Do you know this woman? Her name is Joyce Carol Vincent.
This is a British born woman whose father came from Grenada and her mother came from India . She had four sisters. She was known to have met Nelson Mandela,Gil Scott Heron,soul singer Betty Wright and had dinner with Stevie Wonder.
Thing is she's dead. She died in her apartment and it was three years later that her skeleton was found sitting on her couch with the unopened shopping bags( seems she had gone on a little spending spree)
But wait! The tv was still on which meant that the electricity was never cut ( nah! That can't be first world England?)She collected no mail of course.
Neighbors say that they noticed a foul smell but they
keep to themselves. One said that apart from the smell " black insects " were marching into the apartment in droves and yet no one made a move for three years .
Anyway,they just completed a movie on this bizarre story. Wow!
You may have heard this story before but just in case you haven't...
In 2003, Joyce Carol Vincent died alone in her London apartment. When she was found three years later, all that was left of her was her skeleton lying on the sofa. She was surrounded by Christmas presents, some of which were still unwrapped. Mystery surrounded the cause of her death and forensics were only able to identify her by comparing dental records from a photograph of her smiling. News of her mysterious death spread but soon disappeared because no one came forward with information about her. There was no information about her life and there wasn't even a photograph in the news report when it aired. The authorities were unable to reach her friends because it appeared that she didn't have many friends. Reports of her burial is unknown. No one knew if her family made arrangements for a funeral. I guess we can safely assume that there was no funeral service for Joyce Carol Vincent because there is absolutely no records of there ever being one, or perhaps I haven't look hard enough. There are reports however of some family members attending her inquest.
What baffled people most about this story was the idea of someone dying and not being discovered for three years. There were so many questions. How can someone die and no one notice? Didn't anyone miss her? What about her friends and family?
Further more, Joyce Carol Vincent didn't fit the description of someone dying alone in their apartment while their death goes unnoticed. She didn't drink and she didn't take drugs. Carol Morley who first heard of Joyce's death when she picked up an old newspaper of the Sun was so intrigued by the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, somehow couldn't let the story go. She embarked on a mission to find out more about the mysterious young lady. She couldn't understand how a beautiful young woman would be dead for so long without a friend or relative looking for her. Carol Morley placed many adds asking people with any information about Joyce to come forward.
What Carol Morley (The woman who made the movie about Joyce) discovered was that Joyce Carol Vincent, was apparently very popular. Unfortunately, she never let anyone in. She was someone you would call the life of the party. She was always immaculately dressed and everyone described her as classy, beautiful and charming. Joyce Carol Vincent apparently had issues when it came to trusting people. She was the girl who was drifting in and out of people's lives leaving the impression of a mysterious and highly desirable beauty. Everyone who knew her were only able to describe her as such. No one talked about her being a warm caring person. She was always a beautiful mystery and that was it.
Now that I've shared the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, ( read more HERE ) I want to go on to elaborate on the title of this post. As women, it is our nature to seek out relationships. When I say relationship I don't just mean a romantic relationship. I'm talking about the relationship we have with our family, friends and even the people we work with. Nature designed us that way because as far back as the cavemen, women would seek out relationship with other women. This ensured our chances of survival because many times, men will leave their family behind to go hunting to feed their families. Many times they may never return because it was really dangerous back then. Women on the other hand will stay close to the home caring for the children, and they would occasionally go out and collect fruit and berries. Now imagine if you were one of these women. Imagine that your man didn't come home, and you had no food left to feed your children. If you were friends with all the other women, then they will be sympathetic towards you and they will share their food with you. Now imagine if you were someone who kept to yourself and didn't give anyone the chance to get to know you, then we can assume that your situation would be different.
Now many things have changed since cavemen days. We now live in the era of communication. It's much easier to stay in touch with friends and family, all thanks to social media and cell phones. Yet we're still very much disconnected from one another. Why is this. Black women in particular should look at the death of Joyce Carol Vincent as a warning. Yes you may have hundreds of friends on facebook and lots of followers on twitter and instagram, but let's face it. Most of those people who follow you on social media probably wouldn't miss you if you died because most of them probably don't know much about you. All they know about you is that you post nice pictures of yourself etc.
Many of us don't even know how to maintain friendship let alone a relationship. Many of us grew up in single parent homes, and we watched our mothers burn bridges and end friendships just because the person made a mistake, yet we will watch our mothers maintain toxic relationships with men who would do the most unforgivable things to them over and over again. Then we grow up and we have major problems trusting men and most of all trusting other women.
Women that are feminine are usually very good at nurturing relationships. They get along well with friends, relatives and people in the work place. If you are good at nurturing relationships, then if you die, you will definitely be missed and people will come looking for you.
It's not uncommon to hear a black woman saying that she doesn't have any female friends or that she doesn't trust anyone or that she has a lot of "Haters". Why would someone spend so much time and energy thinking about their haters or the people they don't get along with when they could be focusing on the positive people in their lives? Why not maintain the positive relationships? Even if you have just one close friend, who knows everything about you, it is better than hanging out with a lot of people who don't know you at all.
When we think about the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, our first reaction is to find someone to blame. People were asking questions about her friends and family. People wanted to blame her family because surely they of all people would notice when she goes missing for three years. But the truth is, Joyce Carol Vincent had only herself to blame. Her friends and family said that Joyce will go away for a couple years or more and they wouldn't hear from her at all. Being a friend of Joyce, it was normal to hear from her maybe once every two years or so. This is the same person who listed her bank manager as her next of kin on a job application form. It is easy for people to assume that Joyce Carol Vincent was mysterious, but the reality is, she was just a woman who didn't trust anyone, and never allowed anyone to get close to her. Even her past boyfriends had issue getting close to her. Mind you, Joyce Carol Vincent wasn't a bad person. She was a good person who never quite understood or knew the importance of nurturing relationships.
Yes the story of her death is indeed quite bizarre and shocking, but let's be real, she lived a very secretive life and she cut out friends and family from her life. This is why she was dead for three years and no one knew. I'm not trying to be mean or anything. I mean it is unfortunate the way she died. When I first heard this story I was angry because I couldn't understand how someone could die and no one would miss them. I was angry at her family and friends. I've even had nightmares about dying alone in a tiny apartment and no one cared. No one, no matter who they are, wants to die alone. I'm sorry but when I die I want people to care. And it's not because I'm selfish or anything like that, it's because I'm human.
At one point in my life I wasn't on speaking terms with a lot of people in my family. But as I got older, I started reaching out to them and now my relationship with my family is better than it has ever been in years. Don't wait for someone to reach out to you! You make the first move. That friend, sister or cousin you haven't talked to in years will be surprise but happy to hear from you. Do not let time past without taking any action. As black women, it is more beneficial for us to form close relationships with people who care about us. I've talked about the importance of networking in previous post. get yourself out their and form new relationship and repair old ones. Trust me you will not regret it.
Here is a clip of the movie trailer about Joyce Carol Vincent. Watching this made the hairs on my skin stand up.