Denial of grief is common and misunderstood. Grief can wait in the wings for a time to surface, when you are better prepared to absorb its lessons. It can be triggered by other losses. Left undone, grief can wreak havoc with your ability to enjoy life and feel positive emotions.
Grief has no time frame. It can be postponed, but never put away.
My identical twin sister Paula Pountney died unexpectedly as her small plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean one Thanksgiving night. We were 21 years old. With the same genes and a shared history, we functioned as a unit growing up. Having our own language and each other as best friends, our reliance grew. Before birth we developed a bond, which would prove hard to break.
I lived my life from age 21 to 39, managing to deny my grief. Unconscious denial served as a protection mechanism. Unable to cope with losing my other half, my grief waited for me. A cloud of feelings burst open, bringing Paula back through time, into my life, releasing me to feel the painful long-denied emotions.
Triggered by my mother’s death, my emotional balance hung on the ebbing and flowing of my grief. A new inner world opened doors to my evolving twinship. Going back in time to heal, I explored who my twin was to me, and who I was in our twinship. Having lived in relationship with another person from before birth, I never expected one of us to leave this world before the other. Our twin connection strengthened our bond of security together.
Her sudden death broke an unspoken vow of protection and twin reliance. My foundation was rocked to the core. Forever changed, I would never enjoy the same innocence about life. Expanding my knowledge of grief and being a twin, I learned new facets of being present for my life.
I cried a billion tears when the dam finally broke. I still cry and I am still healing. My vulnerability opened my heart to compassion. Learning how to give and receive gave life an unexplained richness. My healing continues as I reach out to newly twinless of all ages. Twinless Twins Support Group plays a large role in this.
Linda Pountney 2012