The following story demonstrates how cold this world can be at times…
In December 2003, Joyce Vincent died of an asthma attack in her North London flat. The television was still on. The mail continued to be delivered. Her rent was automatically deducted from her bank account. The days passed, and nobody realized that she had died.
The days became weeks and the weeks into months. There were large containers in the building next to hers, so the neighbors should have paid more attention to the smell coming from her apartment. The flat was full of noisy kids and teens, and no one questioned the constant buzz of the TV in the background.
Finally, Joyce’s bank account dried up. Her landlord sent her collection letters. Like the others, those letters fell on the piles of junk scattered on the floor. They received no response. Finally, with over six months of rent overdue, the landlord obtained a court order to evict her by force from the premises. Court officers broke down the door, and they only discovered her body. It was January 2006, more than two years after her death.
At that time, no one came looking for Joyce Vincent. Neither family, friends, coworkers, nor neighbors knocked on the door to see if everything was going well. No one called. No one signed up. She was 38 years old when she died.
This story is incredible for its social implications. It seems incomprehensible that whole years go by without anyone realizing a person has died. However, these kinds of stories happen often. Indeed, you have seen a level similar to that of Joyce Vincent. And they are all the same.
A person lives alone. They lose contact with family and friends. They never get to know their neighbors. They stay locked up with their TV or computer for years. The world moves on as if they were no longer there until, one day, they are gone.