Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Dreams of a Life

All of my regular readers have heard about my obsession with podcasts. I listen to them all all day long, and then most of the night (chronic is a bitch). I prefer podcasts to the radio, or tv and even, most times to music.

I have a long list of favorites, and others that I listen to occasionally. On my daily rotation are a few BBC news programs because I’d rather get my news from the BBC than any American outlets. It’s not that they’re less biased but they’re biased in a different way (a way I find amusing) and I get to hear about stuff I wouldn’t know if I’d just read/listen to US news sources.

Wow… that’s a long way to get to today’s story. Sorry about that. Blame the insomnia.

Speaking of which, the other night I was lying in bed listening to one of my BBC podcasts and a bit came on about a new documentary called Dreams of a Life, about a woman who lied dead in her London flat (apt) for 3 years before anyone found her. The tagline on the official website is, “Would anyone miss you?”

The interesting thing about the story of this particular dead woman is that she was young. My age (so not so young, I guess). And died wrapping Christmas presents for her many friends. And yet none of those friends came looking for her. Neither did any of her several sisters.

So anyway, they were framing the film as a cautionary tale. Giving stats on the ever growing numbers of people living (over 45% in Sweden, over 28% in the US). The tilt was very – live and you’ll die . And lie there, rotting for years.

Scary, huh? I just love news stories that are meant to scare you.

For me, not so much. I’m way more scared of dying in a hospital, hooked up to tubes and machines. Let me go quickly at home. One fell swoop. I don’t care how long it takes for someone to find me. Is that sick?

What about you? If you live alone, do you ever think about/worry about/obsess about dying alone in your home? What comes to mind when you hear stories like this?


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7 to “Dreams of a Life”


  1. Summer says:

    I am 45 and was super effected by only the trailer to this film. It rocked my world for a few days. I related to the woman in the film a bit…because I too am described as “vivacious” and I dress up sometimes and can be a bit glamorous…yet I often feel so alone and have a hard time making real friends even though I have a friendly/warm persona. That’s what scares me. The film also made me feel very compassionate towards all lonely people and made me vow to be of help/service…lend an ear to all who need it.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    I guess this resonates with me, because I could see myself ending like that. It is actually one of the reasons why I decided to leave NYC. I truly felt that no one would care enough to check on me if something were to happen.

    As someone dealing with many life issues, this scenario could occur. The thought that no one would find me for a long time or care about my absence was very discouraging. I feel like many of us want to mean enough to at least one person, that they would worry if we just disappeared.

    I certainly don’t think that “if you live alone, you’ll die alone.” I do feel that many times we don’t take the time to care enough about others. That is where some of the fault lies.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I can’t imagine how three years could go by and nobody would notice anything, nobody would smell anything,etc. How did she get away with not paying rent for three years? Or electric bills?

    As far as dying alone I admit the thought makes me very,very sad. Not for myself. For others that might be sick and alone. Or for my family who would have to learn of my death and be left with such a horrible memory.

    I agree with Jocelyn’s final statement. I think some single people intentionally cut themselves off from people out of shame. To live your life in such a way that you wouldn’t even consider how something like this could affect others seems disturbingly detached.

  4. Jack says:

    It would depress the hell out of me. When I die I want to be with a loved one. I’m single and in my early 40s. Not looking good.

  5. NikkiB says:

    I am not sure why, but my initial impact is to burst out in laughter.

    NOT about that woman dying in her flat (ye gods) but just… the general premise? I guess? Not sure.

    ANYHOO (now that I have made myself sound mildly bonkers) I live alone. I sometimes think about dying there – but its not about dying alone, it’s more… what if I were to choke, or fall down in the shower, and no one were here to help me and I couldn’t reach the phone? Scary!

    AT the same time – I also believe I could just as easily be rammed head on by a drunk driver, even if I’d been married for the past ten years and had five kids. SO.
    NikkiB recently posted..In Backyards & Between Friends: When Politics Get PersonalMy Profile

  6. When you are gone, from whatever circumstances, you are gone. It is what we do while we are here, here to have some conscious thought, that is what counts.

    Agree about a hospital death- one advantage of being a physician- I can prevent that. I simply won’t go if I am getting to that point. Although the advantage of dying in the hospital is they clean the sheets

  7. Jean says:

    I live alone, and my co-workers have my cell phone number so they can call & check on me if I don’t show up to work. I don’t think that they would know who else to call, but at least they could call the police to have them check my house if they couldn’t reach me. But like NikkiB, I worry about falling in the shower & hitting my head, etc. more so than dying alone.