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I’ve just caught the tail end of a TV programme on Channel 4 called Watch Me Disappear.  It was a short documentary about the number of people who die alone, and unnoticed.  It followed the story of two in particular, one whose body wasn’t found for over a year.  If you missed this and now wanted to watch it, you can find it on 4oD (the channel four on demand service), but you may have to pay!.

Naturally, and this being me, it started me thinking.  The final comment by the presenter and documentary maker, Lucy Cohen was about how awful it would be to die alone.  But of course, that is one journey we can only ever make alone – rather like the one we make when we come into this life as well.  To me, it isn’t the dying alone that would concern me, but rather the being unnoticed.

I thought about the guy I chatted to yesterday morning who sells The Big Issue in Dorchester where I live and whom I had asked about Elaine, the young woman I used to buy it from.  He didn’t know what had happened to her and hadn’t seen her for a while.  I haven’t seen her for some months now either, but I have to hold my hand up and say, that I didn’t I give it a second thought until I saw the programme today.  I also have to admit that even when I noticed her absence on those trips into town, it didn’t prompt me to do anything/say anything about it.  It is only coincidence that I happened to have the conversation yesterday, but now I’m thinking, I’m wondering just what I can do about it – just to show that someone has noticed her and her absence.

Any thoughts, or suggestions about how to do this would be welcome.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Social Entrepreneur and Founder of the Hysterectomy Association; Social Media Strategist at Internet Mentor; Speaker; Writer and Author of Eight Books; Blogger at http://womanontheedgeofreality.com and all round diva. Phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

You can find out more about me (and perhaps connect) at http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindaph

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi Linda,

    I commissioned Watch Me Disappear for Channel 4’s First Cut strand for emerging film-makers. I was glad to read that you found Lucy Cohen’s remarkable film thought-provoking. I just thought I would let you know that you can watch the whole film online at 4OD, should you wish.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I was wondering if you had a contact email address for Lucy Cohen? I’m currently working on a devised show about people who die unnoticed, specifically focussing on Isabella Purves, who’s body was undiscovered for 5 years.
      It would be great to be able to get in touch with Lucy to ask her a few questions regarding her research.

      Also – is there any way of still seeing the programme online? I didnt see it when it was on before.

      Many thanks,
      Rachael

  2. Hi Sarah, thanks so much for that and I’ve edited the blog posting to add a link to the channel four information about the programme and also mentioned that you can watch it on 4oD too. Linda

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