after drowning in the river near his home at Whitlingham Country Park on September 16, 2018. He was found by his father Marian Cristea and his second cousin Olimpiu Simion after the family found a note written by Claudiu in which said he wished to be with God.

The family were devastated to learn Claudiu had been watching videos online which promoted suicide.

MORE: Family of tragic teen brand social media sites as ‘dangerous’

To keep his memory alive, the family have installed a bench by the river where he was found, with the words “Life is a journey and mine ends here” inscribed on the plaque - the opening line of the letter he left for his family before he disappeared.

A bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Pictured are Marian Cristea, Monica Cristea, Mihaela Simion, Judith Turnbull and Hamish Turnbull. Picture: ArchantA bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Pictured are Marian Cristea, Monica Cristea, Mihaela Simion, Judith Turnbull and Hamish Turnbull. Picture: Archant

The family sought permission from the Broads Authority to place the oak bench by the riverside, which was installed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust on Tuesday, March 19.

“We come here just to be with him,” said Monica Cristea, Claudiu’s 12-year-old sister. “He loved to see the river, he liked this spot.”

When asked what the bench meant to him, Claudiu’s father, Marian, said: “It is like he will come to me.”

A Broads Authority spokesman said benches are popular memorials in the Broads, adding: “They are often stationed in a location which the individual felt a connection to and provide a reminder to others that our landscapes are shared and loved by many.

A bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. The plaque includes the last words he said to his family in a suicide note before he disappeared. Picture: ArchantA bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. The plaque includes the last words he said to his family in a suicide note before he disappeared. Picture: Archant

“The thoughts of the Broads Authority are with the family of Claudiu Cristea as they remember their loved one.”

In Romanian tradition, families commemorate deceased loved ones through mass, called a requiem, at different occasions after their death.

But once the family learned of traditions in the UK and the meaning behind memorial benches, they decided to dedicate a bench to honour Claudiu in his “favourite country”.

“We thought it was such a nice thing to do, to have a resting place for somebody,” said Mrs Simion.

A bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Pictured is Claudiu's father and sister, Marian, 43, and Monica, 12. Picture: ArchantA bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Pictured is Claudiu's father and sister, Marian, 43, and Monica, 12. Picture: Archant

“We can’t really go back to how we were but we will celebrate his life.”

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A bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Picture: ArchantA bench has been installed at Whitlingham Country Park in memory of Claudiu Cristea. Picture: Archant

Claudiu Cristea with his sister Monica. Picture: Cristea familyClaudiu Cristea with his sister Monica. Picture: Cristea family

Claudiu Cristea, 18, from Norwich but originally from Romania, took his own life after watching suicide videos online. Picture: Cristea familyClaudiu Cristea, 18, from Norwich but originally from Romania, took his own life after watching suicide videos online. Picture: Cristea family

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