The family of a ‘much loved but slightly illiterate’ 23-year-old girl from Southend have been telling Southend News Network about their agony and heartbreak after she literally died on Tuesday evening. 

Cathy Malaprop, a hair, nails and beauty science undergraduate from Fairfax Drive, raised the alarm after texting her mum Julie to say that she had ‘literally died’ after a long shift at work in a Southend seafront gift shop.

Julie said: ‘I can’t believe that she has been taken from us at such a young age. Ever since she sent me that text message, I have been curled up in a ball and sobbing, wishing that she had figuratively died instead.’

Devastated Dad Horatio added: ‘Nobody has heard from her since she sent the text last night. We can’t bring ourselves to go round there and check to see if she was being literal or figurative.’

Friends of Cathy have already set up a memorial Facebook page called ‘Remember Cathys’ Live’ with more than 5000 likes already.

A spokesperson for Essex Police confirmed that Cathy’s death was being treated as ‘undefined.’

He added: ‘Cathy is the 28th person to literally die in Southend this year, and our thoughts and dictionaries are with her family and friends at this difficult time.’