If you’re a single lady, BET’s Being Mary Jane should be  required viewing (Tues. 10 pm EST).  Mary Jane is a single, successful tv host, living in Atlanta,  making a mess of her personal life as she searches desperately for Mr. Right.  One aspect of last night’s episode hit me hard.  Mary Jane was reporting on a single woman who died in her home, alone and her body wasn’t discovered for 1,113 days  after her death.  No one missed her enough to check on her.  She was estranged from her family.  Her skeletal remains were found on the couch in front of the tv, which was tuned to Showtime (I’m guessing she was watching Homeland).  We could tell that Mary Jane really connected with this story, most likely out of her own fear of dying alone because she is Single with no children.

It was personal for me because a dear friend of mine, who was single, died this summer and his body was found 2 weeks after he died.  He had plenty of people who loved him, but he was also a bit of a loner.   So his friends didn’t think anything of  phone calls that were not returned.  Coincidentally, he had just began a new position at work when he died.  So his new team thought he was in orientation/training and didn’t think anything about his not showing up at work.  After two weeks, co workers realized something had to be wrong and called his friends.  That’s when I got the phone call from a mutual friend who said she was outside of his apartment and the police were about to go inside and see if he was home.   I instantly began to pray for the best.  But an hour later, my friend called in tears to say they found his body.  I collapsed to the floor in tears.  News that his body had been there for 2 weeks,  broke my heart further.  Police say he most likely tripped, bumped his head and bled to death.

My friend’s death made me think about living alone and what that could mean if something happens to me while I am home alone.  But instead of being sad about it, like Mary Jane, I thought why not be smart about it?  I actually asked a security  expert about ways to make sure that those of us who live alone take steps to make sure we have people looking out for us.  Here are some of those tips:

*Have a Key Master.  Make sure you know at least one neighbor or doorman that you trust to give  key to your apartment and let them know when you are out of town.

*Have a Single Buddy.   Choose a fellow single friend and keep tabs on each other, without judgement.  Even if you have a one night stand, have an agreement that you and your ‘buddy’ check in every night and every morning via text or social media.

*Have an ‘In case of emergency’ person that friends and coworkers have contact information for.

*Let key people know if they don’t hear from you within 24 hours, that something could be wrong and encourage them to take action.

Many Single ladies don’t wallow in pity over living alone, because we are not alone.  We make sure we regularly interact with friends and family, and maintain active social lives.   But whether you surround yourself with people or are more of a loner, it’s important for single women to make sure someone is keeping tabs on their whereabouts, just in case something goes wrong.  That way you won’t have to dwell in sadness and desperation over living alone.  You can live your life and be safe at the same time.