Sharing the Experience of being a ‘Twinless Twin’

The emotions I felt were mirrored in other twinless twins I met.  Just listening, for the first time, to other twins tell their story of loss and what it meant for them to lose their twin had an impact I will never forget. It was a huge gift in my life.

It has been my personal experience that twinloss was echoed in my other losses.  As I experienced the death of my mother, I longed for my twin Paula and what we shared.  It always came back to an unfinished grief, one I was incapable of comprehending when it happened.  My twin lost her life in a small plane crash when we were 21 years old.  At an age of vulnerability and invincibility, I shut down when Paula died.  It was too much for me to handle.  I ran from my grief, only to have it resurface years later.  It was frozen in time, waiting for me to thaw. It was a defining moment, to feel understood in my grief as a twin.

The Twinless Twins Support Group International (TTSGI) provides a community of other twins who acknowledge each other’s feelings of loss from the death or removal of their twin.  This emotional validation has been a healing force for many since 1986. Other twinless twins provide a safe environment to explore our twinships and heal from a devastating loss.

Instrumental in the healing of thousands of twin, TTSGI serves an audience of increasing numbers.  The twinning rate has grown since 1986.  Unfortunately an ever-increasing number of twins will search for the tools to grief for their other half, and learn to live without their twin.

Throughout the year, a supportive network of twins exists to help each other. Annual conferences provide additional resources and tools, on a larger scale. It is vital to work through the pain of any loss.  Accompanying twinloss is an intense feeling of aloneness. Being in community with other twinless twins who offer support eases this burden.

After the death of one’s twin, it is common for the surviving twin to feel totally alone for the first time in their life.  Feeling misunderstood by the majority of people, who are not twins, their isolation is magnified.

Twins are actually born into a relationship with another person, similar to a marriage.  Who else is born already in a relationship?  Considering this, imagine the shock at losing something, which cannot be replaced, your twin, when all you have ever known is your identity as a twin.  A twin’s identity starts before they are born, as they learn to navigate their environment with another person, their co-twin.  The time spent in the womb for nine months contributes to one of the deepest bonds studied between two people, the twin bond.

Mysterious to non-twins, magical and envied by some, twins enjoy an attachment to another person; a bond exits between two twins, like no other.  This bond is as unique as the pair of twins.  Each twin’s loss is as unique as the twin relationship they enjoyed in life.  Twinship does not end with death.  A “lone twin” is still a twin.  A gift from birth cannot be taken away.

It is not necessary for a twinless twin to learn to act as a non-twin, a singleton. “Once a twin, always a twin,” in the words of Dr. Raymond Brandt, the founder of TTSGI.  This sentence rings true for many multiples who survive the loss of their other half.  Embracing one’s twinship, and moving forward in life, understanding your twin nature and roots, brings comfort and peace.  Our twins are close in spirit, and a huge part of who we are today.

It is much like losing a child.  We have lost a piece of ourself, our twin.  Many of us do not feel whole without our twin.  We never “get over” a loss of this magnitude, but we learn to live with it, grow from it, and ultimately live a full life.  To get our life back does not mean we are the same…we are different.  This is the way it should be.

I will never stop talking about my twin.

Linda Pountney

More Articles Written by Linda

Linda Pountney is the past 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. At the age of twenty-one, Linda’s identical twin sister Paula died in a small plane crash. The effects of this trauma contributed to a delayed onset of Linda’s grief for her twin. Support resources were not available at that time. Without the tools to move forward in her life without her twin, Linda’s grieving process was delayed for years. A mother of two sons, Linda lives in Connecticut with her husband and youngest son. She has been published in national and international craft magazines, most recently on the healing power of scrapbooking. Linda has been a workshop facilitator on sudden traumatic loss, and using scrapbooking as a healing tool to process the emotions associated with grief. Memorializing her twin using the creative process has become a healing ritual for her. She has been a guest on “Healing the Grieving Heart” syndicated Internet radio show. Linda was featured on the television show “Inside Edition,” interviewed for “Good Morning America,” and “Good Housekeeping Magazine” about the effects of losing your twin. She has contributed to several bereavement books. Linda was published in “We Need Not Walk Alone,” the national magazine of The Compassionate Friends; “The Twinless Times Magazine,” “Scrapbook Retailer,” “Craft Trends Magazine,” and numerous trade publications. She is the Twinless Twins Public Awareness Coordinator, editor of “Twin Links” e-newsletter, and the founder of a Yahoo Discussion Group for Twinless Twins. Currently twin loss discussions take place on the facebook group Twinless Twins Support Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/8156469513/

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  • Jennifer says:

    I lost my twin sister Janelle in 1994 to Lakeumia, she was 32 years old and to this day i miss her dearly. I oftern wander what she would now look like and how proud she would be of her beautiful daughter Jacqueline. Her son was electocuted at work 9 years after her death and I guess thats when I started to accept her passing… i thought then she was meant to go earlier to greet her only son no mother likes to outlive her child. I think of her all the time, I miss her laugh,her innocence,her gentle nature and the way she mothered me even though I was the oder twin. I wander how different our lives would be if she were still with us but I have her in my heart and know one day we will will laught together again.Love you always lellybell

    • Linda Pountney says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      Being born a twin offers us a built-in partner in life… we grow up together and face the same things, and conquer them together. Offering a “united front” to the world sets us up for a fall when our twin is no longer part of who we are. I am so sorry for the multiple losses you have experienced. Losing your twin’s son must have triggered grief for your twin Janelle also.

      In this journey through the grief of losing my twin it has been my experience that another loss offers the opportunity to grieve for my twin. There have been times when I have thought, “enough is enough”!

      I have learned that the very nature of grief is that it needs to be felt. At first I ran from the pain. Nobody likes to be consumed with feelings of loss and they tend to diminish a person. To be able to live my life and enjoy a full life I have had to open myself up to grief and feel every inch of it. It seems that if you surrender to it, let it wash over you, become the grief; you end up with the love in your heart, as you describe.

      Our twinship contains the strong twin bond, but every twinship has different dynamics. By their nature they reflect each of the co-twins and the way we have developed together. You mention how Janelle mothered you… that touched my heart. Isn’t it true that as women we need mothering too… how appropriate as we come upon Mothers Day.

      Thank you for writing.

      In twinship,

      Linda Pountney

  • Marilyn DeBrum says:

    I am 69 years old and my twin brother died unexpectedly on May 17, 2010. I am devastated; he went to the hospital for a kidney removal due to cancer, the surgery was a success, he was doing fine his other kidney had begun to work great. He got infection in his bowel area and within 24 hours died. We were brother and sister twins. He always introduced me as his “twin sister” and we were very close. I’m usually a strong person, but I’m not dealing with this very well. I feel very sad and lonely, even though both of us have families of our own. I have another sister and a brother and feel so guilty about the feelings I have of loosing my twin brother. Our 70th birthday will be in October and I’m not looking forward to that birtday. It will be the first we have been apart. I lost my mom and dad but did not feel as heart broken as I have in loosing my beloved brother. It’s very difficult for me to say that “he is gone”. I have strong faith in God and knows he helps us in our grieving, but I’m not feeling the consolation I need to feel right now even in my faith. I know this will sound confusing, but I am confused. How can you love someone soooo much? My heart actually hurts from the longing of just to see him again.

  • Linda Pountney says:

    Dear Marilyn

    Your heart is broken and it can be difficult to keep the same level of faith when experiencing such a deep and profound loss. I can tell you that it was that way for me also.

    The relationship you enjoyed with your twin brother is different and unique. Our twins are such an integral part of who we are. The twinlesstwins.org link can offer you other twins to communicate with which can aid healing. It helped me.

    Be good to yourself and give yourself the time to grieve without feeling guilt.

    in twinship,

    Linda

  • Victoria says:

    I lost my identical twin August 12, 2010. I hea…rt in broken and I have not found the surface…how will I ever.

  • Sandy says:

    My good friend lost her twin sister in a tragic accident. They are 29 yrs. old. I am trying to help her in any way I can. Can you please give me suggestions? I want her to visit this site and relate with others who have also suffered this loss. The accident happened about 2 months ago and she is devastated.

  • Gloria Horsley says:

    Hi Sandy,
    So great a friend you are. The best thing you can do for someone so newly breaved is to just be there for her. She may not be ready to reach out yet. There are amazing groups like Twin Less Twins that when she is ready could be very helpful. One thing I always have to remember is not to want more for others than they want for themselves. As I said 2 months is very brief. Take care of yourself as well as her.

  • Jenica says:

    I’m Jenica and I am a twinless twin. I lost my twin brother in the womb. I am eighteen and just now coming to realization with it. I now notice all these small things that I did my whole life and didn’t know why. I am trying to cope with the fact I had a twin. He didn’t get to live.

    • Caroline Brennan says:

      I’m just coming to terms about been a womb twin.I have cried I have woke up during the night thinking.I used to get nightmares about been trapped and not been able to get out .Im at the early stage of going through it with a faith healer .Im 37 .my mum didn’t know I think I spent 3 months with them.

  • Sophie says:

    I lost my dear twin sister, zanna, on Feb. 21, 2011. She was my best friend, confident, advisor, soul sister. I am lost without her. I have a family to take care of and it is extremely difficult. I am on autopilot at work. the grief is tremendous. I know she lived a life haunted by bipolar disorder and is in a better place, but I miss her so and don’t know what to do without her.

  • Alexandra says:

    My identical twin sister died on July 17th 1997 at the age of 4 to kidney diease. It’s hard when no one understands how you can grieve so much for someone you knew at a time you were too young to remember. But I always remember her being there and will never get over the hole left in my heart.

  • jane says:

    i lost my identical twin suddenly last week. no one understands.

  • Darlene Wilkerson says:

    I lost my twin sister on March 10, 2008 and I am still having a hard time living without her. We got to celebrate our 50th birthday before she passed away from Mesothelioma. She suffered with this disease for several months before she was diagnosed. She went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where they discovered what was wrong with her. She was given 6 months to live. We had to stay strong for her and her children, so I never got to tell her good bye or talk to her about what she wanted me to do. I will miss her for the rest of my life. I work at a funeral home so you would think that I would be use to the dying process but with my twin I just can’t move forward.

  • Nicole Beach says:

    I lost my twin brother this year 10-08-2011. I can’t take it in. I can’t control my emotions and I feel an ultimate loss for life. He left me his dreams in which I hope to make come true to open a pizzeria for his daughter Melia. But I always thought of him as my better half. And I feel like no one understands. Were 26, we were suppose to go try out for real world. I can’t imagine doing anything with out him. But I guess I have to and it’s really sad. He’ll always be in my heart but I want him to be right here. Hopefully things will get better soon. And I’ve already seen signs his spirits still here. And that he is an angel. But I’m scared. Scared one day those signs will stop and I will be alone. When I already feel alone. I hate it.

  • Allison says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just found this site and this article written by Linda. I lost my twin brother Michael shortly after we were born. I have felt a sense of loss my whole life. I am now 30 and after watching an Unsolved Mysteries clip that Elvis Presley was a twin less twin, I realized what I have been feeling. I know Michael is always with me, an angel looking down on me. As a result of our birth I am visually impaired. totally blind. But I feel a strong connection with my brother.

    Allison

  • Amber says:

    I lost my twin 3 months after we were born. I am only 17 years old and I am getting ready to graduate without her. I feel this major hole where she should be. It makes me sad because I feel like no one that I talk to can know what I am going through because they haven’t felt the loss of a twin. I feel like I have a connection with her at times that I cannot explain; I only wish I knew how to make that connection stronger.. I want to know how to cope without her being here throughout these major times in my life..It should be OUR life.

  • Malia says:

    My name is Malia and I 21 years old, my twin sister Brianna (Bree) died 10/8/2011 in a car accident when she came to visit my in another state…. I dont really know how to feel, all I know is I miss her more than I can bare.
    I am so sorry to everyone who is feeling this pain.

  • I lost my twinsister last year to alcoholism I have been in soberiety now for almost 2 years I have read these other losses of twins and I know now I’m really not alone I just wanted to thank all of you for your letters that show me I can go on with the help of understanding people like youraelves thank you again Tammy 2012

  • Steve Koeppen says:

    I lost my identical twin brother three months ago after he traveled alone by plave from Pennsylvania to Colorado Springs to visit. He had shown signs of declining in health but really declined rapidly while visiting us. We took him to emergency and they ran an MRI revealing a massive cancerous brain tumor. He only had a few weeks to live so my wife and I brought him home with us (Scott’s request) and we took care of him for the 33 days he had left. It was so hard to see him decline but we were privileged to take care of him. I wrote an article called, “DESTINED” if you would like to request it. It’s a “twin” thing and I cannot imagine life very long without him. I feel like just 1/2 a person.

  • tshepang says:

    I’m a twinless twin. I lost him when we were 10years old in 1997. I’m now 24. Yes its been 14years and I still cry myself to sleep when I think of him and what happened. When I need some1 to talk to…Its still so hard to accept that he is no more. Went to 2years of therapy but it never helped me. I miss him.

  • Crystal says:

    I am not a twin myself but I have a good friend who is,she and her twin sister are both fine however they are not close at all and I find this very sad. They are about to turn 50 and they last talked more than a year ago. I came across this article while looking into how common this is(to not be close as twins)it doesn’t seem common at all….. I wish my friend and her twin could make things right before it is too late! I cannot fully understand the twin relationship or loss that you have all experienced but,please know that my heart goes out to all of you <3 <3 <3 <3

    • Sonya says:

      It is not uncommon for twins to be in the outs for awhile and not get along , especially if one is upset the other one isn’t doing what they are suppose to be doing as living life right! Twins will take it personally if one doesn’t .But at the end of the day they will always have each other’s back!

  • KPimms says:

    It’s almost 2 years since my husband’s twin brother died. He was 29 and died suddenly of meningitis. Life is definitely not back to normal or good. I don’t know how to help him. While his whole family has had to deal with the loss; I don’t think that they have any idea what he is going through. I used to get along with his parents, but now I feel like they are weirdly ignorant or dismissive of what my husband is going through. I lost a pregnancy last year and between those two things, I’m scared we’ll never get back on track. Its nice to know he’s not alone and I hope that I can convince him to get some support from other twinless twins. He is so lonely and so sad and I feel so helpless and concerned for him.

  • Zippy says:

    I lost my twin sister to a horrible car crash on January 27th of this year. She was less than ten miles from home when an old man who was drunk and had Alzheimer ran into her car head on and killed her instantly. She was 21 for barley three months before she was killed, and I still can’t believe that it happened. I want so hard to think that she is just away at school and only a phone call away. I miss her so much and I want her back more than anything in the world. It helps to know that I’m not the only one but nothing can ever replace the place in my life that she held.

  • Debbie Mackler, RN says:

    My 63 year old twin died by suicide on 1/18/12. To say I am lost is an understatement. She was my life and we vowed to grow old together. Even tho I am married with a wonderful daughter, her loss is devastating and she will never be replaced. I have supporting persons whom I adore, but we were so close as we got older. Everyone should be born with a twin….my best friend in life and hopefully in death.

  • Hiba says:

    I lost my twin sister when we were 4 , and now I am 20 and still feeling her beside me , I never forget her even I don’t remember much about her and when I get sad and lonely I feel sick like ” why you left me alone in this cold world ??” I dunno I keep thinking about her I feel like pain in my hurt everytime I think 🙁 god made us twins just to make me feel pain , what was his point ??

  • Airea says:

    I am a 23 year old female twinless twin. My twin died before we were born and it has affected every aspect of my life for its entirety. I have, since being told I was a fraternal twin almost 10 years ago, felt that my twin was a boy. I call him Chance, because its my mother’s favorite name for a boy, and what she would have picked for him. I am feminene but have always been ”one of the boys” ever since I was a small child. I never owned a doll in my life, wore a dress 3 times in my life, (I prefer a tux and tie), and never had any interest in making friends with females or been a ”girly girl.” Whenever anyone mentions that I look like a girl but act/dress like a boy, my mother laughs and says, ”Her twin must have been a boy.” It doesn’t even seem viable, in my mind, that my lost twin could have been a girl.. If that makes any sense. I always knew deep down that something was missing, I spent a lot of time in solitude since being around even massive groups of people/friends still left me with that oh-so-familiar empty lonliness.. Although I never met my dear twin in life, the time we did share in our mother’s womb (which is somewhere in my subconcious) will always be the best days of my life and not one day goes by where I don’t think of him and miss him so dearly that it causes an almost unbearablle pain in my chest… I have no one to talk to here at home, which makes things worse. I fear I will suffer the agonizing grief of losing my twin brother Chance in silence, until we are reunited after this half-life I am living now. Thank God for the support of groups like this, for twinless twins like myself, who really have no other way to share their twin’s stories when it seems like no one else in the world understands or even cares… My heart goes out to every twin who has lost their other half…

    • Louise says:

      I did not know that I was a twin until my mom mentioned it on my 12th birthday. I asked her what happened that my twin was not here to celebrate with me? She said that he died at birth and how eager I was to come into the world, my brother was born first at one pound, then I came minutes later, not sure of how many minutes, mom is no longer here to ask for those details. I made it and I am now 48 years old. I never thought about having feelings of loneliness, but I view myself as a missing puzzle piece, I have a few friends and I don’t and have not felt close to my family. I have had difficulty meeting new people, I mean, I know to meet new people, but I am not comfortable with joining new groups, I have come out of my shell a lot over the years, but I have not been able to find a group of people with whom to say, these are my friends.
      I have two younger siblings and we are close, but there are times when my sister and I talk and I don’t feel as though she is interested in what I am saying, and it makes me feel very alone. I am so grateful to have found this group, and to know that I am not alone. I hope that I gain a few friendships from this group, I would like to know that I have a place to belong. I look forward to getting to know many of you.

      • Hi Louise- Thank you for writing. There are many early loss twins who have felt something missing all their life, and always looking for something they knew they had. I would suggest going to twinlesstwins.org and making contact on the website. Also, there is a link to the twin Facebook site to chat. Best, Linda

  • B.J.Anderson says:

    I lost my Twin brother April 5,2012 . He called me and asked my to come to hospital March 31,2012 I left the next morning we spent the next 4 days together. He told me he wanted to lay in the grass so I found a spot were he was able to get from wheel chair to the grass and we layed there for about 1/2 hr talking and he asked me if I was going to be ok I asked him if he would be.
    My brother was in hospital when his girlfriend called me and told me, I taked to him and asked him if he had cancer he told me no. I called him everyday and asked him if he wanted me to this was in Dec he said no. inJan he went home.when he called me
    in March I didnt know he had been in hospital for 5 weeks I tryed to call and know answer his girl friend never called to let my familey Know.
    April 2 the Drs told me my brother would not make it through the week and I needed to tell my Family .I called my father and sisters.My dad asked my cousion if he could drive him to Va they arrived on are Birthday April 4 around 10pm. My father spent
    1 1/2 hrs with him brfore they went to hotel.I sat and held my brothers hand while every one else took a break to get coffee.
    I told him it was ok to go I would miss him and I loved him and that grandma and grandpa were waiting for him.My brother told me
    when I arrived he didn’t want to die on are Birthday and he didn’t he passed at 12:01 am April.
    I know this may sound mixed up it’s the 1st time I have really said much about my brothers passing. I do see a dr once a week to talk about how I feel.I told her my hearts is broken and I feel empty now that I am home I don,t know what to do with myself
    I try to go up to the church to say hi to pastor and the boatyard to see my familey I don’t stay long because I don’t want to talk
    about my brother everyday.

    Thank you for reading

  • L.J.L. says:

    I am 14 years old, turning 15 this year, and it was only weeks ago when I found out that I had an identical twin who is stillborn — and EVERYONE in the family has kept it from me. (I’m the youngest in the family, so everyone in my family should know, including my siblings, who have reached a sufficient age to remember something major, when I was born.) Imagine my horror, shock, grief, anguish, guilt and many other feelings upon knowing the fact that I have a twin.

    From young, I was always restless, seeking for someone. I did not know then. I move amongst people of my age group, trying to find someone, but always failing. I couldn’t get well with most people of my age group because of my restlessness too. Everything I do, I do in pairs; for example, when I buy a soft toy, I would want to buy two identical ones, when I draw pictures, I would draw things in pairs etc. And because of how ‘odd’ I was in others’ eyes, my schoolmates in school label me as ‘oddie’ and make fun of me, mocking me as long as there are no adults around, ever since I could remember.

    I have a Chinese name, of with the initials are L.J.L. For those that know Chinese, You should know that there are homophones (namely, same character, different pronunciation), and my last character is a homophone. Using the homophone, the initials would be L.J.Y. and this is the name which I think is given to my twin, because my parents had once said that there is a reason why L. is the last character in my name.

    I don’t know what I should do, why must they keep this fact from me, why did they?! Don’t they know that I’ve been seeking for my twin unconsciously, for so many years?! Didn’t they notice this?! Or do they not even know about my situation in school, me being called names and being mocked by others?! Don’t they know how lonely and empty I’ve felt, even with all the love and care they’ve showered on me?! Don’t they know that the more love and care they give me, the more guilty I would feel when I realised and found out about this truth, because I would feel guilty that I received all this and my twin had left before she could have felt all these?! I felt like tearing my heart out when I first realised that I had a twin, a stillborn twin! It felt as though I’ve stolen and snatched all the love that belonged to her!

    I understand that my parents just wanted to protect me, I understand! But it is more so that I blame them, because who gives them the right to withhold this incident from me?! She is my twin, MY TWIN!!! Don’t they understand the importance of a twin to another?! I’ve lived so many years in wandering, restlessness, even to the point of exile, just because I’m trying to find someone, which is my twin, which i should have known and been told but was not!

    And to my twin, I really want to ask. Why did You leave me alone in this world, sister? Why? Don’t stay silent. TELL ME WHY! Do You understand how lonely I’ve felt all these years?! All the nasty comments I’ve faced, just because I’m seeking for someone which I don’t even know is You! Sister, do You know how cruel You are, to leave me alone in this world?! I’ve been seeking, finding, wandering for You! Even without knowing that You have existed before, I’ve looked and searched for You wherever I go! Sister, why, why leave me alone in this world? Do You know how empty I feel, a loss that the people around me are not able to comprehend, and the only one who is able to, which is You, is not beside me, not with me?! I did not even know Your existence until a few weeks ago! Sister! My dear sister!

    I apologise if I have been too emotional, but I hope that all of You are able to understand me, for we are all Twinless Twins.

    L.J.L.

    • Dear L.J.L.

      Losing your twin before birth or during birth leaves a whole in your heart and a longing, yearning for something you do not have concrete memories of, from what I have learned from early loss twins. It is a profound loss, one that shows the pronounced effects of being a twin, and the time shared together in utero. Both Twinless Twins Support Group and The Lone Twin Network in the UK offer articles and books which include stories on coping with losing your twin early in life. The following are links to stories from other early loss twins and books which help to explain this unique loss. I am so sorry you did not get more time with your twin L.J.Y. in your life.You express yourself very clearly and it might help to connect to other twins via Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/8156469513/

      Article and Testimonial Links:
      http://lonetwinnetwork.org.uk/stories.htm
      http://www.twinlesstwins.org/resources/early-twin-loss/

      This book talks a great deal about early twin loss: The Lone Twin:
      “Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss”
      by: Joan Woodward

  • Kris Perez says:

    I lost my twin brother May 16,2009. Its been 3 yrs and the emptiness continues to grow. He told me once “you are half of me, and I am half of you”. So now there is truely only half of me left to carry on. Nobody around me understands the “twin thing” , as they call it. Within the 2 yrs before his death, I lost 8 other family members, including my mother. None or all of them can equal the grief of losing my twin. The grief is paralyzing at times. Im just so lost. Will it ever get better?

    • Hi Kris- The grief does get better. It is important to reach out for help when you need it. Professional therapists and counselors who specialize in bereavement can offer assistance, along with support groups. http://twinlesstwins.org is an organization for twins who have lost their twin – it has been extremely valuable to so many! The Hospice organization offers support groups around the country, and it can be helpful to connect in person to others who are grieving. Grief is unique, and as varied as our relationship. Honor your twin by taking care of your self.

  • Ginny says:

    I lost my twin sister Mickey Feb 9, 2012. she had a heart attack. She didnt know she was sick and it was sudden and completly unexpected. We are 47 years old. I thought we would grow old together, I never dreamed she would leave me. I can hardly bare life with out her, knowing i will never see her or hear her voice. My family has actually been angry at me for shutting down and not answering my phone for a couple days. Thats salt in the wound. People do not understand she was part of me, I am lost without her.

    • Ginny-
      Words are difficult to express a deep loss, and family relationships can be strained. Take care of yourself and give yourself permission to feel your grief. Take the love you feel for your twin, and turn it inward toward yourself. This is a time to be easy and gently with yourself, and not hold yourself to the demands of others. I encourage you to connect with other twinless twins. There is an organization which can help – http://twinlesstwins.org

  • cheryl simpson says:

    i …for some reason,,am 47 years old,,and no longer share time with my identical twin,,who died of a heart attack 3 months ago,,,it was me that made all the relevant calls to the police n hospital!!!! there is no way i can explain how i feel LOST,is maybe the best word….but i feel im drifiting,,,,,,i carry on my work,,coz she would want me tooooooo,,,,but secretely…i am lost,,,lost without her,,my other half,, i dont know if the decisions i am makin are the right ones,,cos it only my side,,,,i question myself constantly..coz its my decision,,NOT OURS!!!i still talk about you,,like u here,,,i look for you all the time,,,i long for a cuddle from yu,,my beautiful lil twin,,, i cant believe i am here and u aint..xxxx i miss u like only a twin would know x

    • Hi Cheryl – Feeling lost is natural and I can certainly relate to decisions being “ours” rather than “mine”. Reach out to talk about what you are feeling with other twins – the Twinless Twins Support Group, both on Facebook for online discussions, and twinlesstwins.org can help a great deal. My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry.

  • Fiona Robertson says:

    I am Fiona Robertson and I am 19. I lost my twin sister last February 25th to anorexia. She had battled the ilness from the age of 14. I am recieving regular proffesional help in attempt to deal with my loss- However I am still finding it incrediably difficult to express how I feel to the people around me. It is near enough impossiable for anyone who is not a twin to understand. I feel so alone, like part of me has vanished. I miss her so much and the pain is unreal

    • Dear Fiona,
      I am sorry you lost your twin sister. It helps to be connected with other twins who have experienced the loss of their twin. If you use Facebook, this website will help: http://www.facebook.com/groups/8156469513/

      The twinlesstwins.org website has numerous articles and suggested books. We also offer regional meetings, including support in the UK, and an annual conference. It is difficult for other people to understand due to the twin bond existing from even before you are born. Our approach to the world is very twin-like, and they is incorporated in our grief. Professional help is a very positive thing, and please know you are not alone.

  • Приветствую. Я учительница начальных классов и мне нужны сайты для учителей, где можно узнать больше по воспитанию детей, потому что воспитывать их, с каждым годом, становится все сложнее.
    Сама найти смогла только вот это : воспитание в школе

    Подскажите пожалуйста, если вам не сложно.

  • Heather says:

    I lost my Identical Twin Sister Jan 12, 2013. I can not bear to hear one more person tell me they know what I am going through because their Grandmother, Grandfather, Mother or Father died last year. She killed us both, it was an accidental overdose. One of her idiot friends gave her Fentanyl Patches- the new Vicodin. She went to sleep with them on and never woke up. I have never been married, she has twice, I have no children, she has three, her first born was born on his due date, a Saturday at 2:55pm, I was born a Saturday at 2:55pm- what are the odds on that? I was shoulder to shoulder with the Dr for all 3 deliveries, when they were babies they would call us both mama-auntie. Her ex-husband has taken it upon himself to move into her home, which of course, like my home, we always came & went in and out of freely and I mothered her children with her, and now I am not welcome there without an invitation, those children need me and I need them. I am shut out and all alone and I wish she would just come and get me. We were just planning our 45th Birthday, March 30th. I am beyond alone- I go to bed alone and wake up alone. We talked & texted 1000 times a day, we would even text when we were under the same roof as each other. Every night we watched tv together either in person or on the phone together until one or both of us fell asleep. We ate, breathed, slept, did everything together. My brain is short circuiting, it cant begin to process this. My parents are in their own world, walking into walls according to my mother, they have seen me once since she died to give me my sisters ashes. I sleep with her, take her with me when I leave the house, she sits on the seat in the car next to me and I yell at her & beg her to come get me. this is impossible. I am destroyed, she truly killed us both.

  • Dear Heather- First I hope you can accept it when I say that I am so very sorry. You both were part of each other/ reading about the time you shared creates such a bond in my mind of the two fo you. You are still a twin… nothing can change this… we come form a twin perspective in relation to each other. The “short circuiting” will ease and from personal experience, it will really help to talk to another/ other twinless twins. Please get in touch. The best way is to go to the website twinlesstwins.org and there is also a link to our facebook group there. It is important for you to reach out when you feel ready. in twinship, Linda

  • Leah says:

    Hello,
    I myself did not loose a twin but my absolute best friend of 7 years did. She lost her twin brother when she was 9 years old and is now almost 19. it’s been almost 10 years since it happened but I personally think she hasn’t fully dealt with it. I have known about it since the day that I met her and do everything in my power to try to help her through the struggles it brings her daily. I often feel like I fail. It impacts everything in her life and i often get scared for her and her well being.
    I guess I am just searching for some extra help and some extra tips on how I can truly help her.

  • Hi Leah- You are an excellent friend. It is my experience that facing the loss of your twin can come in stages to be negotiated and recognized at different timeframes in life. Sometimes another loss or transition brings up additional grief to process. It can be a positive thing to have a therapist to work with and a support group to share your story. The organization Twinless Twins offers this if it is something your friend would be open to and you felt comfortable bringing to her attention http://www.twinlesstwins.org/ It is also a bonus to have a friend who is willing to face it with you- support people at meetings are welcomed and appreciated. There can be a certain sense of being alone/isolation that comes with losing your twin – this is best communicated to other twins who can understand. Additionally, books on the subject are listed on the website – a god place to start to read about what twins experience.

  • Lakesha McKenzie says:

    I lost my twin sister to a tragic asthma attack back in 2002, a little over two weeks after we celebrated our 10th birthday. I am now almost 21 years old and the pain of not physically having my twin sister around continues to kill me emotionally. I remember planning on attempting to commit suicide months after her passing, because I figured that was the only way I was ever going to be with her again. Luckily, my entire family was there and continues being there for me. I only speak to my family about the situation because they’re the closest people around who understand versus friends and total strangers. I struggled throughout my teenage years living, going to school, doing everything my twin and I had planned out. She was one of the most strongest human beings I knew who never gave up. I graduated high school on time, for her and now soon to be finishing up college to become an elementary school teacher, because that was our dream. Recently though, I have come to realize that all my twin sister wants is to see me become successful, for the both of us. My first semester in college, I remember leaving the University I attended due to sudden depression and loneliness. I was able to go home and re-evaluate my entire plan because of her. She guided me to come back home and be prepared to go live back on campus, at another University, and finish school. I wish I was able to connect with another twinless-twin in my life, I feel my grief would become somewhat better because people just do not understand. Unfortunately, where I live, I was always surrounded by other twins. I am the only one without, physically. But I just want to thank God for making me realize, my twin sister is always around me, not physically, but it’s like I feel and know she is, making my pain slowly heal.

  • Dear Lakesha
    I am sorry you lost your twin so very young. You sound like a brave young woman who has been living life for both her twin and herself. It can be difficult to separate ourselves from our twin, and in some ways there is no need to, but when it runs us ragged performing double duty, it is something to consider. Identities are entwined at an early age – even before birth. Your twin would have wanted for you the very best life has to offer, including time to enjoy your own life. Loneliness is common with twin loss and with other losses. Another twin who has experienced the loss of their twin, coming alongside you for support, could be a guiding presence of understanding. Twinless Twins SUpport Group offers regional meetings and international conferences. We are a relatively small organization serving a growing need. Please consider visiting the website http://www.twinlesstwins.org and under contact us you can select your location to hear back from a regional coordinator. Our conference is coming up ib July in LA – in case you are nearby.
    In twinship, Linda

  • Cindy Love says:

    Is there a twinless twin out there that wanted to change their name to the name of the deceased twin?

  • Linda Pountney says:

    Hi Cindy
    I did not experience this personally, but love when someone calls me my twin’s name by mistake!
    Linda

  • Mary says:

    My daughter lost her identical twin 4 years ago. They lived together, worked together, were social together, best friends – everything!! Her sister had an unknown heart condition and it was sudden. My surviving daughter found her & performed CPR.

    My surviving daughter managed to get out bed those first few months, worked, married & moved out of state, had a baby & became very ill after the delivery of the baby with a heart condition of her own.

    Long story short. I am watching my daughter’s grief finally catch up with her. Upon her own admission, she has pushed away the reality of her twin being gone & now it is here. She has a baby that is 1 year old and can no longer escape into a world of her own. She is out of state away from her family with little support. She has a wonderful husband – but, is not a twin – so, naturally, he cannot understand her “twinness”. She has had to quit her job due to her new heart condition.

    I, on the other hand, have lost one daughter – and, am watching my other daughter suffer like never before. Oh, believe me – she has suffered ever since losing her sister. I’ve seen it. She may think she has hidden it from us all. But, it has been there. Grief does not always demonstrate itself with tears. It manifests itself through many avenues.

    My daughter has never had to be alone. She’s always had her twin. She’s in a new city, married, new friends (none of who knew her or her sister), She’s never known what it is like to be single. She’s trying to survive.

    She is on an anti-depressant. She is in counseling. I live 800 miles away & come to help her as much as possible. (Actually, only in the last year has she begun to let me know she needs help. I think having a twin replaces the mom in many cases. I don’t resent that. It is just a fact. She had her sister to rely on. They didn’t always need me.)

    I’ve purchased books from Twinless Twins & looked for support groups in her area – but, have found none. I’m doing everything I can. Our lives have changed forever. Our hearts forever scarred.

    Anyway, I could use some help or advice. My heart is breaking.

    Thank you.

  • Please accept my condolences. A daughter and a twin are huge losses and my heart goes out to you both. It is not uncommon for a loss to surface years after the experience. The organization would be a wonderful resource for your daughter and often mothers come with their surviving twin to a conference. Conferences are in July and announced on the website and by newsletter. Another great resource is the Facebook online communication – the link is on the website. Maybe you could share this with your daughter. The steps your daughter has taken are good ones – she is feeling her pain after 4 years and seeking help. Please stay in touch – I will email you to also find out where your daughter is located… there may be a mentor she can speak with (a member who can offer support). Linda

  • Bridget says:

    I am not a twin, but I have a friend who lost her twin brother because he was a stillbirth. Their family was large, Catholic, and the parents named her Mary and him Joseph after the Holy Family. She was renamed Barbara after hi death. I wonder if he would be a masculine version of his twin sister or would she be a feminine version of him? I think of Keifer Sutherland and his lookalike twin sister, Rachel and that is where my question comes from.

    • Hi Bridget-
      I am not able to answer your exact question about being a masculine or feminine version, but remember that every person is unique and twins can have very different personalities… maybe they would have resembled each other. On another note, early twin loss, even before birth, can prompt feelings of loss from an early age. It is described by some that they feel like something is missing. Often families do not inform the twin that they indeed had a twin, but the bond of twinship is still felt.
      Once a twin, Always a twin, in the words of Twinless Twins Support Group’s founder Dr. Raymond Brandt. Linda

  • Mary Patricia Sharman (Patty) says:

    My twin Polly died when we were infants but it was never hidden from me, my parents always
    refered to me as “half of a matched set”. But when I was 10 I asked my mother why Polly was
    always on my mind and I missed her. She told me that wasn’t right for me to feel that way and
    really wasn’t my business anyway as there was no way that I could miss someone I didn’t know.
    In my class in school there were 3 sets of twins, I was a loner and had few friends I just didn’t
    fit in. I’ll be 60 soon I sure wish I had known about this organization sooner, in reading the stories
    of others like me I guess I’m really not alone, others know how I feel. A validation that it’s not
    crazy to talk to her and know she’s looking out for me til we see each other again.
    Wonder why my mother never noticed the change in pictures of me after Polly was gone. I can
    see the lost look in my eyes when I look at the pictures of me, now I understand.
    Thank You!!

    • Hi Patty-
      Thanks for writing – you put your experience at a young age missing your twin in the perfect words. As we know, twins miss their twin, lost to them at birth or even before birth. The in-utero bond and joint identity is strong. I hope you look into coming to a conference or regional meeting – validation is a powerful thing! Understanding goes a step farther. On the twinlesstwins.org website there is a contact us map to get in touch by location.
      Take care.
      Linda Pountney

  • Donna Sarley says:

    I am looking for a support group for my 37 yrv old daughter who lost her twin, my son on April 22 2013. Is there anyplace in il where she can get help? I see her being destroyed and not sure how to help her. Can barley help myself. Ee are in Dupage County , Il.

    • Hello Donna-
      I am very sorry for your loss and your daughter’s. When I read your post, I contacted the Twinless Twins Support Group. They will reach out to you using the email you provided. You will hear from the regional coordinator in your area. She hosts and facilitates meetings and will keep you informed. The national conference in July could prove to be a healing event for both you and your daughter to attend, when you feel ready. There is sharing and guest speakers, workshops, and so much more. If you go to twinlesstwins.org you can see the details. I also put you on the national email newsletter to be kept updated. You can easily remove yourself if you desire not to hear by email. If your daughter uses Facebook, we have a wonderful online support group. Best, Linda

  • sonya says:

    Losing a Twin has been a lot harder than I ever imagine it would be.
    I would have to say it is extremely a gut wrenching unbalanced terrible feeling in the world.
    Losing our twin after years of a relationship and being more than just a twin, our twin sibling.
    The degree of this loss is huge ,everything u did was together!

    • Hi Sonya- You are so right – it is a hard loss to lose your twin, to move forward in a different relationship to the world. It certainly affects our identity/ who we are. I am very sorry you experienced this. There is hope and comfort in knowing others who can understand – it helps to move us forward in our grief/ healing.

      I am adding you to an email newsletter that comes out every month or two – you can easily remove yourself. It will give you information about meetings in your area and our July conference. The website twinlesstwins.org is also full of great resources.

      in twinship,
      Linda

      • Sonya says:

        Thank you!

        Hi,
        since a twin who has built a relationship of everything they have ever done , not to mention their twin is their living sibling , Twins have s million memories together, so isn’t it by far harder to accept the death and move on besides miss them tremendous than a twin who wasn’t meant to live and never had a sibling relationship and died in uturo?

        • Linda Pountney says:

          Hi Sonya-

          I have learned so much from twins who have experienced early loss, either in utero or before they were three-five. It is interesting to note how much the twin relationship has been shown to grow an intense bond in utero, before we are even born.

          Much of the imprinting and patterning for other relationships starts very early on. I am not able to compare because I learned very early on in my interactions with other twinless twins, that so much more is similar and replicated in every inch of our being. Some researchers believe in utero loss is harder to comprehend due to the lack of support and the delayed nature of a traumatic loss.

          Many parents even hide the fact that twins were twins when the loss is before or at birth, yet these twins still feel something is missing. I have heard children speak about having seem their twins in dreams and “know” they exist.

          best and sending your twin healing,
          Linda

  • Sonya says:

    Hi,
    since a twin who has built a relationship of everything they have ever done , not to mention their twin is their living sibling , Twins have s million memories together, so isn’t it by far harder to accept the death and move on besides miss them tremendous than a twin who wasn’t meant to live and never had a sibling relationship and died in uturo?

  • Peggy Dean says:

    Two years have passed since my identical twin walked out of my life, choosing to love her alcohol more than me. Fortunately she has a wealthy husband who takes amazing care of her. Unfortunately for me he believes her crazy lies as she tries to justify her behavior. I feel like these twins who have lost their twin. Only mine is still alive. I am really suffering and haven’t found any support group that actually understands the twin lose. I am wondering if I might be apart of your support group? We are in our late 50’s. This is a lifetime of memories I trying to deal with. We always got a long, so it is a great emotional lose for me.

    • Hi Peggy- The loss of one’s twin knows no bounds, whether it be from death or estrangement. I can feel your pain and my heart goes out to you. The Twinless Twins Support Group welcomes estranged twins and there is also a wonderful therapist who leads twinloss groups online with particular attention to estrangement. Her name is Dr Barbara Klein… you may want to contact her. Please just email me for more information: twinlinda@me.com. Twinless Twins Support Group has contact information on twinlesstwins.org for people to get in touch with in regions throughout the US, Canada, and in other countries. You are always welcome. Please also contact the executive director Michelle Getchell at contact@twinlesstwins.org. The unbelievable feeling that your twin is still alive, but you are not able to connect brings a myriad of feelings and injustices. You are not alone.
      in twinship, Linda

      • Peggy Dean says:

        Dearest Linda,

        Thank you so very much for getting back to me. I really appreciate your thoughts. It actually helps just to have someone reach out to me. I sent you an email.

        Thanks again, Linda.

        Peggy

  • John says:

    Prayers for health and happiness to all of you who landed at this site. I lost my twin 46 years ago through black market adoption and I still have not been able to determine what happened to my brother. Our birthday is on April 30. It never seems to get easier. Time is not taking away the pain of not having my brother in my life, not knowing if he is alive or not and no new clues to follow to find him. I pray that one day I can know the purpose for me being a twin in this life. My brother’s name is James….

    Thanks for putting this site together Linda.

    • John- I can understand what you said about wanting to understand why you were born a twin, in light of James being stolen, if you will. How tragic. Know I am wishing that you discover his whereabouts. It feels that you already know the meaning of being a twin! Thank you also of expressing the fact that birthdays are so difficult for twinless twins. If you want to connect with other twins who have lost their twin, please join us at http://www.twinlesstwins.org. The annual conferences and regional meetings provide a synergy of understanding, hope, and camaraderie with twins of all ages, and some who have lost their twin decades ago. We come together to support each other, much like this forum does, and there is also a facebook group to chat. Be well and know in your heart that you are still a twin, and probably notice your twin approach in relationships with others. Linda

  • tebogo says:

    I am also a twinless twin due to car accident about 12 years ago i am 37yrs old now and it is my birthday today one of the most difficult days to celebrate i do miss my twinbrother

  • Marla Hale says:

    I became a Twinless Twin suddenly Feb. 27, 2015. It has been a daily loss since then. Everyday since I found myself standing over my beautiful lifeless twin sister lying lifeless in a hospital bed just 30 minutes after receiving the worst call of my life, informing me that she was “DEAD” because of a cardiac dysrhythmia, has been a day that I relive everyday/every morning of my life. I am no where close to the point I should be in the grieving process (as I am told) daily by coworkers. I don’t know how to get there. I am still at the moment on that early morning in Feb. I had to remember to breath. I am no longer the person I once was. I no longer find any happiness, joy, normalcy, or the ability to function on a daily basis.

    • Dear Marla, Your insight into the emotions that can come along with twin loss surprised me in their accuracy, or at least, in my perspective. The trauma of that day does not have to be relived daily. It is important to find a good trauma/loss therapist. Your comment about being “no where close to where you should be in the grieving process” resonated with my personal journey, in that my judgment of myself was not helpful, to say the least. I was actually very hard on myself. I thought that I should be “further along” constantly. Now I see that it was a journey not to be rushed, but helpful to monitor with a professional. You need to trust in the process, and this is important. But it is also needed to have a guiding person along the way, if possible. Please don’t listen to co-workers – they are not twins who have lost their most significant person in the whole world. There is no one road to get there, and I would like to emphasize that the journey is made so much easier if you have the opportunity to know other “twinless twins”. It certainly is a personal journey and unique to every person, who is born as part of a whole, but sharing what it is like to be a twin, and to lose your twin, is so very very enlightening! Please feel free to contact me and I urge you to reach out to twinlesstwins.org, Twinless Twins Support Group, in that it can greatly lend support and knowledge. There is a facebook group, regional meetings, international conferences, and understanding beings. Additionally, when you wrote “I am no longer the person I was”… this is also something I have seen in many others and myself… but You will be so much more, eventually, from developing compassion and moving forward in your grief. Treat yourself with the love and compassion that you would give to your twin, if the situation were reversed. I learned do much from the founder of Twinless Twins Support Group International… not because he was “perfect” in his grief, but because he wasn’t and shared this.

  • Susan Sullivan says:

    My identical twin sister died shortly after our birth in 1952. We had four older brothers and my parents didn’t tell me until I was 12 years old. They told me my sister, Sandra, was born right after me with the cord around her neck. My parents did not know we were twins until I was delivered and the doctor said another baby was coming. Since Sandra could not be revived after her delivery, the nurse who was a Nun asked another Nun to take her out of the delivery room, with my parents only seeing her briefly. That was the one and only time they saw her. The Priest came and baptized her and gave her last rights in the hospital mortuary. One week later they had a small private graveside service for just the grandparents. They never told my brothers or anyone else.

    They told me at 12 because I needed my birth certificate for a passport and they knew it said I was a twin. My Mother cried as they told me and my father was just extremely quiet. I was so shocked that I really just listened. I had always dreamed of having a Sister and even referred to her as “Sissy” when I spoke of her. My brothers were then told and said they suscepted something was wrong because my parents always waited to celebrate my birthday on Valentines Day, two weeks after my birthday. They said it was the day I came home and they knew I was healthy, I was a little under 5lbs at birth, so the doctor kept me in the hospital for two weeks.

    I was able to get on with my life in a relatively normal manner, but no one mentioned my twin again. My parents passed away 14 years ago within months of each other. Then, I lost my first husband and two of my older brothers within the next five years. My daughter then married and found out that she and her husband were expecting twins. I had never told my children that I was a twin, out of respect for my parents. I stayed quiet about being a twin when my daughter said she was expecting twins because In didn’t want her to be concerned the same would happen to her, especially when we found out she was expecting identical twin girls.

    I will need to finish this later, it is pretty emotional for me to continue now.

    • Susan- My heart goes out to you… there is a great group of twins who have similar circumstances around their early loss. It would be amazing for you to attend a regional meeting or conference. Check out http://www.twinlesstwins.org
      You will adore having those grand-twins in your life, and I am sure it will give you much opportunity to heal and know what your twin bond is all about. Linda

  • sarah says:

    I lost my identical twin sister Kelsey 5 years ago. About a month before our 25th birthday. She struggled with depression for a majority of our lives as children even, and I did not. I always felt so guilty and sad bc I didnt suffer from depression. This didn’t separate us at all however it made us even closer growing up bc I wanted to help her and protect her, I desperately tried to understand her and in turn- I think that I took on a lot of her pain this way.
    Kelsey and I were inseparable. She and I often talked about living right next door, hopefully marrying best friends so that they would understand that we need to be together constantly.
    She committed suicide March 26th, 2012 and to this very day I cannot believe it. I’m lost. I have supportive family, but that at times, even feels lost bc they are frustrated with me. Wondering why I’m just not progressing. Actually I feel I’ve maintained myself to an extent but in some areas I’m actually regressing.
    Sarah.

  • Angela says:

    Hi Linda, you may remember me :-). We met in a yahoo-group some years ago and later in Mainz, Germany. In the meantime I have done much research on in-utero twin loss like mine, ran a blog for a while (http://enjysplace.blogspot.de) and thought I had settled that subject more or less. Until this year it came back for me with a vengeance. Maybe it was my children getting older and leaving me with more/too much time to think, certainly it was seeing them involved with friends in a way I never had. Especially my second daughter has very close friends, almost twin-like, and it hits me everytime I see them interact. There is no real reason, no single event to trigger it but for some months now I’m having breakdowns every other day. It may be a website not opening, some online-friend not responding, my cell not working as expected … everytime I reach out and don’t get a response I’m sent into a spiral of despair. I’m haunted by the idea “there should be someone, when I reach out: There should be someone!” I do not have very elaborate fantasies about my twin. I do not even know for certain of I had a brother or a sister (although I have spoken about a brother since I was 3), but I do have this aching pain of a missing presence. Sometimes it’s even physical. I have tried therapy but the idea of prenatal twinloss affecting you for life is rather alien to German therapists. I found no help there. I’m trying to tell myself that hurting and crying won’t bring my twin back, that I have a family to care for but it’s very difficult. I’m looking for online contacts again to find people who understand and won’t dismiss my “projections”.