In December of 2003, Joyce Vincent died of an apparent asthma attack in her North London flat. Her television was left on, and her mail continued to be delivered. She continuously paid her rent as she had set it up to be automatically deducted from her bank account. With no issues from her landlord, the days quickly went by.
Those days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and years. If someone died in a house, they would start rotting and produce a pungent smell. Thanks for the large trash dumpsters on the side of the building next to her unit masked her smell. Her neighbors never thought the smell could be coming from her flat.
The floor she was staying on was full of noisy kids and teenagers, and no one paid attention to her tv noise in the background.
Joyce’s bank account dried up, and she couldn’t pay for her basic utilities like rent and electricity. Her landlord sent her letters of collection. These letters fell in stacks and scattered about her floor, just as the other letters sent to her by different corporations. The letters went unanswered.
The landlord waited for six months for her reply and finally decided to get a court order to remove her from the premises forcibly.
The court order was granted to the landlord, together with the bailiffs broke down the door and discovered her lifeless body in January 2006, more than two years after she passed away.
For all the two years Joyce was dead, no one came to look for Joyce Vincent, not even friends, family, coworkers, or even a neighbor, to knock on her door to find out how she was doing.
If her account had a lot of money and her rent continued to be paid, it would have taken long before she was found. She was 38 years when she died.
This story is quite shocking, especially its social implications. One cannot comprehend how those two years and more went by without anyone noticing someone has died. These stories happen in our lives and environment.
It is not an event that only happened to Joyce vincent. One decides to live alone, sometimes lose touch, and cut communication with friends and family. In the apartment one stays, there are no interactions with neighbors; everyone is doing their own thing.
The only thing people focus on right now is their phone, social media, TVs, and computers, which they do every second of their lives.
The world always tends to move on whether you are there or not until one day you are truly no longer there. The world might be a harsh place but please check up on your neighbors family friends and coworkers. This story tells us Joyce didn’t have anyone to worry about her.