A mummified body is found in a garage at a house in Detroit, Michigan. Six years ago was the last time a neighbor saw the home owner alive. The woman has only been identified as Pia Farrenkopf by Detroit Free Press, an auto worker facing financial troubles. On Friday, March 7, 2014, CNN reported that the woman's bills were paid through automatic bank drafts for a period of time, thus concealing her death.
According to reports, Farrenkopf had no family living with her and no recent connection with family that may have alerted someone to her death earlier. She was virtually alone in a neighborhood and city full of people. The story is eerily similar to that of Joyce Vincent, a United Kingdom beauty who once shared dinner with stars like Stevie Wonder.
Vincent lay dead in her London apartment for three years without anyone knowing. It was only when the landlord sought to repossess her home that her body was discovered. Vincent was virtually living in poverty and isolation, a possible result of being the victim of domestic violence.
Vincent's family had searched for her for years. However, she seemingly lived in self-imposed isolation at the point of her death. Isolation in a city full of people may seem odd. However, Farrenkopf's death, and those of countless others that don't make headlines, shows that it may be more common than people realize.
Isolation may be the culprit
As technology makes the world seemingly more small, it has the reverse effect of making people more isolated. Virtual interactions versus "IRL" (in real life) interactions makes it easy for people to become isolated. Think about it...everything can be automated from bill pay to social media posts.
With so many people choosing to automate their lives, it is easy for a person to go missing without being missed. Isolation also aids in the proliferation of abuse and mental health issues. For instance, one of the worst things a person dealing with issues like depression can do is isolate himself and hide his or her struggles from others according to psychotherapist Dwight Hollier.
A lot of times when you get depressed or get a little blue, we start to isolate or close ourselves off from people who are important to us. Having someone you can turn to is important. -Source
There is nothing wrong with limiting your contact with some people, however your contact with people who are important to you should be maintained. If you struggle to maintain friendships or relationships, you may want to seek help in determining the core issues that impact your interpersonal relationships.
Becoming more social IRL and putting down the smart phones, iPads, and laptops should be a high priority. Make a call instead of sending a text. Visit instead of emailing. There is nothing like a real and intimate relationship with other people. Take some time to join groups that meet regularly or reconnect with family members.
No one will ever know the deepest details of what went on with Vincent or Farrenkopf. Instead of marveling at the presumed sadness of the end of their lives, seek to reconnect with the people you love and make sure they are doing well.