Dead To The World: Joyce Vincent

Joyce Carol Vincent…

A seemingly vibrant, educated, multi-talented and mysteriously intriguing woman…dies…and no one notices.

This story is making it’s rounds. Blogged by many, I’m sure this story will reach to the recesses of the Internet’s farthest corners, which is almost ironic. Considering that no one missed her for three years in this information age of communication is mind-blowing…yet after she’s gone her story gives her infamy.

Is that the world we live in? As a life…a breathing body of God’s work…holds no value until it’s a posthumous story of sensationalism? Is that an indicator of how self-absorbed we are as a society? We’re c o n s u m e d by iPods, iPads, iPhones, iMacs…hmm, “I” everything, huh? With the personal computer, the webcam, texts instead of calls, emails instead of actual post cards or letters…we as a world are BEHIND the computer screens and not out in front of life? So, even if  Joyce had a social media page…because of the jet-set life she led, she STILL wouldn’t have been missed. Her absence would’ve been chalked up to normalcy.

We are so absorbed with ease and instant gratification. People can get engrossed with the simplicity of the high tech world and dislodge themselves too easily. Imagine a woman who probably only used a computer for work…her only communication being person to person and infrequent at that. She was a virtual blip in the life she led. Remember “The Net” starring Sandra Bullock? She was such a loner that she wasn’t missed when her life was being fooled with. She could’ve disappeared and no one would’ve really thought twice. Most hadn’t ever laid eyes on her. She was a name…a forgetful one. Her mother had dementia, her one good friend got killed on the way to see her and the doctor whom she’d fallen for hadn’t been in contact for years because of conflict of interest. She almost dropped off the face of the earth without a care from anyone…

…but, Joyce was REAL. Joyce KNEW people. She had SEVERAL circles of friends who have mostly wonderful things to say about her in retrospect. Mostly everyone saw her as this hauntingly beautiful woman who had everything women strive to be. Looks, Intelligence, Charisma…a lust for LIFE. Or perhaps that’s it. It wasn’t a lust for life she had…but a wanderlust for escapism that wasn’t ever quenched. She had a wonderful job at a world-renowned company, Ernst & Young. She was touted to have a beautiful singing voice…and a desire to be a star. She rubbed elbows with the elite…Nelson Mandela being just one of them. She craved the love life that a lot of women do…but, seemed to draw dysfunction to herself. She clearly had spent time estranged from her family…enough so that not even THEY missed her. She had most of the material and personable qualities to make someone popular…all except the power to evoke thoughts of concern.

HOW…how is it that people can be so disconnected from one another? I know we have lives of our own, ups and downs, preoccupations with one thing or another…but, how does a woman who is fun, energetic, and popular…fade into the night. Alone. In an apartment…with the TV on. For THREE years.

That’s another thing. Joy and I pontificated back and forth about it. We played with the idea of foul play. Perhaps one of those jilted loves…abusive and relentless…the reason for her being in a shelter at one time…exacted revenge. Yet, how does that explain the electric and rent paid for so long that no one…not even a landlord or a utility serviceman…would come knocking? Was she paying her rent so far in advance because she WAS a jet-setter? Wanting to make sure that she had a place to return to after traveling so many places? Or was her rent paid to keep someone from suspecting her demise? I’m also quite amazed that pathologists couldn’t conclude a cause of death…when archaeological scientists determine the deaths of many unearthed skeletons everyday. There’s NO way to determine cause of death for a 3yr old skeleton…but, there’s science to gather evidence for one that’s over 300,000 yrs old? O___o #forensics #youredoingitwrong

I read this story twice. Once alone and again aloud to Joy on her visit here. As I read it the second time, this woman’s story penetrated my soul…Joy’s too. We both wondered if that could be us. It’s a natural question I suppose, but I know better. I have gone a significant amount of time between speaking to my family…but, if I lived alone and no one had heard from me in just three MONTHS…folks would start showing up. Hell…give me three WEEKS with no phone answered? No sight online? Yea…someone’s kicking down my door. This I know.

So, why not her? Is it because people…in their own attempt to fit in and ingratiate themselves in a life apart from their day to day grind, also mask their inner self? I know a few people who have internet personas that do not mesh with their true selves. People make their life better than it is with description and attitude not realizing that they’re making themselves unreachable to other people’s hearts and minds. Anyone can be beautiful, smart, full of “joie de vivre“…but if that’s all anyone knows, what’s the point? No one can say how your heart worked, what brought you thus far, what has shaped you…because you’re not vulnerable to life. You’re closed off and giving people the shiny top and not the rusty parts. Maybe…Joyce losing her mom at the age of 11 scarred her. Being raised by her father and four older sisters…is it possible she was the bane of their existence? Did her sisters envy her? What caused this woman to unhinge herself from a family and be an anonymous face? Was it the shame of her situation? Aspirations to rise above her upbringing, accomplishing most of her goals…but, being subjected to abusive relationships? ~sigh~

I hope that in seeing the movie, “Dreams of A Life” by Carol Morley (the author of the story I read, here) …will give insight. Maybe the bits of pieces of the people she impacted in some way…will come together and give her not only a face…but, a life to be remembered. God willing…if nothing else, the story will inspire people to become more involved, more inquisitive when forming friendships and check after one another. After all…we are our brothers’ keepers.

Here is the trailer for the movie…


Dreams of a Life Trailer from Dogwoof Documentary on Vimeo.