"The sun still succumbs to a nightly recession into darkness"
November 20, 2023 1:04 AM   Subscribe

Increasingly, it becomes clear that no one really knew Joyce. In all the versions people had of her, there seemed to be so little room left for who she really was. Whether it was self-preservation or sheer lack of genuine care that kept Joyce from opening up to anyone in her life, it seemed like loneliness was always bound to catch her. from Why Did Joyce Carol Vincent Die Alone? posted by chavenet (4 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for this. Dreams Of A Life is an extraordinarily powerful documentary, and one which deserves a far wider audience.

Steven Wilson's album Hand. Cannot. Erase. is also based on the story of Joyce Vincent.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 1:28 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]

I found the article really interesting in discussing the racialised dimensions of this, and how black women in particular are extracted from in relationships and in general.
But I also kind of feel like sometimes if uneven or abusive relationships are what is most open to someone, and not to be tedious but how open the people who would notice that you’ve died are to actually seeing you as a full person is often deeply related to gender, race, disability, queerness, etc, then sometimes periods of solitude or even loneliness are necessary or part of the process of finding people who are interested in seeing you.
It’s rare that someone would not be found for years after their death. I would say it’s common for someone to die surrounded by ‘close’ people, like family, who do not know, or really care about, or even actively suppress knowing, what the person values, loves, or thinks. I suppose I’m wary of narratives that make it seem like leaving that kind of ordinary unhappiness is not worth the risk. I don’t mean to diminish the pain, but another story is, Joyce moved into her flat alone and the silence and solitude felt profound and beautiful.
posted by mosswinter at 8:44 AM on November 20 [6 favorites]

This just breaks my heart; I remember seeing the previous posts and being completely mystified as to how this happened. I’m sure I am not the only one who was moved by the detail of Christmas presents she was wrapping that were never given. I think I’ll listen to Eleanor Rigby now as I head home and appreciate all the people I am connected to and who would miss me if i were gone.
posted by TedW at 10:39 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]

Interesting story that fails to make what I think is an important distinction: the difference between "lonely" and merely "alone."
posted by rhizome at 1:16 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]

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