Gladys writes in: I just lost my twin sister three months ago to something we now know as Long QT syndrome. She was perfectly healthy and woke to check on her crying baby one morning and fell unconscious and never gained consciousness again. Our 30th birthday is this Sunday and I am wanting to do something special. Honestly, I wish that I could skip this birthday altogether. Do you have any ideas of how to honor her memory?
Linda Pountney, vice president of Twinless Twins Support Group International, responds: Dear Gladys:?Please accept my heartfelt condolences.? I also lost my twin in my twenties, in an instant, with no warning.? My world was forever changed and for a time, life lost much of its joy. The sudden nature of your twin’s death certainly plays a part in your grief. Grief support groups were invaluable in my recovery. ?
This Sunday, as you turn thirty without your twin by your side, I wish the love you felt for each other to feel real and in the present for you on this special day, that you shared for 29 years. Even if one moment of time reflects the joy of what you experienced together as twins, you will be blessed by her/your love as twins. ?
Birthdays seem to be the hardest days for twins who no longer have each other in life (twinless twins or lone twins). You express a desire to skip this birthday all together. Whatever you feel is right for you to do on this first solo birthday. Remembering back, I cherished the freedom of having nothing to do, but also having the ability to walk outside and notice a flower or a rock to bring in for my twin, to cry for her, and to relish in whatever emotion came to me. I needed to be alone, but everybody is different.
This evolved to wanting to share a sundae at the cemetery, go somewhere she had never gone in her short life, and hear my sons whom she had never met read a poem in her honor at dinner. ?
I do special things to honor Paula and our twinship, but usually find it easier to do them a day or two before my birthday hits.? Planting a special garden to be with Paula’s spirit, contacting her oldest friend and holding a “PaulaFest” to share memories, and creative endeavors including a photo collage of our life, a scrapbook, or journal were all rewarding in many ways.?
Reaching out to help another grieving twin fuels your heart and Twinless Twins Support Group (twinlesstwins.org) offers “healing by helping” opportunities. ? The absolute best thing I can do is to take care of myself and let myself feel the pain of grief, thus freeing myself to enjoy life. ?
In Twinship, Linda Pountney, twin 2 Paula ?
Linda Pountney is Vice President of Twinless Twins Support Group International http://twinlesstwins.org offering support for twins and other multiples who have lost their twin due to death or estrangement, http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/TwinlessTwinsSupportGroup/. Linda lost her own twin at age 21 when her identical-twin sister Paula died in a plane crash.