Loss at birth

David’s story

46 years, 157 days, two and a half hours.

For the first two of those years I cried. So I was told, keeping all around me awake. I pined.

Forty-six years, 157 days, two and a half hours later I still pine the loss of my twin. Legend has it that we were both a mistake. My twin never survived the error. My mother almost didn’t. There was much of me and little of my twin. I had what was rightfully mine, together with what was rightfully hers.

I made my debut into this world a murderer. So legend has it. That I know not to be true. The physical body of my twin died at birth, but she has always been part of me. We have played together as children, we talk and share many things. We live as one.

For forty-six years, 157 days, two and a half hours, these feelings dared not to be shared. Who could possibly understand? Who could believe the way that I felt deep, deep inside, deeper than any other person could ever reach!
A good friend told me about the Lone Twin Network. I wrote. I waited, not knowing what to expect. I opened the mail. The Lone Twin Network and Newsletter. I read, glued. There were others who felt as I did. I cried. I cried for my twin, for myself and for those who have lost twins. Some at birth, others as children, many as adults. Twins all. Taken peacefully, suddenly, restfully or violently – all taken from us painfully. I tried to write; too many tears. I could not see. I telephoned; conversation was impossible through the sobbing. Forty-six years, 157 days, two and a half hours later I was for the first time speaking of the way I felt about my twin. Somebody was there to help, to understand, to reassure. I felt helpless, but gained strength from their strength and understanding.

I cannot explain how I would have coped with that day without the Network, or even if that day would have ever come. Neither can I write how glad I am that it did come, for now my twin has recognition from people other than me. It was as if a sun had burst into her identity, giving it light and warmth in her own right.

For forty-six years, 157 days, two and a half hours later, both my twin and I have friends who know and understand.

Dawn, I miss you dearly and always will, even though you are, and always will be, such an essential and integral part of me.

David Elvy.

Jill’s story

I was described as a ‘mardy’ baby, which means I was rather miserable. With hindsight I would guess that I was grieving for my twin sister Jacqueline, who was strangled by the cord during her birth.

I cannot remember a time when I did not know I was a twin. But in my family this was quite a talking point as my mother gave birth to a second set of twins two years after we were born. I had a brother and a sister who both survived. I think that always knowing I am a twin made it easier to accept than if I had been told about this later in life.

The most difficult times in my childhood were when the three of us argued, two girls against one boy – then my sister would suddenly change sides and it would be The Twins against me. It always took me by surprise and if I went to my parents to have a moan and to say that I wished I had my twin to turn to, their reply, which was supposed to comfort me, was that if my twin had survived they probably wouldn’t have had the second set! It never really helped me, but obviously comforted them.

I never really asked much about what happened to my twin, but understood that she, as a stillborn baby, had been buried with a woman at Lodge Hill Cemetery in Birmingham. When I was coming up to my fiftieth birthday I rang Birmingham Cemeteries and was sent a map of the cemetery marked with the position of my twin’s grave.

My own children asked for more details than I ever did and my parents were always very open with them as they had been with me.

On my birthday I went with my father, sister and husband to look for the grave. It was a bit rainy but this seemed appropriate, and after a little searching we found the grave with a peg marker which the staff had put there to help me. I left a chrysanthemum, my birth month’s flower, and a sprig of rosemary (for remembrance) on the grave. I took a photo, which is quite a comfort. It is the only direct link to my twin.

I don’t think you ever get over the loss of a twin, even if you lost him or her at birth. There is always a feeling that you are searching for someone close enough to replace them, but of course you never can, and it is always such a disappointment when you face the fact that you can’t.

Jill Deeley.
(Chairman of LTN)

 

Paul’s story

Jigsaws can be frustrating and confusing but as more and more pieces slot into place you feel a mounting sense of excitement. Adapting a Forrest Gump quote, he might have said “Life is like a jigsaw, except you don’t have a picture on the box to know how it’s going to turn out.”

My life has been very much like that jigsaw which has become difficult to complete because a key piece was removed at the time of my birth. I had a twin brother or sister who was undiagnosed before delivery and in the distant days of post-war obstetrics, my birth was very problematic, with the result that both my mother and I almost died. After I was delivered the midwife realised there was a second baby and that is all I know, other than he or she did not make it.

Interestingly I only learned of this situation when I was in my early 40s and my wife commented during a programme on twins on the TV, “Well, as a twin you would understand that feeling.”  I was extremely puzzled and asked her what she meant. My late mother had told her of the circumstances of my birth but had never told me! I queried this with my brother and sister who both commented that they were surprised that I had never spoken of it. Strangely, I had always felt a huge sense of something missing and when I qualified a counsellor, I specialised in counselling twins, followed anything about twins on TV or literature and always knew it was really important to get the names of twins correct.

Some years later I discovered a UK organisation, The Lone Twin Network (LTN) which exists to support surviving twins who have lost their sibling. I always felt that as my twin had died at birth, I would probably be less affected than other people but I have never been able to shake off the sense of loss that I felt. Because my father died when I was seven years old, I always put my sense of loss down to his death and my attempts form close friendships to combat loss and loneliness was due to his death. During my childhood and adolescence I was not at all close to my younger brother and sister or to my mother so we drifted apart when I was 19 and I hardly saw them for some years.

After over 60 years I decided to address the issue finally. I had been a member of the LTN for several years and even set up a website for them but had never attended a meeting. I went to a LTN regional meeting and met with some 25 or so other surviving twins in central Manchester. Although about half those present had attended previous meetings, there was a slight tension in the room but gradually as members started to share their stories, led by the organiser of the event and the chair of the LTN — both are named Jill coincidentally — everyone relaxed. Although the stories were deeply moving the meeting never became mawkish or depressing. I was shaken by the number of stories from the surviving twins who, like me, had lost their twin at birth. Most significantly I began to recognise traits in myself that the others spoke of. For instance, several had experienced real relationship problems with siblings which sadly had continued throughout their lives. Fortunately I’m now quite close to my brother and sister.

The biggest light bulb for me was a realisation that the real closeness I have never been able to find in friendships is probably unattainable. The simple reason is I was trying to replicate the intimacy of a relationship with my twin. Many of you may feel that because I never knew my twin after birth and indeed had never even been told about my twin until the second half of my life, my expectations are unrealistic. I can only say that nine months in the womb is a long time in a very small place. All of the other birth-lost twins expressed a similar view.

The recurring theme that was expressed time and time again in the group was how helpful it was to be an environment where everyone understood the unique loss that is only experienced by a twin losing their sibling. Several spoke of other family bereavements but none came close to the total devastation felt at the death of a twin. With one birth in 50 being twins, it is no wonder that the work of the Lone Twin Network is so needed.

Paul Dicken

60 thoughts on “Loss at birth

  1. My twin sister died at birth. I did not begin to deal with the depth of lonliness until i was over 40. I read a book by a Vermont about surviving twins a couple of years ago and have worked to accept how I feel. I khave yet learned how to completely live with it. I did not understand as a child how my mother could be happy and sad both on my birthday. on the same day. I have never liked to have a birthday party just for me.

    • My twin sister dies two days after birth and although I have always felt I have an emptiness that cannot be filled, I too have just now started learning to cope with the loss and I will soon be 42. I would love to know what book you read because anything that will help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

      • Hello, The book I read is TWIN by Allen Shawn. His twin sister was removed from the home when she was a small child. His description of his various emotions over the years was the book I read that documented the confusing emotions I have felt and let me know that what I am feeling is really and often felt by people in my circumstances. My best to you, Diane

  2. I discovered that I was a lone twin after a suffering a miscarriage when I was 30.My mother had never got over the loss of my identical twin and could not bring herself to tell me, but did so at this point because she was worried that it could be related to my miscarriage. It wasn’t, of course, and I went on to have 4 beautiful, healthy children. But the family secret was out.
    For days I wandered around in shock, suddenly I was an identical twin but had never lived as an identical twin. My sense of identity was destroyed. I wept a lot, and drank a lot and retreated from everyone who cared about me while I tried to get a shape on everything.
    I read everything I could lay my hands on about twins and that’s how I discovered the LTN.
    Once I realised that I was not a freak and that there were many people in my situation I calmed down and got some perspective.
    I named my twin (Emily), tried to find her grave and got a copy of her still birth certificate. I planted a tree in her name and felt like I was recognising her existence. I now describe myself as a twin.
    I’ve always been a happy sociable person and consider myself to be unusually lucky. I’m not a very spiritual person but I have always felt that someone was looking out for me. Emily, perhaps?
    She didn’t get a chance to live so I feel I have to live my life to the full.
    My mother has yet to come to terms with my sister’s death but I am fine and feel that she is still with us, really.

    • I Learned I had a twin brother who died at birth Sean Michael Gill…February 25th 1975. I was the first one born on the 24th..I learned or was told this when I was in 3rd grade..I always felt a part of me was missing.. I went my self to the semitary to find my twin brother.. As the man went to print me the location of where he was the man told me I found him on my own cause I stood right on top where he was placed in his resting place…I being a lone twin have always felt a sence of things when something was about to happen good or bad..I’ve got my own children.. My daughter who is now 16 then my son Ethan who’s 14..they look as if they could be twin’s a lot a like in appearance.. With my daughter like if she’d get her hair cut..I’d know about it before she’d have it cut..

  3. i know i am young, but i know i had a twin. lately i have been feeling lost and like a piece of me was missing. i didnt know about my twin until i was 10 years old. i was shocked but i knew not to ask a lot of questions. i didnt want to upset my mom or draw attention to me. that is why i am on this website… i am too scared to confront my parents. after reading these stories i come to figure out i am not the only one. i have friends but it is like there is something holding m back to calling them my best friends; maybe that spot is held for my twin. i feel like i am grieving when there is nothing to grieve about. i now know it is because i am grieving for my twin.

    sometimes i think to myself, “this should have been her/his life, this should have been our life together. why am i the one that had to survive? why not them?” it is really confusing for a girl my age to think about this stuff. to think about death. i should be thinking about boys and makeup, but all i can think about is how i miss my twin.

    • Honestly i know exactly how you feel. Im always too scared to ask my parents.There was this one time a few months back when i was really wondering and thinking, how i could possibly have a twin who was never born?….so i decided to ask my mom,(and I’ve known that I’ve had a twin since i was 11 yrs old) but anyway i was done being curious,so i asked my mom and she just got mad at me and said “you shouldn’t be asking me those things, they aren’t important” and it broke me, mainly because i have a right to know every detail there is about my twin. But after that i decided to ask my dad and he said that he would tell me a few days after that, but he never did, and i didn’t really want to bother him so i didn’t ask again. After that i decided to not bother them about it, but i still wonder. And sometimes when I’m sad or and feel like i have no one to talk to… all i think about is what my sister would say to me and how we would be best friends and how different my life would be. Im a very curious person and I’ve been waiting for so long for answers because all i have are questions. But I do hope one day my parents really will tell m everything.

    • When I read this post…even now…a tear comes to my eye because it is exactly how I’ve been feeling. For the most part I forget that I was born a twin but every now and then a sadness sweeps over me and It always brings me to the idea of being a lone twin. I feel silly and narcissistic for dwelling on this aspect of my life, I know it shouldn’t have any bearing on me or my future but I can’t seem to shake it off. I’m young, healthy, and loved but something hangs over me. Everyone in my family seems to have accepted it and moved on, almost as if it never happened. So why can’t i?

      • hi, I know how you feel , you can’t explain it to anyone other than people like me , part of you IS missing I know that feeling all to well, you are grieving so it’s understandable to feel this way, I was 14 years old when I found out, told by a stranger, everyone else knew, even my older sister, its messed with my head all my life, joining this site is the best thing I have ever done because I found out I was not alone, all up to the time when I found out I knew I was not alone , you must talk about your twin to people, I know its difficult but they are with you , I can assure you of that, feel free to message me anytime and talk, best wishes, brian

  4. Hi, young lone twin, I totally understand your post. But when I found out about my twin I cried for about 2 weeks and then I decided that I could choose to devote my life to grieving or devote my life to living. So I feel that I need to live my life to the full because my twin never got the chance.

    He/She may be watching and having a laugh at your mistakes and grimacing at your choice in boys or makeup. I sometimes apologise to my twin for dating a fool or wearing shoes I can’t walk in and carrying them home. Being a teenager is tough anyway, I have 2 teenaged girls, and everyone feels wrong somehow, its normal and not necessarily because of your lone-twinness.

    I also have never spoken to my mum about my twin, she cant handle it and I don’t want to upset her. When people find out I ‘m a lone twin they often say (possibly crassly) that the world couldn’t cope with 2 of me!

    The very best of luck and if you want to talk more I’m happy to xxx

  5. I wrote this message in 2013 but still every bit as true!
    The note with no address. Christina – it’s now the year 2013 and this time 34 years ago was the night before we were born. We were supposed to have all the time in the world to spend playing and growing but we were in too much of a hurry to give our first cry. I love you like I have known you for years and have always felt like we have a big past with lots of stories to tell but when I go to tell my tale about my much loved sister my mind goes blank. Tomorrow is our birthday and that will always be. So happy birthday to you, my little twin, from Lorna – your mirror reflection. This message holds one big hug just for you!!

  6. Hello it’s Lorna again, just wanted to say this network has helped me over the years so much. I have never been to a group but just knowing you’re there has made a big difference. Being able to read other peoples stories really has helped me to explain to myself why I feel the way I feel so I just want to say a very big thank you! If this message does not make sense it is because I am dictating it using my iPad because I am physically disabled and dyslexic.

  7. Thanks you for writing. It is a comfort to read that other people feel as I do. My parents always told me that my twin sister died at birth, but we never were able to comfort one another. I do not think they knew I felt as if something was missing. It has taken my a long time to understand my parents’ mixed feelings during my birthday. I really appreciate reading other’s people’s comments. It took me so long to acknowledge that these lone twin feelings are real. I am a twin. It is part of me. Thank you.

  8. hi, my name is brian, I’m 61 years old, I found out I was a twin when I was 14 years old, not by my mum or dad or my older sister but by a nearly total stranger, can you imagine what that done to me??? all my life up to then I always knew there was someone with me, yes I suppose I was a bit of a loner, not ever needing anyone to play with as I always had this person or someone with me, no one ever told me anything about the twin and I never asked my parents as I was uncertain what their reaction would be, funny thing was it was always assumed I knew anyway, I suppose then these things were not talked about, you sort of got on with life which wasn’t easy , what bothers me most is that I have no idea of where he is buried, local church burial records show nothing, what could have happened to his body ? I can’t find out, I really wish I could as this would at least give me somewhere to visit him, there is not a day goes by when I don’t think about him, why him ? why did I survive ? it makes you feel guilty that you are still alive, anyway I just need to talk about him, people don’t understand. brian.

  9. Hi Brian, I understand. I really do. When my twin had died I think no one knew how to handle it so everyone pretended that it hadn’t happened. When I found out (aged 30) I got a copy of her still birth certificate, I gave her a name (Emily, I think Kate & Emily sound like twins), and I planted a tree for her in my garden. My family were unsettled by the fact that I did stuff, but I did it for me, and for her. I now live, really live, my life. I have to, she didn’t get the chance. So I dance and run and sing and have twice the life I should because she is watching and it is to make her laugh, proud and sometimes cringe!

    • thanks for replying, its only others like ourselves who understand the pain , you were 30, my god, but I suppose at that age you were mature enough to handle it better than me at 14, I don’t mean that you didn’t hurt as well, sorry, didn’t put that very well, of course you did hurt, what I find most hard to deal with is that I don’t know where he is, my mum and dad never spoke to me about it, although she did tell my wife he was buried near a hedge, I assumed in the churchyard at our village but there is no record of any such thing, the only thing I think happened is that he was buried in our garden at home, I left there when I got married at 21 but still live in the next village, I’m a builder and about 4 years ago I had to visit our old house when I looked at some work there, my god,……as I walked up the path all those memories of my childhood there came back to me big time, I can’t explain the feelings going around in my head but I expect you understand only to well, it was then I got this feeling he was there somewhere, I like you got a birth certificate that said stillborn, but mum also told my wife he lived a short while, as I said I can’t get my head around what happened to him, and the older I get the harder it gets, it really gets to me sometimes, I feel no body understands the hurt I feel, as I said all though my childhood I had this playmate always with me, I would take to him all the time, I named him Richard, ‘rich’ for short,i never ever felt alone, god I sit here with tears welling in my eyes as I think about it, birthdays and Christmas were always sort of unhappy times for me and still are I suppose, I get told I’m a miserable old so-and-so but it don’t seem right I am here and he is not, anyway, thanks for replying and I wish you well, brian.

      • Hello Brian,
        Thank you for sharing your story, as I’m sure you can see from the replies and other posts, you are not alone in your situation. You are also not a miserable so and so, you are someone who misses a huge part of you, and that is completely natural. Please do consider joining the network (through the contact form on the ‘contact us’ page) then you can get details of our meetings and join with us in a friendly atmosphere, be understood without having to explain, and talk to people who have been through the same as you. Just a thought? Best wishes to you, Nancy.

      • thanks, yes I think I will join you, at last after all these years its so comforting to realize that you are not alone, because that is how you do feel, I live in south Norfolk so it would be difficult if your meetings were many miles from here, anyway will give it a shot, many thanks brian.

  10. My identical twin Laura died of SIDS at the age of 3 months. My parents never kept it a secret from me but was always difficult to talk about and it still is. I always bottle it up thinking whats the point of telling people my feelings when no one understands. Even typing this is difficult. I am now 31 years old and live in Perth, Western Australia with my partner and two young boys we emigrated 3 years ago from the UK. I have looked for any groups here in Australia especially around Perth but cannot find anything. After dealing with this for 31 years and hiding my feelings from everyone around me I now feel meeting others that have lost a twin will help me to open up. I don’t know where to start and I am finding it so hard at the moment as I am getting married in January and wish my twin was here with me.

    • Hello Stacey,
      So sad about your twin, my heart goes out to you. The feelings you have described are so understandable and are echoed by many of our members who lost their twin at a similar age. Please know that you are not alone in the way you feel, it is only natural.
      I’m afraid we don’t know of any groups in Australia, apparently there used to be one but it is no longer going. I will email you with details of how you can join our UK group which will enable you to join our Facebook group and get instant support, should you wish to do so. Take care x

    • hi stacy, my heart goes out to you, believe me, I, and many more know exactly how you feel, my twin brother died at birth and I was 14 years old when I found out, I was told by a stranger, it seems everyone knew except me, its messed my head up all my life,i’m 61 years old now and since seeing and joining this site although iv’e never met anyone else like me or ‘us ‘should I say, for the first time in 47 years I have started to feel less alone and I’m sure you will too, I know it’s hard but try to talk about her because she is there with you, I’m sure of that, don’t let this situation mess with your head as it has mine, I wish you well and do please email me if you want, my email is readthesteam@btinternet.com go forward with your life stacy because you are living it for the both of you. yours, brian read

    • HI I’m from Melbourne , I have for the first time in my life this year on my birthday I woke in tears with my first thought upon waking was my twin. Im 38 years old and I recently cant get him out of my head. Well I hear his name daily.. I named my first son after him Luke, So I’m reminded all the time.
      I wonder what he would have been like, his smile, laugh all of it.
      We were born at 26weeks and he lasted 4 days, I weighed 860grams and he was smaller..long story but I fought to survive and didn’t come home till I was about 6 months old. I know I’m lucky but its sad he wasn’t so.
      Its such a strange thing all of you think the same I thought it was me and Im a bit silly…

    • Hi Stacey
      I know how you feel. Im in Melbourne My brother and I were born at 26weeks , Luke my twin survived just 1 day and I survived. I have always thought about him and wondered how different life would be if he was here. My first born boy I named after Luke he is now 10 years old and I also have 2 other sons Jarrah and KIan.
      I recently googled on births,deaths and marriages my twins name and found his death certificiate. My parents at the time of his passing let the hospital take care of him and where never told where he was buried ( i think back in 1978 it was’nt the really done thing).
      I found the Cemetery and found the site of his burial. He was buried with other infants but his name wasnt there as Mum and Dad never knew.
      We will be 40th in Feb 2018 and I am going to get a plaque made up to mark his spot. I am going to bring along Mum and Dad so they can finally have a place to come.
      I still get very emotional and its raw, I know that people cant understand how we feel this way but how could we not after growing side by side for 9mths bonding then to be alone from birth. I miss him and I know in some weird way he lives on through my son Luke.

      If you want chat I happy for you to email me or anyone else in this group who would like too. ljk3.tull@gmail.com

      • hi Courtney, nobody will ever understand how we as a surviving twin feel, except that is others like ourselves, it has really messed with my mind throughout the years, but if you ever want to chat please mail me, regards, brian.

      • HI Brian
        Yes its hard and this site has been a real eye opener that all of us lone twins can benefit from.. It has messed with me but I certainly dont let it show… as no one can understand. I did write in a diary for many years and I probably need to get back to that to self sooth.
        I guess like allot of other say in here we survived for a reason so i guess lets live this life to the full and don’t pass anything up just do it or give it go.. I hope maybe my twin and I will meet again oneday..

      • well this site certainly saved me, for the first time in my life I felt not alone, I never seemed to fit into anything, I can only describe my life as this massive ball of energy passing through time and I’m somewhere on the edge of it trying desperately to get inside it and be a part of something.

  11. I am reading all the comments and stories and tears comes down my face….
    I felt alone all my life. I still do.
    When I was I child I would always choose one friend over all of my friend as a “main” one and I would always treat her as my sister…. But then comes a time when you realise that the gap is still there…..
    I always knew I am a lone twin. My mum couldn’t talk about it due to load of emotions but she never kept it a secret.
    My sister died at birth and only now when I am a mum myself I guess I knew how to talk to my mum about my sister without setting her to tears. Only now I really understand why she couldn’t speak about it. It always made my angry not knowing what really happened on our birthday. Being a lone twin is hard for the other twin but I can not imagine the pain for the parent raising only one of the twins…

    My dad asked me once if I remember my sister…. I looked at him puzzled as if he asked me a really simple questions like what is my name or something and replied: “of course…9 months is a long time…. Beside I talk to her once in a while..”

    I will always be alone though.

    • hi kate, I only wish that this site had been around 47 years ago, its only joining this site since just before Christmas that I have actually felt part of anything, I know if I had realized I was not alone all that time ago my life would have been completely different. but as you said no matter what you still feel kinda-like alone. brian

  12. My identical twin sister died 3 days old. Is that why I have never been happy. I am 57 have 6 brothers 4 younger. Always felt alone and boys favoured. Never saw point in living just go through each day hoping for an accident. Married 2nd time no children.

  13. I am trying to find where my twin is buried. She died 2 days old at Oldchurch hospital Romford Nov 1957. I can’t find her at local Crow lane cemetery. My mum said she was just taken away perhaps buried in a group grave?

    • hi Alison, I totally know how you feel, my twin brother died at birth or just after, iv’e been all my life trying to find where he was buried, it was always said he was buried in the local churchyard but there is no record of this, this may have been because whoever wrote up the records didn’t include all the details, sadly this did happen apparently , I was told he was buried near a hedge, its bugged me all my life, a few months ago I visited a trusted medium who told me the excact same thing, coincidence? well I have to believe it, it has brought some sort of relief to me and I feel better in myself, I am always here to answer any thing you may want to say,feel free to message me, good luck, brian.

      • Hullo Brian

        As a member of LTN – I have been looking through the posts on the website and came across your own. First, though, as we are drawing to the close of another year, may I send good Greetings to you for the New Year. I lost my twin brother at birth – no other siblings. And, as you have indicated, I have tried tracking down where my brother might have been buried. Speaking to Joan about it – she suggested that, most likely, he went into a coffin of another deceased. At the time of my birth in Camberwell during the Battle of Britain 1940 – the hospital was bombed. My mother was so traumatised and nearly died – she thereafter was unable to speak about it. The personal, unique, impact is sufficient unto itself, giving birth, losing a baby but giving birth when there is, what is now known, an historic battle going on day and night, day and night. Meantime, I been able to track down his Stillbirth Certificate – which shows he went ‘too long’ – four hours after my emerging into the world. But this is all. Contacting the London Metro Archives – the assistant was very helpful, found the hospital records but then…. discovered they had disappeared between 1939 and 1946 – i.e. no record. Camberwell Registry Office were unable to assist further. And, the hospital has now been turned into apartments. SOoooo…I have ‘given up’ trying to ‘find my brother – moreover he died, without being named. Yet, now and again, his presence touches on my heart and catches me ‘out’ when the tears are closeby too. One day he and I shall be reunited. With kind regards Aileen

      • many thanks aileen, unless it happens to you you can’t explain, can you, I did get some compassion in the fact my daughters treated me to a 1-on-1 with a ‘meadium’, if that’s the right word, may have spelt it wrong, never met her before and wether you believe or not the things she told me , well’! how did she know so much etc,etc, she told me that my twin kows that I had been looking and told me to stop as he is always with me, as he is and you now from then on the sheer frustration is no longer with me, regards brian

  14. Hi, only lately my mother told me that about 16 years ago a medium told her she had 4 children
    describing all 4, but the thing is she only has 3. She was told she must have lost one, the only time
    she says is when she had me. Is there any way of finding out as it was over 40 years ago? I have always been told I didn’t stop crying for 2 years. Anyone any ideas

    • Hi David,
      This answer is late in coming and may not even reach you but I’m in a similar situation and according to my experience there are two ways. First, psychics if you believe in that sort of thing. Problem with that is, they may differ and they usually don’t come cheap. Second, ask the only living real witness – your body. Your body has saved everything it experienced since conception. There may be strange reactions to sudden noise, things lost, things falling down or fears, recurring nightmares, phobias. There are several ways to get connected with deeply buried trauma, it takes a bit of research. Something I found helpful was the French author Luc Nicon’s work, but I don’t know if it’s been translated to English. I’d be happy to be of any further help if you want to. Just say the word here.
      Anjy

  15. The problem is when you loose a twin around the birth (I survived – my brother didn’t) you cannot understand or know why you feel what you feel. If you have actually known you twin the loss must be terrible. I did not know I was a twin – my parents never told me. I was always a sickly child – had every ailment you could get. In hospital at 3 with Rheumatic Fever and then it followed a regular pattern until I was around 14. When I was 10 my parents told me I was twin. Why? Because the school had called them in and asked questions. In all of my compositions I spoke of my brother . I evidently wrote of him as real. How did I know? My parents never spoke of it. I grew up as a loner. My brother Ian died at birth – I survived. I was the last in the line of a 14th century Scottish family and my father was depending on having a son. He loved me – oh yes he did. But the hollow feeling increased in me. Now I had an answer to feeling like half of a whole.
    I now am 50 years older with a fabulous career as an artist – one who actually sells. But that hollow loss doesn’t ever go away. My other name is Ian.

  16. Hello, I came across this site by accident. I’ve lived the whole of my life feeling that something is missing, my identical twin sister died at birth, suffocated, I was told. Does this account for the feeling I have always had that someday she will enter my being and live out the life that she didn’t have. Is this guilt? How strange for me to have had these thoughts all my life. My twin sister was named Helen, I was christened Lindsey Helen, in remembrance of her, but my birth certificate shows only Lindsey.

  17. Im 20 now and lost my twin brother Peter 12 hours after we were born. He died of an infection that we both received but he had it a lot worse than me since he was first born and it turn he was exposed to it much longer than me. The sad fact was he could have lived, all he needed was penicillin. The midwives kept telling the pediatrician that he needed it but he thought he was ok. And wouldn’t allow it, his ego was more important than my brothers life. There was a court case about it all and my parents got about $15,000. Not nearly enough in my opinion but no money in the world could fill the whole he left behind. He died at only 11 hours and 55 minutes and it almost tore my family apart. My older brother only 3 at the time was never the same after it. My mum told me she was in so much pain she just wanted to follow Peter, but she realized she had an obligation to me, a little baby who lost his best mate for life. Sharing a womb with someone is a special bond that you need to feel to understand how intense it is. And having that person ripped away from you when you need them most is horrible. Throughout my childhood I thought I was over the loss, convinced myself. Yeah at times I cried and I missed him. But I thought that was just normal. But I have reached an age of maturity when I’ve realized I haven’t gotten over it at all, and the pain is so much still. What I’ve realized is that my inner self, the young emotional state of me is still angry at my mother letting him die. I know it wasn’t her fault but when I was younger those were the emotions that came over me, so I am working to overcome that and come to terms with myself that it wasn’t her fault. I wasn’t able to comprehend and deal with the loss when I was younger so I locked it away all my emotions until now, and I need to make peace. My whole life I’ve been looking for someone to fill that hole, I’ve tried filling it with a girl, were in love but its not the same. So I now know, no one will ever be able to fill that bond. I need to learn to live as a solo twin, and be grateful that I lived. The bond with your twin is something greater than love. As I said before sharing a womb, is an intense experience. Coming into this world together as one, then living only as half. Its scary…But It makes me so happy to know that I’m not alone with these feelings.

  18. I’m 52 and only learned I was a twin nine years ago. My twin must have died at about three or four months along. I have been a bit “weird” all my life. I never learned how to make friends, yet as a child I never felt lonely, there was always someone with me. For decades I have talked with a brother I thought I had invented, but from what my mother told me about her pregnancy with me I may also be identical. At age four I did an amazing water color of two girls rope skipping. One has both legs in the air and is laughing fit to burst, the other one has one foot on the ground and a rather sober expression.
    I know I’m looking for my twin always and everywhere and always have. I started reading at age five and would favor books about brothers, especially one of them dying. I am always waiting for something terrible to happen. For 52 years I have felt like something is being torn from me.
    My family thinks I’m just hysterical and attention seeking, my young adult son most of all. My husband thinks it’s all moonshine. My daughters understand.
    I fill my life with twin things, often buy two of a thing, books about twin loss and twin-substitutes. Sometimes I feel like I’m going mad nur knowing what really happened and then I realize I do know what really happened, just with a part of my brain that can’t communist in the way I have learned is the only “right” way: by thoughts and words.
    I’m glad I found this site. I want to thank everyone who wrote here, you are very brave.

    • hi, don’t forget, you are very brave too, we all know how you feel and have felt all your life, me especially, unless it happens to you, you can’t understand, good luck, think positive thoughts and think of your twin often , they are always with you, regards, brian.

      • Thank you, Brian. It’s so good to reach out and get a quick response. 🙂
        I once read in a psychological study that twin survivors who were used to instant response in the womb may appear impatient and demanding to people who take them to be singletons. It made sense to me.

      • yes , it may well be, my story is on here somewhere and when I finally found this site and wrote about my life a response came back very quickly which was a great comfort to me as up until that time I felt so alone, no one can understand the feelings we go through, iv’e tried to explain it to people but they don’t really understand, its a shame your family feel the way they do, my sister doesn’t give a monkeys which I find hard to come to terms with, after all he was her brother as well, anyway just be yourself and carry on as you want too regardless of how other people feel, the most important thing for me anyway is being able to talk freely about it, I’m always here for a chat if you need , regards, brian.

  19. The presence of the absence of my twin hurts me like hell. It’s not that looking for a soulmate people so often “accuse” me of, it’s s physical presence. There should be someone right next to me to kick me back when I kick, and like instantly. There should be this presence within reach of my hand. To not get a response when I reached out to someone – be it real life or Internet – is a physical pain for me.
    I have learnt to try not to show it, though. People freak out a lot and avoid me if they notice.

    • I believe my twin is watching me and laughing at the stupid things I do and there for me when I fall.Ive always been more confident and secure than my sisters or my peers and I only found about about my twin when I was 30, I’m 48 now. Try to see it as a positive thing, you have someone, we all have someone, who is out there for us and us alone. talk to you twin (maybe not on the bus) and that helps sort stuff out in your head. You are not alone, you are less alone than most!
      All the best X

  20. thanks for the reply. Yes, I’m an expert in this talking to someone others can’t see thing. Have been all my life, in fact, and when I was younger and comoletely unaware I was doing something unusual it has caused me much grief. I try to control it now, but am disturbingly unsuccessful LOL, since the presence of “someone” is so very real to me. It isn’t even as if this “someone” would always understand me or agree with me. We argue a lot. 🙂

  21. Ha, I named my twin Emily as she had never been given a name. I think she finds me exasperating, i apologise to her a lot. But she still loves me!

    • I gave my middle name to my twin but as for love I’m not sure. We possibly had TTTS and really threatened each other’s life. I link my lifelong fear of women to that time in the womb. The more a woman resembles me, the more I’m afraid of her. And I never look into a mirror.

  22. I found out last year, while having a reading by a well known local medium, that I was a twin. In great detail he listed pretty much everything about my life, my relatives and the complications my mom had during her pregnancy/my birth. I was shocked as was the medium who gave me the reading. everything that my mom was going through in early 1983, had made sense. I was born a premature baby at 6.5 months, 2lbs 4oz. My mom had bled throughout her pregnancy which at the time, she had no idea she was pregnant, and was told before that she could never have kids. i looked into the vanishing twin syndrome in more detail today, and was shocked to find that everything about me, leading to present day is because I am a womb twin survivor. I’ve always felt alone, missing something in my life, fear of rejection, severe anxiety, etc., all characteristics of being a surviving twin. Now just have to wrap my head around this. It’s a lot to take in, nobody really understands or cares here, and no one to talk about it to other than my mom. She finds this interesting, so I’m trying to ease her into this.

    • hi, crystal, I know just how hard this is for you and so do every other twin survivor, but you must talk about it and not bottle things up inside you like I have done through the years, I’m here if you want to chat, regards, brian.

  23. I found this website quite a while ago and I read a lot of the stories and replies but never really plucked up the courage to share my story, I am quite a bit younger than most of the other people on here but it made me feel better in a way after reading all your stories because I don’t need a therapist or any medical help, I just needed to not feel alone in my situation. When I come across a pair of twins it just makes me smile, I don’t know why but I just feel a sense of comfort around them, as if we were part of a connected family or something. Anyway after months of though and going back to this website I decided to share my story;

    I lost my identical twin sister 10 days after our birth, she was called Rose. Due to her lack of food and nutrition in the womb, she had to be taken out 3 months early which meant I had to be as well. Being an otherwise healthy baby this caused a number of problems for me. I was born weighing 1lbs and a little scrorney thing too. I was left with a heart disease and a hole in my heart that never closed but now I’m fit and healthy.

    My mum is a midwife so I was always available to answers about my birth and Roses’. I used to do little presentations in class about our birth in primary school whenever the opportunity came about. I have always felt alone in my life but never depressed just in the way that a jigsaw is missing a piece, I used to think myself special because it wasn’t everyday you hear of a person with a similar story to yourself.

    I am an only child and I think that just made the hole bigger, not having that connection or special bond that siblings have that you try to understand so badly but just can’t grasp. So I stuck to imaginary friends ” mig & mog” that I knew I couldn’t see or didn’t exists but I felt a sense of companionship. I used to have bad reoccurring dreams when I was young that i base off of my past, they always used to make me scared of being alone and in one couldn’t tell the difference between reality or whether it was just in my mind in one dream. And this dream I still remember to this day, I guess that’s what lead me to being paranoid of being followed or watched or looked upon by something, I didn’t know what but it always frightened me. I never used to go upstairs on my own or anywhere in my house without my mum or dad and just felt very vonrable to bad things. Watching or reading slightly scary stories or legends just made things worse and I couldn’t get to sleep at night without dreaming or being woken up scared of things I just imagined would happen.

    When I was 11 I got a cat called Nutmeg, I’d had a goldfish before but didn’t have much experience in the department. She turned my life around, she would stay with me when I was alone or scared and just start to put a plug in this hole that has made its self in my life. I became a more confident, sociable person and felt a lot better about myself as a person. With my mum being 1 of 8 children and my dad being 1 of 3, they did not know the feeling that I felt and did not know how to understand it yet no one can unless you have a similar experience. But they supported me and with all my questions being able to be answer in full detail and love pouring into me I wouldn’t be where I am now, sharing my story.

    It’s our 14th birthday in 8 days time and I am very excited and I think about it as another year of being a more open, confident person. Thank you for all your amazing stories and feeling of comfort and may you not feel alone in this world because now I know I’m not.

  24. hi grace, only too glad that me and everyone else can be of help to you, I was a little younger than you when I found out, if you read my story it really messed with my head, anyway when I found this site it changed my life, only wish it happened years ago, only us who have lost a twin can understand what feelings we go through, good luck with the rest of your life and at least your parents are doing their best to support you, regards, brian.

    • Hi Brian, thank you first of all for replying to my story and it really made my day. I can’t begin to imagine how confused you must have been to find out so many years later. I do hope you find your brothers grave and if you don’t , when we all come to an end we will be re-united with them. Now you know the truth you know your not alone and my best hopes go out to you for the rest of your life.
      kind regards , Grace

      • hi grace, so glad I made your day, it’s what the site is all about, good luck and I wish you well, brian read.

  25. Hi folks, recently I have felt the loss is my twin like a gaping hole inside me. Almost every night when the hubbub of every day life subsides, I curl up crying. It’s a physical pain. I tried to see doctors about it but of course they don’t find anything. I’ve done enough research on neurophysiology to roughly know what’s happening in my brain, that the sensations from the trauma in the womb are still on replay in my brain, but it still sucks.
    I tried telling myself I have to stop occupying myself with it. My twin is gone, end of story. I can’t recreate him /her. But my brain is pretty stubborn.😄
    I could do with some cheerful words.😊
    Anjy

    • Let the feelings come. Do not hold back. cry if you need to because you are grieving. I know that feeling it will never go away. You can not completely fill the whole. how ever perspective is key for people like us. Think of it as your twin was not strong enough to live, so you have to be strong enough for the both of you. I learned this very young. I started grieving in 7th grade which is young for people like us. However you were chosen to live and the best part is. your twin is your guardian angel. Do you ever feel their presents as a small comfort in that gaping whole in your chest. That your twin. I talk to my all the time. He will sit at the end of my bed so I can fall asleep. You are special. We also as lone twins have a special telepathic gift. we can feel others emotions and understand them even if we have not been in their situations. This is because that telepathic bond we had with our twin was broken we can in a way connect it to those around us. We are always taking in info from the people around us. whether they are nervous or in pain. when a friend is going threw a hard time we can understand because of this gift. I recommend you research twin-less twins. There is a lot to learn and it all makes sense once you read it. I hope this helps!
      Lu

      • Hi Lu,
        thank you so much for your reply. Yes, that twinless-twins project is very helpful. I am familiar with Dr. Brandt’s work and also with that of Althea Hayton and Joan Woodwards. Did you ever come across the research by Alessandra Piontelli? She did the first long-term ultra sound study on pregnancies and wrote a whole book about twins. Tremendeously interesting.
        I’m a bit handicapped as far as the empathy stuff is concernec, because I’m Aspergers. It runs in the family, so I may have got it anyway, but I) sometimes wonder. My siblingns do have some traits of social awkwardness but none as severe as I am and there are studies which show that pre-natal stress can cause or intensify autistic symptoms. As it is, I am absolutely set on empathy and connecting with others and at the same time I’m very bad at it. I misread others, don’t know how to react, feel awkward and anxious in social interaction. I have all the craving for connecting of a twin and all the handicaps of a high functioning autistic. I’m a glorious mess, alright.
        Anjy

      • Hey Anjy,
        I totally get what u mean that you have craving. And when u try to help the craving people only think you are weird. My sibling would always make fun of me saying that I was socially awkward and they often tell me to just shut up. Or try not talking. I am rather small for my age but I was born late. I have a cleft palate and I’m rather slow learner. I guess people like us have to learn how to coup. It was super cool getting to learn about u. And meeting another twin less twin.
        -lu

  26. I lost my twin only a few weeks in. Growing up when we would share fun facts mine would always be that I was a twin. I never felt ashamed or sad and when people would ask what I mean I WAS a twin, I would simply reply, “Oh it died, but its OK not like I knew it.” when I was in 7th grade my parents decided to home school me. I always talked to myself and imagine me in whole other situation where my twin was alive. I imagined I lived in Australia and My twin brother was caring and good with medical stuff, I was the the strong fighter and I did/ do stupid stuff. He would always tell me not to do it but when I did and I would get hurt he was there for me and take care of me. I imagined/fantasized that we became soldiers and he got shot during war protecting me. My parents do not know my twins gender but in all my fantasizes he is a boy with dark curly hair like mine on the top of his head and rich dark eyes like mine and fair skin, soft. I live in the states and I am the farthest thing from a fighter. I realized in seventh grade that I missed him. I would cry my self to sleep, alone. I always had to share a room with some one, I still do. I cant sleep alone I never have. I talk to my twin during the day and feel his presents at times like he is an angel. When I would cry i would tell my self to stop and that I was crying for no reason. I would try to tell my parents how alone i was they did not care. They did not care my brother died I thought maybe my mum would but She does not care and when I talk about it she rolls her eyes like I am making it up. I just want some one who understands me and the only person that does his my dead twin brother who I call petah. I need him because no one gets me and understand me. I need someone to comfort me like he did in my alternate life.

  27. i am so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to read stories like mine. i have never shared my story because I always feel as tho no one understands. I just wanna say thank you.

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