Twins: Connected in Life and Death

By Linda Pountney

As a twin myself, the death of actor and identical twin Jon Hager this month was especially fascinating. Jon and Jim Hager co-starred in the old TV show, “Hee-Haw,” back in the 1970s. Jim died of a heart attack last year at just 66 years of age; Jon died at 67 on Jan. 9. It had been reported that Jon was depressed after his brother’s death; the cause of Jon’s death has not yet been determined.

These nearly back-to-back deaths don’t surprise me. When the twin bond is broken, it leaves a bereft and broken twin. The surviving twin does not feel whole. He feels like a part of him is missing.

In the case of the Hagers, their success came in part because they were twins. Singers and comedians, they were a popular act on “Hee Haw.” Watching twins, especially identical twins, interact intrigues us. It captivates our imagination. There was a pattern in the way the two of them came together artistically. They took pleasure in their seemingly choreographed satire.

Sam Lovullo, the producer of “Hee-Haw” and a close friend of the Hagers, said of the twins, “They had a fun personality.” He describes them as having one personality, as if they were a single person.

So what is it like to survive your twin After Jim’s death, for the first time in his existence, Jon Hager was alone. A fierce aloneness comes with losing your twin that is difficult to cope with. Jon was without his twin Jim for support and comfort. Ordinarily a twin reaches out to his biggest ally, his twin partner, during life’s upsets. Removal of this relationship poses a hazard to survival. Jon was grieving for his brother, his twin and his best friend.

I believe twins are blessed to have this ultimate relationship, full of trust and oneness. No one can know a twin to the same degree as his or her co-twin. By most standards this connection is unmatchable and unforgettable.

Unfortunately, after a twin has died, the loss can be devastating. Many of the surviving twins express a wish to join their twin in death. The suicide rate for twins is higher than the average. This can be addressed. It is vital to connect with other twins who have walked the path. Twinless Twins Support Group International offers this type of support.

When my twin was alive, I had an identity with her, as part of a twin pair, with a joint approach to life. Twin psychologist Dr. Barbara Klein states that twins have two identities – one as an individual, and the other within the twinship, as a co-twin. Who I knew myself to be was altered when my twin died. It took feeling the pain, doing the grief work, and exploring my twin relationship to emerge whole.

As identical twins, the Hager twins grew up in unison. They passed through the developmental stages of childhood together, contributing to each other’s well being. It is said that many twins can finish each other’s sentences, feel the same pain or emotion at the same time as their twin.

In death, as in life, the Hager twins ran a close parallel. They were united in life. One was not far behind the other in life, and in death.

Linda Pountney is vice president of Twinless Twins Support Group: http://twinlesstwins.org/

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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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  • Suzanne Wedow says:

    All losses are painful to all of us and there is no measure of the depth and strength of feelings as we each attempt to “process” and heal and move onto live the life we were each brought to earth to live. Linda Pountney’s words capture the unique situation of twins who are both “one” and “two” at the same time throughout their lives, even when one has died or become estranged. The challenges of remembering and emerging with a new sense of self are complex and sometimes not well understood by others. Twinless Twins Support Group has done so much for me and the twins I’ve met at regional and national meetings to honor this special bond, share a sense of connection and to provide compassion without judgment. Thank you Linda for sharing this story.

  • Lynn Boston says:

    I did not know that the Hager twins had passed away – how sad. My twin sister and I grew up watching them on Hee Haw back in the 70s – they were our favorites on the show, being twins ourselves – we knew how much fun it was. The Parent Trap, and the Patty Duke Show were also great favorites. Twins relate to other twins so much – it’s like we have this amazing secret that no one can know unless you are a twin yourself.
    I know how Jon felt when he lost Jim because I went through the same thing when I lost my Lisa back in 2001 at age 45. She died from lung cancer, leaving 3 beautiful children and a loving husband and her extended family, our parents and siblings, and many friends.
    The devastation is unimaginable — I miss her laugh – I miss her face – I miss calling her at night for endless conversations – and driving up to Maine to spend the weekends with her and her kids. Even after 7 years without her I miss her and I think of her every day.
    I know I wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t found support from other twinless twins via the Twinless Twin Support Group and their yahoo group. I was surfing the web one night looking for anyone or anything that could help me with my pain. Finding the group and the twins I met there saved my life because there were others like me there who were going through the same sense of loss, pain and heartache. Together we have found a way to survive and to laugh through our tears. As the years go by the pain is still there but it becomes softer and I can embrace all the memories I have of her and of being a twin.
    Jon Hager died from a broken heart. His whole life was entwined with his twin and when Jim died, Jon could not live without him. I think his twin was there to greet him when he passed over to the other side. How wonderful that they are together again. I can’t wait to see Lisa again, but I am able to live my life with the continuous support of Twinless Twins Support Group.
    Rest in peace, Jim and Jon Hager. You had a wonderful life and made millions of people smile. God Bless you both.

  • Elissa Menendez says:

    Hey Everyone-

    I just wanted to say, when my twin Alannah was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident, I felt that I had died as she did when I found out about her death. To this day, I still think about her, eight years later. I was thirteen when it happend, and my life has never, ever been the same.

    Looking into the mirror is very hard, because I see Alannah’s face all the time. We could feel each other’s emotions, even when separated at times. We shared the bed, our clothes, and even our musical instruments. Whenever mean girls would pick on us at school, we were always there for each other. When Alannah died I had truly become alone. I was so sad, that I no longer cared how mean people were to me because I was depressed or angry at others for not understanding my loss. As time passed I realized that “singletons” (people who aren’t twins) will never, ever understand how it feels like to see their twins die. Loosing your twin is loosing your only best friend, loosing yourself and your reality, your world. It’s like you have to make your own world again, from the bottom up. This takes years. I’m still working on it. You know, not having to share my every thought or emotion with someone else. It’s still strange to me sometimes, that singletons come across to me as very private in terms of sharing their identities. Singletons, it seems to me, have only one identity. I feel like I have two.

    Thanks for posting this wonderful article Linda,
    Elissa Menendez, twin to Alannah

  • Michael Karbeling says:

    This article strikes a very familiar chord with me. I am so sorry that Jon felt so alone that he was compelled to take his own life. I understand the feeling of aloneness after I lost my twin, and could not get used to being alone. I found twinless twins online and am an active member.

    Twinless Twins helped me believe in myself and to not feel so alone. I know helping others helps me heal and to not feel so alone

    I am a twin whose twin brother died three and a half years ago at the age of 52. We were close and I miss hin every day. When I was asked what it is like to be a twin my answer is I don’t know because I have always been a twin. Today I am still a twin and that will never change. Even so, the grief I feel daily, reminds me how much I loved my twin brother. I remember feeling like part of me died when he die, but grief is the result of love and I know he is still with me, in my heat, my memories and my soul. Thanks for writing this story.

    Mike .

  • Linda Burke says:

    It has been 11 years since my twin brother Lee died and I have changed considerably since then – both emotionally and physically. I no longer feel as secure as I did, I don’t laugh as easily as I once did, and I never gained back the weight I lost when he died. Lee and I were born together and lived together. We never thought about a time when we wouldn?t be together. I can?t even talk about him without getting tears in my eyes and I know everyone probably thinks I should get on with my life. As I have said many times before, unless you are a twin yourself, you just can?t even comprehend what it is like to lose your twin sibling. Once one is gone you are alone, half of what you were.

    We were a family and I feel like our family is now broken. I miss the way he smiled and laughed, I miss how he always helped me when I needed it, I miss my life the way it was, but most of all I miss having my twin with me.

  • Dawn Barnett says:

    My identical twin sister, Daryl, and I were born on Dec. 10, 1947 and she died on Oct. 10, 1948 from pneumonia and a term the medical profession in those days termed ?weak heart?. We now know it is a hereditary disease of the heart with the name Long QT Syndrome, a heart arrhythmia. I, too, had a heart attack in 2004 that was caused by a medication I was taking resulting in Long QT Syndrome manifesting and my heart stopped beating three times before the paramedics could stabilize me to take me to the hospital. I was put in a self-induced coma for a week after it was determined the cause of the heart attack for my brain to heal from the lack of oxygen. When I came out of the coma I was fine, except for memory loss. The doctors would not allow me to drive and I was mostly inactive for an entire year afterward in order to recuperate. My heart was and is perfectly fine now despite the fact I wear a pacemaker/defibulator to alleviate another heart attack.
    Going back, even though I lost Daryl at an early age where I never really got to have any life memories of her, it affected me all my life. I have a real ?abandonment? issue. Whenever I moved, changed jobs, lost friends due to changes, lost dogs and relatives to death it was devastating to me. I led a lonely life, even in a crowded room. I would panic whenever I got lost, which was often. It was hard for me to accept change. I looked for my twin in friends and relationships only to be disappointed because they weren?t the perfect aspect I had with her as a twin. I had an empty feeling inside of me like something was missing ? and there was something missing, Daryl. She was half of my soul, half of my being.
    As a youngster I felt best with my grandparents on the farm. I would play with my collie companion, Lucky, and always had a make-believe companion with me. My grandmother would tell me stories of Daryl and I and that made me feel good because that kept my twin alive in my heart. My parents never talked about her because I think they never got over the grief of losing a child and I was just a reminder of the one they lost.
    I have been a member of Twinless Twins Support Group, Int?l (?TTSGI?) since 1994 and it has been a great help to me. I was South Central Regional Director for three years until my heart attack forced me to quit. I am now on the Board of TTSGI and am so thankful we have such an organization for twinless twins. Since 2004 I have had a heart attack, heat stroke and was in an elevator accident in which any of these events I came so close to dying. Because I am still here I know it is for a reason and I have dedicated the rest of my life to help all those twins out there who have lost their ?other half? and I do this in the name of my twin, Daryl.
    Dawn Barnett
    Member of the BOD of TTSGI

  • Lea Eriksen says:

    As a twinless twin this article speaks to me. I lost my twin Eve, five years ago at he age of 27 from bone cancer. In my case, I had so much life to live and Eve had even asked me to live life for her. Therefore, an untimely death for me was not an option. Losing my twin was the worst thing that could happen to me but somehow I survived it. I learned to survive the intense emotions and grief.

    What I have found about my emotions is that it is better to let them out over time. I feel like if I tried to let them all out at once I might have died or gone crazy from the intensity of them. Never mind the impact on others I just knew I, myself, couldn’t handle them all at once. With that said, it is better though to let them out rather than keeping them in since they build up and can all consume you that way too.

    Losing my identical twin, my kindred spirit, my soul mate, my best friend, my Eve, was the worst thing that I could ever imagine could happen to me and it did. To cope with that I have honed my ability to feel the pain for a bit but then shut the rest of it away to be felt another day when I can handle it better. For me this is about self preservation.

    I have now attended four Twinless Twin Support Group International (TTSGI) conferences. The first two times I went I felt very sorry for myself and I needed so much support from the other twins there. The third and fourth times I found that I was able to not feel so sorry for myself and I was able to try to help other twins as well receive support from other twins. I know that no matter where I am in my journey I will always need support from that group. I am still letting my feelings out and it takes time. The great thing about TTSGI is that you CAN let it out and you will not alienate anyone there. Twinless Twins are there for you and it is a safe place to grieve and vent and cry and heal.

    Lea, twin to Eve

  • John Rohrer says:

    Being an identical twin and having lost my twin I can very well understand the tremendous change that happens when your twin dies. When I walked into his hospital room after he had died I did not see him but I saw myself. It was the part of me that died with him, the bond, the life as we new it. The one thing that you can not take away is “Once a twin always a twin”. The Twinless Twins Support Group International helps twinless twins see that there is life after you loose your twin but the emptyness never goes away, it just gets a little easier to live with.

  • Debe Bloom says:

    Linda, thank you for writing this. I, too, lost my twin 8 years ago this month. Never did we think either of us would be walking this earth without the other. The pain is very deep and continues even to this day. I have only learned to deal and accept it.
    I appreciate your words about the Hager twins. The deep heartbreak of losing our other half, someone we thought would be with us forever, could pull a twinless into a deep depression. And, it does take another twin to understand this loss.

  • jodie says:

    I am of the same mind.I am a bereft identical twin living alone in Falmouth,England.My twin Carly took her own life six years ago,and I live with that fear and lonliness constantly.It’s true that you look to your twin in harder times because I recently found out that our dad has lung cancer and I want and need and miss and yearn for my twin,now maybe more than ever. We spoke in unison all the time,finished eachothers sentances and felt eachothers pain.I felt her pain when she was killing herself and I was holiday in a foreign country. We cut the same teeth at the same time,began mensturating for the first time on the same day and had a strong telepathic and psychic link as well. So yes it must be said that there is nothing quite like being an identical twin and I honestly believe that the grieving process is made that much harder when you look so alike.I need only look at my own face to see her there in front of me.I consider myself to be traumatised by her passing and feel and infact I know, that I will never be whole again.She was 23 years old and I am sure it will take me twice that and some more to learn to live with the sense of self I was left with. My heart goes out to every bereft twin and thankyou for writing about this. Kind regards.Jodie

  • Kyla Hammel says:

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Kyla and my twins name is Adam. He was killed in a car accident three years ago at the age of 17. It was a little over a month after our birthday. I had just spent the last two hours with him before the accident happened. We had a day off school the next day so instead of going home with him I stayed in town to hang out with friends. He wouldn’t stay. Three hours later I was meeting my mom at the hospital to hear the news.
    He was my best friend, my protector, and my greatest pest next to my little brother. He was the other half to my whole. Losing him tore my world apart and made me feel lost. For along time I was numb and couldn’t feel anything, and people told me I was so strong. They didn’t see me falling apart. Healing well i am still in that process. With the help of family and friends and those from twinless twins I am better. Somedays I remember all the goodtimes and am just so happy to have had that time with him, and sometimes I cry and wish he was back. In less than a month I will be twenty that i think is the hardest part about losing your twin, knowing that all the things you had planned the graduating, going to college growing old together having families and never really being apart wont happen, but somehow you have to find a way to continue. its hard but it does get easier. Life goes on.
    Thanks for writing this story Linda I think its great.
    Kyla

    • sarah says:

      what a heartbreaking but wise and wonderful reply. i just lost my twin brother in my thirties and am dreading our birthday. love to you.

      • Darla says:

        I am trying to find someboady who cn relate to me. I just lost my twin brother 3 weeks ago, we are 39. are you still around? I am scared

        • Dear Darla-

          There are many twins who can relate to you. It is a pain like no other for a twin. I am so sorry for the loss of your twin brother. It helps immensely to talk about it with others who can understand.

          If you would like to join a chat on MWF 9-10pm EST please visit the TwinlessTwins website listed here. You will have the opportunity to communicate with other twins who have experienced the devastating loss of their twin.

          There is nothing better than attending a meeting or going to the July TTSGI Conference (info on the website). It has helped me so much to have the support of other twins and learn from the workshops and speakers at the conference.

          Our twin relationship runs deep and touches all aspects of our life. It is a part of who we are. In some ways it is all we ever know during the early stages of our development. This has a tendency to come out as we try to negotiate a life without our twin. I hope you will read some of the resource articles on the twinlesstwins website as you progress through your grief. We are here.

          There is a twinloss Yahoo discussion group that is not affiliated with the organization. If you go to the Yahoo website and then proceed to their “health groups”, then search using the word “Twinloss”.

          Three weeks is a very short time. Please keep in touch… You are not alone!

          In twinship,

          Linda Pountney, Vice President
          Twinless Twins Support Group Intl.
          Twinlesstwins.org

  • Charles Van Riper says:

    Thank you for the article, Linda. I lost my twin brother on January 9 2007. The loss was devastating. We, too, are musicians and had performed together for 40 years. So on top of losing half of my soul, I lost my musical partner, too. We were always “one” when we played together. People would say it was like “magic”. Not a second of a day goes by that I do not think of him and talk t him. Right now I’m going through a phase where its getting very difficult. I guess that’s kinda normal. I aslo thank God for the Twinless Twins group. I don’t think i would have made it through without their support. Thanks again Linda. Great article. Bill and I also loved watchingThe Hagers back then.

  • anonymous says:

    I constantly seek answers in this regard. I’m a mother who has a surviving triplet daughter, a singleton who lost her twin brothers halfway through my pregnancy. She’s six now, and is finally growing more settled about her brothers. But from the age of two until about age five she would grow quite remorse and say things like, “I want to die. I want to go to heaven and be with my brothers.” Or, “I miss my brothers. I want to go to heaven and be with them.”

    You can only imagine what it was like for me to see my otherwise very gregarious and outgoing daughter become so dark-minded occasionally. It was as if her entire personality would change; she would beocme very melancholy and grief-stricken. AGain, not typical at all…especially for such a young little girl!

    You might be thinking that I could have simply kept the truth from her, but she had an older sister who knew all about my twins who passed away…More than that, I just didn’t want to keep things from my daughter. Beyond that, everything I’ve read has indicated that it is better that my singleton know the truth about her brothers.

    In the past year she’s talked about missing them less often, but it’s still very obvious to me that although she lost her brothers in the womb, she feels and senses a big hole. I’d love any advice about how to address that. :) I certainly feel their absence in a tremendous way, but I don’t verbaize that around my daughter…yet she clearly feels the hole most of all and it breaks my heart.
    Thanks,

  • Kelsie twin to Courtney says:

    I am a twin and my twin sister passed away almost 3 years ago now not even two weeks after our 16th birthday. Soon after that my family was forced to move to a new state, town, and school without my twin who had always made all of our friends for us. I was forced at the age of 16 to make friends for the first time. It was not a good experience. Soon after that my grandma told me about the Twinless Twins Support Group she had found looking for anything to help me. I instantly jumped on it eager to finally get my questions answered about whether I was still a twin and if I was the only one that felt so lost and alone. I was not alone and I am most certainly still a twin. I have been to 2 conferences and regret that I will not be able to attend this year for they have helped me so much and allowed me to grow so much. If anyone is able to attend I would recommend it highly. Twin Hugs!!

    Kelsie twin to Courtney

  • Larry Lynch says:

    Thank you, Linda, for writing this article about the Hagar twins. I well remember sitting in front of the television watching this dynamic duo with my twin brother, Garry. Sadly, Garry died in an auto accident at age 24. It has now been 28.5 yrs. since his death and I stll miss him. While the depth of the pain from his death has lessened over the years, the emptiness in my soul has not. The one universal theme that I have learned over the years without Garry is that every twin that I have met has had the same feelings over the loss of their co-twin. And I thank God every day for Dr. Raymond Brandt who founded the group, Twinless Twins Support Group, International. His insight has caused others to want to help this special group of people with their grief.

  • Naomi says:

    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 all together. If anyone has any ideas of how to honor her memory please let me know.

    • Dear Naomi

      Birthdays can be difficult for us twins. By now, your first birthday has gone by and I am sorry I did not see your post in time. As your second birthday nears, I hope you are able to feel your twin sister in your heart and decide on a way to pay tribute to her and your twinship.

      It has had special meaning for me to bring a friend or family member together to remember Paula, my twin. I have eaten hot fudge sundaes (something we loved together) graveside, gone on a trip in her honor, some place we did not get to together, and also reached out to help another twin.

      A simple tribute to your twinship with a candle (of course 2 candles work well also) and photos of the two of you can be given extra meaning with a remembrance poem. These simple rituals can help you to get in touch with your emotions, while incorporating your twin into your life on a birthday or holiday.

      My birthday is approaching – a day Paula and I shared. It is also a difficult day for me to reach out, but I know the importance of sharing my twin. There is a Twinless Twins online live chat on M-W-F 9pm EST on http://www.twinlesstwins.org Holiday chats are also listed on the website.

      twins always,
      Linda

  • sarah says:

    I just lost my twin brother suddenly in my thirties. I love him so much. We were not identical but brother and sister.

    • Dear Sarah-

      I am so sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your twin. It doesn’t matter if you were identical or fraternal twins, the grief from losing your twin is unique and painful. I have found it beneficial to talk about my loss with other twins, and reach out to others who have lost a twin.

      There is support available for twinless twins. It has helped me beyond measure to communicate and meet others who have lived through this loss. Please check it out at http://www.twinlesstwins.org

      in twinship,
      Linda

  • Suzanne says:

    My identical twin drowned nearly 5 years ago. I feel that I’ve come a long way in my grief process.
    However after a recent and brief illness I cannot shake the feeling that I’m completely unafraid to die myself. I don’t feel unreasonable or reckless,,,just, don’t care.
    Is this a stage? Or,,,are some people just more lackadaisical???
    response, please.

    • Hi Suzanne

      The grief process is so personal and different for every one of us. It is difficult for me to comment on your lack of fear toward dying. I am not a therapist or counselor. Without knowing more, I would be guessing, but will proceed to tell you what my experience has been.

      When we are sick, it is easier to feel diminished or sad, very similar to grieving. Five years is a significant period of time, but it is still somewhat recent in my opinion. I know you must miss your twin, and if you are anything like me, you know she is there for you on another level. In my grief I have at times felt less afraid to die. I looked at this as feeling comfortable with something my twin did before me, and I felt she would help me with it.

      If you would like to join a chat on MWF 9-10pm EST please visit the twinlesstwins website listed here.

      There is also a twinloss Yahoo discussion group that is not affiliated with the organization that I find very valuable. Locate
      health groups on the Yahoo page, then search for the group using the word Twinloss.

      In twinship,

      Linda Pountney, Vice President
      Twinless Twins Support Group International

  • rhenda driver says:

    I also am a twin who lost my twin sister in a car wreck, an 18 wheeler fell on top of us killing her instantly pinning me in the back seat and had to be cut out by fire dept. this was two years ago and it still feels like yesterday, Iv’e barely been able to cope and tried suicide a few days ago, I.m very ashamed of this because I don.t even believe in killing one self but I did on impulse not thinking, My counsellor told me about this web site and I would very much like to participate , My twins name is Rhonda and I’m Rhenda we were borm 1 min. apart and were inseparateble for 52 years, part of me is gone, and I need help from people who know what I’m feeling and going through,

    • Hi Rhenda-
      I am so sorry for your lo ss of Rhonda. There is so much support out there for twins who have experienced the loss of their twin. Please consider coming to the July annual conference of Twinless Twins Support Group… it could be just what you need! For more information go to the website twinlesstwins.org

      in twinship,Linda

  • Sarah says:

    I am celebrating my birthday without my twin brother. The day is always so bittersweet as I had Johnny for 27 years and now have been without his physical presence for 27 years. I still don’t feel whole. We used to dream the same dreams and call each other at exactly the same time(before call waiting was around). We were(are) so close and no one else except a twin can understand this bond. It is forever!I had just given birth 3 weeks before Johnny died and he was so excited. He didn’t get to see her before he died because he was in Michigan and I was in Maine. I had complications and we hadn’t sent out any pictures. My beautiful daughter was 4 weeks early and maybe God knew to bring her early so Johnny would know she was born. He went through the whole pregnancy with me psychologically and sent me presents for her at Christmas. She was born December 22 and Johnny died January 13. I had already lost an older brother 10 years prior so I couldn’t even believe that I could lose my best friend and twin. I still have a hard time and am glad I finally came across this article so I can find a twin-less twins group. I need help coping with his loss and wonder why I have to be left behind to grieve the rest of my life. Everyday I see things that remind me of him. I see people that look like him . I know I will see him again as he came to me and told me so after he passed. I’ll feel him wrap his arms around me when I am sad and I’ll feel him sitting on my bed next to me. I can sense when he is near but I want to hug him and laugh with him and do things with him. It is so very,very hard. I believe that losing my brothers was the reason my Mother left this Earth so soon. he could not cope with the losses. now ,I am left with my older sister who still believes that her life was “ruined the day the twins were born”. She always wanted to be an only child so when Mom died so convinced my elderly father that he did not need me in his life anymore so I haven’t talked to my father in 6 years. He won’t answer my calls or accept mail from me..It is really sick and I blame my sister. I think my father is afraid of her because she is so mean and controlling and manipulative. So basically I am an orphan now and it hurts. I am going to shake off the blues and get off my pity pot now and go to lunch with some friends who just called and invited me out! Thank God for my “family of choice” since my blood family is gone! I have to push myself to keep going. Thanks for “listening”!

  • Hi Sarah-
    Your birthday, a shared day with Johnny, is an important one, falling the same number of years later, equal to the number of years you had him in your life. Multiple losses which include one’s entire family are something I am also familiar with. The early loss of my family of origin continues to make me feel alone in my life, especially on holidays and birthdays. Your embracing of close friends and appreciating who you have in your life is a wonderful approach. Family of choice is a gift. Thanks for writing.

  • colleen says:

    my twin sis Irene died 17 months ago and I talk to her every day. I can find my way to be in the world by receiving gifts in the wind,favorite songs,or our children smiling together.Could there ever be acceptance or unconditional love like that of our twin? now i question what Irene would do when Colleen has some dilemma. If I honor our twin-ness, then acceptance and unconditional love peers back from the eyes of her soul. Mostly, i miss her smell and her eyes.Sometimes its lonely
    To walk alone.But she’s in the wind free and fine.
    Duality.
    Twins.
    LIFE AND DEATH
    JOY AND PAIN
    LOVE AND HATE
    GOOD AND BAD
    My twin sister is in heaven.

    • Hi Colleen
      Your words of wisdom ring many bells for me. Do we ever find the same unconditional love we were blessed to receive from our twin? I think not, but an astute person once told me to be open to obtaining little pieces of it from many different people. Irene would want the best for you, to be able to live your life, knowing her love always shines through you. Where you are at, in year two, can bring up so much relating to life and death. From another twinless twin, my advise is to be gentle with yourself, knowing it will get better, but also realizing that this loss will forever change you. Some change will be positive – compassion can grown, empathy can flourish, and you may gain insight on life. Appreciation! You speak of duality… I can so appreciate your words and I love that you are so open to receiving gifts in the wind. All our senses are involved in the “knowing” of another/loss is not exception. Aloneness is combated by the positive of smiles, innocence, and nature’s gifts. Know you are not alone.

      Not knowing where you live, I would also suggest connecting with other twinless twins. If you go to http://www.twinlesstwins.org you can click on your location and make contact to hear about meetings or twins who want to communicate/share… this can be a God-send.

      In twinship,

      Linda, Paula’s twin

  • Christy says:

    My name is Christy and my twin is Misty. We are 34 yrs old and I just lost her 2wks ago suddenly. I have no answers yet as to the cause of death as it is under investigation. She passed away in her sleep at a “friends” house. I have a daughter 15 mos old who also called her mama. For the past decade I have helped her raise her two girls as the father was not present in their lives. The day after we laid my twin to rest he took them 3000 miles away. Now the youngest calls me everyday sobbing that she wants to come home. The girls (my sisters) have always called me their second mom. It was her last wish that I continue to help raise them. I know as their father he has rights and I would not hurt him but I am so hurt and lost. There are no answers as to how she passed except in her sleep and I feel like I lost my entire extended family in one day. I can’t get it together I’m so sad. It seems my family only understands their view and that instead of me grieving they will tell me to stop crying and get it together. Stop dwelling on losing my twin as they all lost someone too. I get that. I have shut down and now my deep loneliness is consuming me. I feel like my soul is crushed and my grief is overwhelming losing my twin and her beautiful daughters. We also lost my mother three years ago to brain cancer and my fathers mother and stepfather all in 6 mos time. For some reason this hurts so much more. Where do I even begin to start to heal and understand why?

    • Hi Christy
      I am so very sorry.
      Two weeks is a short time to “get over it” or “stop crying”… please give yourself time to grieve. I hope there is a way for you to make contact with the girls’ father and he is able to do what is best for them. It is important for them to have you in their life!! And of course you need them. There is a benefit to finding other twins who can understand the depth of your relationship and to talk to about loss and healing. I have asked the administrator of the Twinless Twins Support Group Facebook site to invite you to join. Her name is Dawn Barnett. If this is not of interest, you can just tell her that, but I recommend that you consider making contact, even if just by email or online with a twinless twin. The website twinlesstwins.org offers a “contact us” option for you to get in touch with the regional coordinator in the area you live in. Meetings are a wonderful way to connect when you are ready. The website contains information if you would like to learn more about twin loss. Again, I am so sorry and would like to reach out in any way I can. Linda