Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Meaning of Being Lonely?

Imagine you get home after a tiresome day, grab something to bite and then settle down on your favourite chair in front of the television to catch your favourite program. But then you have a medical condition, could be a heart condition or something related, you pass out and end up dying in front of your television set. And for 3 years, nobody really misses you, your decomposed body gets discovered years later after your landlord gets concerned about the rent arrears. This looks like an improbable scenario, right? Wrong!

Sometimes last year I came a sad story about Joyce Vincent Carol, a young woman who, in 2006, was found in a London bedsit, apparently having been dead for about 3 years. Her skeleton lay on the sofa, the TV set was still on, on the floor lay a pile of unopened Christmas presents, washing up was heaped on the kitchen sink, a heap of post lay behind the front door and food in the refrigerator was marked with 2003 expiry dates. I read the story with great curiosity, eager to find out how someone could be dead in a house for 3 years without anybody discovering her. Did she not have family, friends, colleagues who missed her? People who tried to call her and became concerned when they had not heard from her for days, weeks or months? Friends who came to see her at home?

The story I was reading, appearing on The Guardian was written by Carol Morley and it is about her journey to find out more about her, a journey that has been captured on a film Dreams of A Life.
I encourage you to read this interesting piece here




For me however, I found it hard to comprehend this and yet I am aware of how we are gradually moving from being communal animals to individuals who are disconnected from a sense of community. Where I come from, we sometimes complain about people ever being ‘in your face’ and want them to leave us alone. If you put off your phone for 48 hours and remain totally incommunicado, I can guarantee that there will be several visitors on your doorstep curious to find out where you are. We still take notice if the neighbor has been away for more than a week. This is why I found this story so compelling and so sad…

As you will read in the story, this was not a forgotten junkie, an overdosed addict, an isolated heavy drinker, she was not an old loner without family… she was someone who had dated, socialized, worked in London firms and mingled with “celebrities” and met and shook hands with one of the most respected icons in the world…

I don’t know what there is to learn from this story (and please feel free to share your views) but I just felt I should share this…

PS: I recently came across an interesting programme on BBC Knowledge where a firm tries to trace relatives of mostly people who have passed on without wills but left a fortune. The idea is to trace people who can inherit the wealth. I find it quite disappointing that there are usually cases where they cannot connect the deceased with anybody alive or dead....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

An Eagle When She Flies

Today is the International Women Day, so I share this old song with all the women who visit this blog (and the men too).



And please share which other music you have come across that celebrate the power and resilience of women