The story of Joyce Vincent is one that should remind us of the importance of being a brother’s keeper. The changes in the 21st century have brought about individualism and the unity that existed back in the days no longer exists.
It is so sad that you can stay with a neighbor within the same apartment for more than a year without ever seeing them of greeting them. That is the kind of society we now live in.
As I read the story of Joyce Vincent, I was shocker. How can a beautiful young girl like Joyce, die in an apartment only to be discovered after 3 years. Something is definitely wrong and the story is actually unbelievable. Didn’t she have parents let alone relatives? Didn’t she have friends or even neighbours to look out for her? What really happened?
It’s more than evident that community spirit has totally been eroded from our culture. We pride in being introverted and leading private lives when it’s actually killing us from the very core of our existence. Modernization and urbanization is what made Joyce who stayed in her apartment in the UK die without being anyone finding out.
It was on December 2003, when Joyce is thought to have died in her home apartment while watching TV. When her body was discovered, the tv was still on and turned to BBC. At the time when authorities found her, she had maintained her sitting posture on her arm chair as if still watching news.
Not even the owner of the apartment had realized that one of the tenants had been dead for 3 years. The house rent was being deducted automatically from her bank account and it was obvious that the tenant in question was still alive. Not even the neighbors living in the same apartment had found out anything.
The stench coming from the house was very great but all the neighbors assumed it was coming from the nearby garbage dump and none of them was even bothered.
After 3 years, there was no more money to be deducted from Joyce’s account. The landlord obtained a court order to forcefully evict the tenant in question when it became clear that she was no more and was infact dead for 3 years. The landlord had been sending letters of eviction for sometime but all went unanswered.
When the door was forcefully opened, they were utterly shocked at the sight of a skeleton of a 38 year old woman which was still maintaining its sitting posture. There were piles of Christmas gifts that were still not opened which told them the time of her death. For all the time that she was dead, the TV which had been placed in one corner of the room was still on. It was indeed a shocking sight to behold. All the food in the fridge had expired to the extent that it couldn’t be identified.
The question that many asked themselves is whether the woman had friends or even relatives. It became clear later that she had lost connection with her relatives and had no parents. Her mother had died at a very young age and they had not been in good terms with the dad who died a few years later after Joyce’s death.
Nobody ever knocked at her door and nobody even tried to find out where she was. According to sources, Joyce was an ambitious young woman who has achieved much at a very young age and was earning a good salary. Those who knew her were utterly shocked and were even surprised to find out that she had no boyfriend or close friend.
Reports later revealed that she had 4 sisters who were still alive but they were not in touch and not even in good terms. Like many other people, the sisters were surprised at the discovery of their sister’s death. They had actually been trying to look for her without success.
The story of Joyce Vincent teaches us the importance of keeping the people that matter close to us. It teaches us the importance of making friendship. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, if you find them keep them. Learn to check on your friends too and be a brother’s keeper.
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