Here's one way to send and close the connection to the client and for the PHP script to continue processing, presumably to perform some processing that is time-consuming:

header("Connection: close\r\n");
header("Content-Encoding: none\r\n");
ignore_user_abort(true); // optional
echo ('Text user will see');
$size = ob_get_length();
header("Content-Length: $size");
ob_end_flush();     // Strange behaviour, will not work
flush();            // Unless both are called !

//do processing here

echo('Text user will never see');
//do some processing

Note that some stackoverflow answers which mention the use of ignore_user_abort are mistaken. That's not required at all. And you'll need the Content-Encoding: none header, otherwise it won't work properly with clients that accept gzip encoding for example.