Denial of grief is common and misunderstood. Grief can wait in the wings for a time to surface, when you are better prepared to absorb its lessons. It can be triggered by other losses. Left undone, grief can wreak havoc with your ability to enjoy life and feel positive emotions.

Grief has no time frame. It can be postponed, but never put away.

My identical twin sister Paula Pountney died unexpectedly as her small plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean one Thanksgiving night. We were 21 years old. With the same genes and a shared history, we functioned as a unit growing up. Having our own language and each other as best friends, our reliance grew. Before birth we developed a bond, which would prove hard to break.

I lived my life from age 21 to 39, managing to deny my grief. Unconscious denial served as a protection mechanism. Unable to cope with losing my other half, my grief waited for me. A cloud of feelings burst open, bringing Paula back through time, into my life, releasing me to feel the painful long-denied emotions.

Triggered by my mother’s death, my emotional balance hung on the ebbing and flowing of my grief. A new inner world opened doors to my evolving twinship. Going back in time to heal, I explored who my twin was to me, and who I was in our twinship. Having lived in relationship with another person from before birth, I never expected one of us to leave this world before the other. Our twin connection strengthened our bond of security together.

Her sudden death broke an unspoken vow of protection and twin reliance. My foundation was rocked to the core. Forever changed, I would never enjoy the same innocence about life. Expanding my knowledge of grief and being a twin, I learned new facets of being present for my life.

I cried a billion tears when the dam finally broke. I still cry and I am still healing. My vulnerability opened my heart to compassion. Learning how to give and receive gave life an unexplained richness. My healing continues as I reach out to newly twinless of all ages. Twinless Twins Support Group plays a large role in this.

Linda Pountney 2012

Linda Pountney

Linda Pountney is the past Vice President of Twinless Twins Support Group International, 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.

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