When You Are Dying And No One Notices – What You Can Learn From The Joyce Vincent Story

I can not fathom dying alone with nobody even picking up the phone to check on me.

Imagine sitting in your living room one evening, wrapping some last minute Christmas gifts, when for some reason or another you take your last breath. Nobody around to witness it, nobody in your life who even cares. Even worse, to sit there for three years as your body slowly decays, the static that once crackled on your television dying along with you.

Image Credit: Lou, findagrave.com

I’m sure many of us cannot imagine such extreme circumstances, but that is exactly what happened to Joyce Vincent in 2003. She was a beautiful young Caribbean woman from North London whom many confessed to being someone who everybody loved–just not enough to make sure that she was still alive and well. This real-life tragedy was recently depicted on an episode of  Being Mary Jane”, and the story is so heartbreaking that even portraying it on a TV show couldn’t mask the emotional impact of what it must be like to die alone.

To date, no one knows what caused the death of the 38-year-old woman who by many accounts seemed to be living “the life,” but more disturbing is the fact that her death wasn’t realized until three years later during an eviction. It’s a mystery that filmmaker Carol Morley set out to explore in her new documentary Dreams of Life, which debuted at the BFI Film Festival in London and has garnered nomination buzz for best documentary.

You can find the full documentary here Dreams Of a Life Full Documentary

While researching the mysterious events following Joyce’s death, Carol Morley initially had a difficult time finding anyone who even knew the young woman. The ones who did–the family members of the deceased who attended her funeral–would not respond to Morley’s inquiries. Finally after some time, past friends and associates began to reach out to share their memories of the woman they saw as a beautifully talented, sociable and intelligent woman who they thought had it all together. By many accounts Joyce was popular, lovable, and charismatic. She was a singer, whose gift led her to meet celebrities such as Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, and even Nelson Mandela.

So what happened within the life of this budding singer/socialite that forced her to withdraw from the public, resulting in her death going unnoticed for so many years?  While many people focus on how a seemingly healthy young woman died suddenly, I believe many don’t consider the possibility that she died of loneliness–something that many people quietly suffer from every day.

The signs are sometimes there, but we’re too busy to see them. Here are three things I personally took away from Joyce’s story on what to look out for before those I cherish drift away.

JUST BECAUSE THEY SMILE DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE HAPPY

I’m acquainted with so many young women who insist that they’re so independent and they don’t need anyone in their lives, so they focus on work and never make time for anything else. I know women who have given up on love due to past heartbreaks, and given up on friends because they’re unable to trust others. Is this what happened to Joyce? Did she give up on building new relationships with others due to past hurts, and eventually waste away in her loneliness?

I’m sure many of us have heard the saying “smiling on the outside, crying on the inside.” The truth is, this world and everything that comes with it can be depressing. There have been plenty of times that I’ve kept my emotions inside, pretending like everything was okay, when inside I was breaking down. Mental illness, specifically depression, is a disease that more and more people are being diagnosed with, but many are not being treated for. Depression is often linked to anti-social behavior, and total withdrawal from others. I’ve been at the point in my life where I was so consumed by my own issues that I withdrew from my loved ones in order to “spare them” the ordeal of having to deal with my problems. I’ve since learned this is not the way to go. Everyone needs some sort of human interaction (outside of work).

18 COMMENTS

  1. In one of Paulo Coelho’s book has a headings: “Man in the pyjamas ”
    True story in Tokyo man found in his apartment in his pyjamas after he died 20 years Ago!!!!
    Nobody talks about that!!! Worth to read that book, not only the news!

  2. Didn’t I read that the TV was still on? Who had been paying the electric bills for 3 years? Even if she owned the flat with no mortgage, there would be taxes to pay. If I miss 1` car payment, all hell breaks lose (I found that out when one payment got lost in the mail). . How does a person in a modern society die and go unnoticed by all creditors for 3 years?

  3. In as much as I try to avoid general society, and to some extent could sympathise with the reasoning behind hers and others intentional seclusion from the world and the current systems in place, I would personally aspire towards starting an off grid community of like minded individuals, completely self sufficient and living off the land. And I hope others also may take this thought into consideration.

- Advertisment -

Latest

Find out what the stars have in store for you based on your zodiac sign.
Wise picks for 'Caption This' image Published on 7 December. Click to read more selected captions submitted by our readers.
Provide a creative, relevant caption for the picture and we will select the best captions to publish it with the image and your name after 49 hours. Wise pick for the image will be published on 13 December #captionthis #caption
Insecurity is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges to overcome in a relationship.

Editor's Pick

Thank you for always taking and never giving. For always asking for my love and understanding and yet never being emotionally available for me.
Look closely at the picture below. And decide what you saw first. Whatever you see will tell you a lot about your perception of life and who you are on the inside.
Age has nothing to do with being a man. Age is merely a number—actions define who he really is. But here’s the problem—most women spend their time trying to change boys into men.
A Libra longs for partnership, it is her heart’s forever-wish; but to love a Libra, you must love her completely.
- Advertisement -

Latest quotes

And Every Day, the World Will Drag You
Everything is a Battle