Loss in adulthood

Nancy’s story

On October 1st 1986, I dressed for the first time in my life, entirely in black. It was a cold foggy day and something felt ‘different’. I was in my second year at college and was 20 years old. I went to college and during the day I got the fantastic news that I had been chosen for a work experience placement in Italy. This was a dream come true for me – I was studying fashion and what better place to go. I felt that my career was finally going places – and I thought that was the reason that I was feeling ‘different’ that morning. This was the best day of my life.

I went back home that night with my flatmate and we started celebrating my good news with wine and loud music. As we were in the attic room in our flat, I didn’t hear my parents knocking on the door. Eventually during a lull in the music, I heard the phone ringing from way downstairs. Giggling, I ran down and answered it. It was my mother asking me “how do we get into your flat?”. I remember saying “why do you need to know that?” and “who is ‘we?”, but I didn’t get a coherent answer. I just remember going downstairs and out the door into the cold foggy night to see both my parents coming out of the mist from the direction of the payphone and wondered ‘what on earth is going on?’. (My parents had been divorced for quite a few years and my father re-married by this point). I seriously thought they had come to tell me that the cat had died; he was a very special cat.

But no. They had come to tell me that the best day of my life was to become the worst day of my life. My darling twin sister Jane was dead. She had finally succeeded in taking her own life.

I couldn’t believe what they were telling me. I couldn’t take it in. I never, ever thought this would actually happen. I really hoped they were joking and that it hadn’t happened and it was the cat after all. Then I realised they were serious and this was real and she was dead.

I remember being driven the 40 miles back to my mother’s house, staring out the back window the whole time, desperately wanting the car to stop going forwards and to go backwards in time.  Every minute was torture. I thought I was having a heart attack as I had an excruciating pain through my heart – all I could think was that it was breaking.

I ended my first day as a lone twin watching a Prince concert on TV – in some attempt to block out what I couldn’t comprehend – that my sister was dead, my life had changed forever and there was nothing that I could do about it. My 20 year old head couldn’t deal with this,; now I knew why I had worn black that day.

She had tried many times before to end her life, some I knew about and probably many that I didn’t.  Before I had left home to go to college she had had an ‘incident’; some kind of attempt when we were around eighteen. I still don’t think I was ever told the details of that and don’t remember asking her, although I feel sure I must have.

On the day I was going away to college, we said goodbye to each other before she had to get her bus to the HE college we had both been at. We kissed and hugged and promised to write everyday. I will never forget her walking away down the path – I called after her for one more hug, but she didn’t look back and I didn’t have my shoes on so I didn’t run after her. To this day that is the biggest regret of my life. Why didn’t I go after her? Why didn’t she look back?

Not even two weeks into my new college life, I called home to speak with her only to be told that she was in hospital after trying to kill herself. I instantly blamed myself for not going after her that day. For not letting her know that I can only do this with her here, that I was doing this for the benefit of both of us. Over the next two years she made many more attempts, was diagnosed as clinically depressed, schizophrenic, and was sectioned numerous times in awful institutions, with medication to match. Because I continued my course, I was unaware of many of the things she did that upset and annoyed and frustrated other people.

She was extremely disturbed and no-one could get through – not even me, when I did see her. She thought she had to die in order for me to live. She wrote that to me many times, it was so hard to read. I desperately wanted to leave college to be with her and try to help. But everyone told me to carry on and for some stupid reason I did. I suppose it would have meant living at home again and neither of us wanted to do that.

We did write to each other – often more than twice a week – I still have all our letters – hers to me and mine to her. They are amazingly bright and bubbly (some of them) and funny – she had a naughty sense of humour – even when in a secure unit. I always realised that she was covering up what was really going on for her and I could do nothing else but go along with that. When I read our letters now, it brings her alive again and I feel like she is still here and I feel whole again.

It has now been nearly 23 years since she died. For the first 17 of those I put all my grief in a big box called ‘denial’ in the back of my head – Do Not Open. I vividly remember thinking – I can’t possibly deal with this now, I just don’t know how to, this will have to wait. And it did. Then, about 6 years ago I had a ‘breakdown’ and was diagnosed as clinically depressed myself. I had hit a brick wall mentally and had the vision that the big box in my head had burst its sides – now I had to deal with this. There was such a mess to clear up, and I was always the tidy one after all.

Five years of therapy later, and I can cope a lot better. I miss her desperately everyday, that will never change and I don’t want it to. I’m the only one who wants/needs to remember her, she isn’t mentioned much, if at all, in my family.
We had an older brother too, but he died 14 years ago of pneumonia, so now I am an only child, with no-one to share our memories with. This saddens me hugely.

The other major thing that has helped is being a member of the LTN. Although my therapy was very important (I had other issues I needed to talk through), what I really needed was to be properly understood as someone who has lost their twin – something I wasn’t getting from anywhere. At my first meeting I was nervous beyond belief, while at the same time feeling so accepted for being me, and being allowed to have a voice for once and for people to listen to me. I was also surprised to meet one or two people who had been through a very similar experience with their twins as I had. This was as comforting as it was upsetting. I couldn’t bear the thought that anyone felt as bad as I did. I wished I could take their pain away.

I finally felt that I belonged to something again; something that validated what was going on in my head and my heart – I felt ‘normal’ at these meetings. I value the LTN enormously and continue to go to the meetings and give and receive support from all who come.

Nancy Power

 

Jan’s story

How hard it is to tell. Just sitting here trying to start makes me cry. It is 15 years or so since Arnie died and it is still so raw. Yes I have learnt to live with it, and probably no one knows how much it hurts, and those I have met in recent years may not even know. So superficially I seem fine to others.

I was at work and it was still early when my husband arrived to tell me that Arnie had suddenly died in the night. I had only spoken to him the previous evening and he had had a busy weekend re doing a driveway with neighbours. He had died during the night of a massive cramp in his heart. His wife, a qualified nurse who had worked with heart transplants, was unable to resuscitate him, even with the help of a neighbour. The sheer disbelief and shock is still with me.

And I sit here still thinking what else to say and cry.

They sometimes say that loss can bring families and people closer. In my experience that is not so. If anything it has driven me apart from others. Why I do not know. It may be my fault, I don’t find it easy to talk about my feelings, and it has never got any easier. I lost another younger brother some years before, and Arnie and I worked our way through that one as we had to cope with the arrangements and telling everyone, including parents, at the time, as both parents were in different  hospitals. Arnie was my friend, soul mate, and part of me. We were not always together, and did not always agree, but when we needed each other we were there for each other. As a twin there is some sort of total acceptance that they are a part of you. And that part is now missing.

I still wear the gold chain he bought me for our 21st. The other weekend I thought I had lost it as it was not on my neck. The loss was devastating, fortunately I found it. But how upset I was. I still find it difficult to look at old photos. Other than a photo I have by my mirror, I do not look at the old photos – I can’t.

Sometimes I wonder what he would look like now. I still visualize his walk, his smile and know his mannerisms so well. I dream sometimes of him walking towards me, and it is so real.

Jan Sambrook

 

Guy’s story

It is 21 years since the death of my twin Ian and by way of remembrance I thought I should share my thoughts and feelings with other lone twins.

It has felt like taking a different fork in the road of life ever since I learned of his death. At the time it felt my life had to start again. His death came as a complete shock as he was a healthy 26 year old with a great zest for life. We will never be certain but evidence leads to the fact he decided to end his own life just when he was in his prime.

As twins in similar circumstances may have experienced, it is a lifelong experience coming to terms with such a tragedy. However, at this time when the anniversary recurs, I feel able to express to others that, although the process at times of grieving and finally acceptance is tortuous and sometimes leads to “dark places”, there is always light at the end the end of the tunnel.

I am able to remember and reflect positively on the 26 years of Ian’s life rather than be sad for the 20 years he has not been around. I think this is the key for a lone twin in such circumstances, that is, to be positive for what you have experienced rather than to focus on what “could have been”.

There are so many happy and humorous times I can treasure and I regularly do. His name and influence remain a daily part of my life and I laughed to myself the other day when I met one of his old girlfriends unexpectedly-I feel this was his way of saying “hey I am still around in spirit if not in body!” I genuinely feel he is still around in spirit and this is of great comfort to me.

I hope these thoughts resonate with others in the network and I feel better for sharing! Thank you for reading and best wishes to you all.

Guy Keating

 

Rosemary’s story

How could one live and the other die? This is a question that has begged an answer from me for many a year. Both genetically identical and with the same environment to nurture them, how is it that one twin is spared to see three score years and ten and the other dies at 42 years of age? I am here to tell my story which is really ‘our’ story. Jean isn’t here to tell it from her perspective. I suspect this could have been a different story altogether. I want to be fair to ‘both’ of ‘us’ and I trust that the reader will appreciate my dilemma. Triumphalism is not my intention but rather that of gratitude and humility.

I nearly wasn’t going to be born. I was not known about until a couple of weeks prior to birth. Mother expected one baby and found herself with two! In the days before scans and scarcely any X rays this was not unusual. How do I know that I was the undiagnosed twin? A good question and one frequently asked. From childhood and into adult years a nightmare besieged me. I was being suffocated in a small space by a large presence that sought to overwhelm and occlude me. Once I had recognised the significance of this dream it has faded. I need no further proof.

Identical twins evoke excitement, uniqueness, curiosity. Curiosity is certainly the word here. Jean and I were indiscernible from one another but for a few hidden birth marks. Dressed exactly alike with fair, curly hair heads turned constantly to take another look. Maybe they checked that they were not seeing double. ‘We’ appeared in public dressed alike until ‘our’ late teens. ‘Our’ mother would not allow anything other than this. I squirmed with discomfort at the precise perfection of it all. Every photograph without exception is of ‘us’ together. I longed to be ordinary, separate and a singleton but knew that I would always be different in the world. Death of the other does not annul this. Inasmuch as royalty cannot know how it is not to be ’royal’, neither do I know how it is not to be a twin.

You may have noticed my language – ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’. It’s hard to get away from a dual identity referring to oneself as ‘us’ or ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ when years have been spent conjoined as it were to another who is a clone of oneself. I use the word ‘conjoined’ because in my experience we were as such to each other both psychologically and emotionally and to a greater extent for identity that is our sense of self or knowing who we were. I was to learn that Jean relied on me for her identity more deeply than I needed to. This is the conundrum. How is it that our paths separated and Jean met a premature death?

Already I can hear you saying, ‘wasn’t it fun being a twin, having a playmate? Yes, we got up to tricks together, playing happily in the coal cupboard; removing labels from tins during wartime food rationing; removing icing from the back of our cousin’s birthday cake hoping no one would notice. I was the ringleader and abetted Jean into pranks that I revelled in. Flung out into the big world from home to school, we clung to each other, terrified. We had met very few other children until this time. Seeing desks for two children to sit alongside each other (as they used to) I immediately thought that they were desks for twins. That was my world – double of everything including double of me.

How do twins make friends when socially they have only related to another identical to themselves? Frequently Jean and I shared one friend for in effect we were one person. There was competition to be ‘the twin’s’ friend. Guessing games to see ‘who was who’ were all too often distasteful and embarrassing. My name was invariably ‘twinny’ for then I could be either Jean or Rosemary.
I longed to break away from the twin mould as a means to survive. I chaffed at the confines of ‘twinness’ and very possessive, over protective parents. Jean and I were the only children of older parents. Jean became a teacher and I a nurse. As soon as I could I announced that I was going to South America for four years as a missionary nurse. It was a bid for freedom although I didn’t see it like that at the time. This pre-empted a pattern in which I took risks and then, sometime later when I’d proved it possible, Jean would follow. Who was the dominant twin? No easy answer. Dominance changed according to circumstances. At school Jean seemed more intelligent and became a prefect etc. This was not my lot. Maybe I was too wayward! Jean clung to her twin identity with me long after I had tried to throw it off in order to live a separate, autonomous life. I recognised that Jean had the ability to engulf me by her possessiveness. I traced my frequent bouts of crippling depression to her dominance and power over me. Jean meanwhile saw me as the ‘fly in her ointment’. An intense closeness can be destructive for both parties.

Both of us found intimate relationships hard to sustain. I moved to King’s Lynn, Norfolk and bought my own home. This gave me independence and some emotional security to stand alone. There were areas in my life that Jean could not condone. She wanted me to be like her. One sunny day early in 1979 I sat in my home reflecting on the relationship between us. I made a definite and conscious decision to lead my own life without any deference to Jean. There was no alternative. I could no longer comply with the conditions expected of me by Jean as her twin sister. We were in our late thirties. This was a turning point of huge importance in my life that I was to realise in a few years’ time.

I met Andrew through an agency in 1979 and we married a year later shortly before my 40th birthday. Jean remained single. She smiled for Andrew and me but behind the screen she hid feelings too painful to own. Here I have recorded some words that Jean may have written after I married so as to allow her to speak for herself.

‘I am confused. I don’t know who I am anymore. There is no one now with whom I can identify. She’s married and now I’m alone, not a twin anymore. I try to make friends but they become the one I’ve lost and I drive them away. Confusion….confusion…the muddle in my head drives me into the ground. I’m not who I thought I was. In the turmoil of my mind I try to copy her and ask my boyfriend to marry me. He turns me down. I thought he would save me and then I’d be like Rosemary again…I’ve been cruelly robbed…what a mess…I once thought many things about myself, even that I was different from anyone else except my twin sister but now there’s a void opening up and I’m falling into it fast….I’ll have to find a way out of this hellish confusion….’

Jean’s funeral took place three years almost to the day of my wedding. She died of cancer. I read Jean’s diary sometime afterwards. It made agonising reading. I cannot emphasise enough the profound effect and importance that identity has in the life of identical twins. After writing these words on Jean’s behalf I was shocked to realise that in part they were also my words some years later after her death when I experienced a traumatic identity crisis. By the sheer grace of God I made my decision that sunny day in my home in King’s Lynn to be autonomous. Guilt is not my companion although sorrow is often close.

My inner stamina and resilience is such that I needed Jean far less than she needed me for her identity. I had learnt to be my own person. Survival had been my objective from an early age. Being a twin with all that it imposes upon us does not evaporate with death of the other. It simply presents other issues to live with or to solve

I am a ‘lone twin’. I remain a twin with that inseparable consciousness of the ‘other’ deeply ingrained in my inner being. It took some years for me to recognise the confusion and disorientation that existed for me in close friend to friend relationships. I was in fact searching for Jean in certain friends so that they became a surrogate twin to me. I was utterly unaware of my behaviour. Identity can be extremely fragile and confusing. Mourning for a deceased relative where the relationship has been beset with difficulty is problematic and no more so than for twins. I have required frequent therapeutic intervention to secure my survival.

Over the years Jean’s death has released me to become a stronger person, to fulfil hidden potential and to be of service for others. That is her gift to me. Recovery and resolution from such a loss is possible although it is an uphill journey. My Christian faith has seen me through the anguish as it did for Jean. It is to my faith that I pay tribute as I celebrate my 70 years with humility and gratitude.

Rosemary Alonso 2011

 

 

Roger’s story

My twin brother Steve came out of hospital for Christmas in 2008, and was to go back in the New Year to discuss chemotherapy. He looked so ill, and ate so little. The bottle of absinthe I’d put aside for his present following a trip to Prague stayed in my cupboard as he was off alcohol, replaced instead with a ticket to a Tom Paxton concert in Manchester the following February. Steve was cheered by this, I had one too, and Tom was something of a hero of our “folkie” youth.

That year I did the traditional family bash on Boxing Day, Steve would bring his guitar, banjo, accordian and sing at some point. I would accompany a few numbers on my flute, but he was the maestro. He brought his instruments that day, and I suggested he did just a couple of songs, nothing too taxing. Miraculously he performed for forty five minutes, and we were all spellbound, knowing, (as he did), that this was his last gig. Emotion made my breath tremble on the flute, I had to fight to keep control.

He died in mid January, and after deep thought I decided to go to see Tom Paxton, and took one of Steve’s adult sons with me. The music of your youth will always be nostalgic, but when the lights dimmed and Tom sang the old songs I wept buckets of tears in the dark. I was taken back to a lost world of drafty, dusty rooms above pubs, or at the back of British Legion clubs and similar in and around Manchester, where yet another folk club had been formed. Clutching our instruments, we would sit patiently through the professional acts, waiting for the slot open to the floor, and our chance to perform. We had no dreams of greatness, or fame and bright lights, we just wanted to be alright on the night, and to improve our style and technique.

That night for me was like a tribute to Steve, I knew that he would have approved of me going, and it made me acutely aware of the strength of the many bonds that were between us, and the loss that I faced.

Roger Bannister

 

25 thoughts on “Loss in adulthood

  1. Hi my name is Jordan Langford, i just want to say everyone is so brave for sharing their stories and personal feelings as this is so hard to write.
    I am 23 years old and currently serving in the British Army, My Twin Jonathan died last year 28/10/2017 3 days before our birthday. He was an absolute legend and obviously had to try one up my military career by joining the Royal Marines. I just got back from being away in Canada and was very soon to deploy to California, so obviously in good fashion we went out to have a good time.
    Unfortunately whilst we both walked back at about 0400 in the morning he was tragically run over a few hundred meters away from our home and killed instantly.
    Now dealing with the loss of my amazing brother just destroys me, i find it impossible to even explain what a twin feels when they lose the other and even harder forgetting about how i witness the incident and him laying in the road.
    I feel sooo much guilt and grief it really gets unbearable, not only because of joey leaving us but how much his death annoyingly helped my life.
    I was in a horrible amount of debt due to gambling and being a general idiot and the fact that my twins death allowed me to better mine and technically “get my life back” absolutely breaks me.
    I feel so much shame to my family at times and just want to reminisce about joey in a good and enjoyable way.
    He really was the stupidest, funniest person i have ever met and the amount of fun we had was on literally another level. We spoke everyday weather we were home or away and together we were an unstoppable force, almost like a tornado.

    I hope someone can relate and be approachable, i would very much like to attend one of the meetings at some point.
    I hope you are all doing well and i will try to stay positive as it hits the 1 year mark.
    much love,
    jordan

    • Hi Jordan,
      I’m sorry for your loss & hope you are able to attend a group meet. I haven’t attended any meetings but hope they help as I’m looking for one now.
      I lost my twin Wayne on the road in a motorcycle accident 9 1/2 years ago & there was nothing that could be done to help him.
      I still miss him and the banter etc that no one else can provide but, with you in the army, hopefully you at least have another family to support you which can help.
      Good luck with the 1 year ‘anniversary’ & birthday, I just had my birthday and am on the way to 10year anniversary which, to be blunt, sucks. Try to stay postitive but don’t worry if you feel shit either (my bro would tell me to buck-up probably and take the piss for being a miserable ass) as there is no convenient or magical cure to dealing with such a loss

  2. Hi my name is Gemma I lost my identical mirror twin aged 26 she was murdered by her boyfriend:( nearly two years ago and I’m still struggling now anyone on here with similar circumstances

  3. Hi all just started looking at sites lost my twin 50 years ago think of him every day not sure what to do as it seems a hopeless task

  4. I lost my identical twin brother dan on the the 10th june this year. He had been diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma (brain tumour). It was found after he had a seizure at Christmas 2016. After an operation to remove the tumour he underwent chemo and radiotherapy. After initial scans 6 months later, everything looked good. We then noticed as a family a mole on his upper lip had increased in size. He saw a consultant and had the mole removed, taking a large portion of his lip away. They were confident that they’d got it all and thing were looking up. Then he developed a lump in i his kneck which after scans showed it was cancer and now in his lymph system. Its quickly progressed to his lungs, liver and bones. In his words when he told me he said “hes f****ed”. He had such a great sense of humour even in this terrible time. I was with him when he passed which was extremely difficult but I was so glad i was with him. I was there at the start and there at the end. I feel so strange at the minute and feel like ive got an itch i cant scratch. I always felt he was the stronger of us and he sure showed it. Its now my time to be strong but its so hard as everything reminds me of him. I guess this is what happens when you spend a lifetime with someone. I miss just talking about nothing and the feeling i got from doing it. I feel in some ways hes still with me and that we’ve just not spoke for a while. I guess we all feel like this. love to you all xxx

  5. Hi my name is Vanessa and I lost my twin sister Tamara by suicide also. She was 18. Now I’m 23. It‘s so hard I miss her so much… since she died I also suffer with mental illnesses… I have depression and anxienties. I feel so lonely without her… and misunderstood. It‘s a fact that I will never have this deep connection with any person again. To understand without saying the words… we were so good at it. Until the end, I can understand her decision. I‘m glad that I can read your stories but at the same time it‘s heartbreaking, reading that you‘re going through the same pain. Why did that happen to us? – Maybe it was a higher might, maybe not. But the struggle will be the same.

    • Hi Iv just lost my twin darling Lianne to suicide the morning after celebrating our 32rd bday on 3/11/18 so 2 weeks ago i am a complete mess n it’s broke me beyond belief, an in total shock that i am writing these words.
      I’m reading all these awful stories, for some form of connection n comfort.
      I can’t see how I can live without her in my life but I have a devestated mum n a 3 yr old to look after with Xmas just round the corner and her presents being delivered.
      I just cannot deal with anything the life n soul has truly been sucked out of me.
      We were so close we spoke on the phone at least 4 times a day n spent every weekend together.
      She hung herself in the flat we share that’s all I no at the moment which was our happy place after losing our dad 4 yrs ago to cancer.
      I want to go there but am terrified I may do the same!
      Somebody pls help me understand why u would want to leave there twin who they loved so much feeling like this with so much fun times in the diary, that will never now happen??
      I litrally cannot bare the thought of going to my twins funeral n seeing my mum in so much pain y has this happened to me.

      Lost twin
      natalie ford

      • Dear Natalie,

        I lost my twin brother 4 years ago to Cancer. I can still see him pretty often in dreams. some of these dreams are so real I think it is actually happening.

        Maybe you will have that too. The worst case scenario is that someday we are going to die to someday so then we will join them wherever they are.

        I still can’t believe it happened. Every day I ask myself why.

        Hang on in there Natalie. Someday you will see Lianne again and she will explain you what happened. In the meanwhile take care of your mom and your 3 year old.

        We are here too if you need.

      • Dear Natalie, take small steps.

        “That I’m separated from my twin for only 16 hours a day and then I see her again while I was sleeping” – At the very beginning, this thought helped me a lot. As jlclua has written, you will surely dream of her and then wake up very emotionally because you realize that your twin is dead. You are in the phase where you have to survive, even for your son. Believe me, your son will give you strength to endure the whole thing. He needs you and you need him.
        My sister Tamara started rail suicide. She had chronic pain for a long time and was depressed. Unfortunately, the depression didn’t diagnose a doctor or psychologist and nobody found the cause of her pain. So I can understand why my sister did suicide, even if it brokes my heart. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why Lianne started suicide. But she must have been very unhappy and hopeless about a situation in her life. But I can tell you that she didn’t want to hurt you in any way. She didn’t understand the extent of her act.

        And take the time you need. At some point you will be ready to visit her funeral. Just listen to you, your heart will tell you when you’re ready. And yes, you might get suicidal thoughts, if that’s so, talk about it. If necessary with a psychologist. And don’t be ashamed of these thoughts, it’s normal and understandable in our situations.

        For me the look in the mirror was very heavy afterwards and also the realization that my hands are also her hands. Sometimes I hugged myself and imagined that it was her hug. Sometimes I stood in front of a full length mirror for a very long time to make the phantom pain disappear.
        Losing a twin really feels like you’ve lost a part of yourself. At the age of 18, I was completely lost in an identity crisis. Therefore, I can understand very well why you describe you as “lost twin”.

        Stay strong but cry too and please excuse my english. My mother tongue is german. Big hug.

  6. My twin sister Ellen died of cot death at barely 4 weeks old. My parents (younger than I am now) dealt with this unbelievable, inconsolable experience as best they could. But it broke them entirely. My father who I love dearly, has struggled with his emotions since. He simply can’t utter a word about her. I can see still, him being able to barely comprehend what happened. It broke him, forever. They were just kids, how they dealt with it it I don’t know. I am now married and have two boys – who I’d wrestle a lion for – they are everything. If I were to lose them, or something were to happen, I’m not sure I could survive that. And so I am left feeling eternally guilty, that I ‘survived’ and she didn’t, that each and every happy occasion that I have had that has gone by, has been tinged with sadness. It’s not their fault, i get it. That i have spent my way through whole life mourning for someone I never really knew, trying to live for them, as well as me. It’s quite bizarre. There’s so much more I could say, but for now I just wanted to write down some words, to help. As it has effected me, who I am with my loved ones, my wife, my kids. I don’t want Ellen’s death to define me, but at the same time I want to keep her alive in my actions and memories. It’s hard when you feel in some way you have been grieving all your life and you have no reason to. Anyway, she’d probably tell me to grow a pair. Big up E.xxx

  7. Hi, Reading these stories is so sad. I lost my twin sister last year, she was an alcoholic and for 10 years we struggled and faught with her. She was vile (the alcohol, not her) and often said awful things like it was all my fault, she was going to ruin my life etc. (we called the police one evening as she threatened to take everything I had, i was worried about her sanity and my husband and young daughter) Someone cancelled my wedding the week before and we always knew deep down it was her. I have struggled with it for years as I knew she would die, she didnt want help and said if we sent her to rehab she would kill herself. She was very difficult and constantly chipped away at me and my life, i couldn’t have my life because she always tried to ruin each occasion, if i went out I’d get abose on social media, if I went away the same. It was relentless. She made my daughter in danger by leaving vodka about in water bottles, knowing she may pick it up. (we soon realised and I stopped her seeing my daughter for a while.)She was in hospital maybe once every month or so. Last June i got another call to say she wasn’t responsive and so went up and called the ambulance, they came and took her away and I was so angry with her I didn’t go. I went an hour later and she was on life support. Thay guilt will never go away for me, and haunts me every day. She always told me in the end she would make me suffer as it was all my fault, and in the end she did as I had to make the decision to turn off her life support. I just can’t even comprehend the grief yet. We lost out mom 10 years ago, and our nan and grandad 5/4 years ago. I lost a son 8 years ago. so I am used to grief but this is on another level? I can’t look at photo’s of her really I just push it all away. I loved her and hated her all the same if that makes sence? And i know that makes me sound an awful person. Im angry, desperatly sad, let down, and just consumed by it all. I just wish she wanted to live.

  8. My twin brother died just 6 weeks ago. We were 61 so we had a long life together. our lives were just 6 miles apart ,he had COPD and I have stage 4 cancer. We called each other to check on our health status . Tony left me with some promises I said I would keep. We grew up apart from two of our sisters. all our adult lives our sister have made us feel guilty for our twin love and connection. I promised I would bury him where I was going to be buried with my husband. Due to no one helping me pay for his funeral I did agree to cremation. I was told by my husband I am at a loss what to do. He suggested I have his ashes buried with me. I knew my sister would make this an issue since they disagreed that I would make medical and ll decisions on him. when my sisters and their children arrived to the funeral they were so ill dressed ,they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies and not in their good sunday go to meeting clothes.The issue I have with them is one sister wanted a plant form the funeral and all of them were mine and Tonys friend, all said goes to Nancy . I finally agreed to et her take one, but the lady that gave it to us saw her, wouldn’t let her have it. the other sister wanted Tony’s van (old and in great shape.) but after several text back and forth they ask for a picture of the title and there it was Tony Burns TOD me. It was mine ,something he pleaded me not to let anyone have. i know this seems petty,but I made a promise.

  9. I lost my twin sister, Cindy to suicide when we were 21 years old. I am now 63. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her. The day we burried her, I had an out of body experience that changed my life forever. I went to the other side and Jesus told me to let her go, As Cindy turned to look at me she did not recognize me, Angels came and effortlessly took her to the top of beautiful golden steps. My life changed forever. She died and gave me the opportunity to see her in spirit. We don’t die, just vacate the body! I know we will be together again someday. Would love to know if other twins have had a spiritual experience as well. Thank You.

    • dear Candy kolesar,
      I had lost my twin brother to suicide at the age of 23, I have never been a believer but a week after her funeral I experienced the same as you, I had woken up in the middle of the night to see an Apparition in the room ,a kind of blurry red bubble. but It felt so calming and like I knew it was my twin saying hello.
      I sometimes feel like I had a moment of psychosis and don’t believe at all in spirits and souls and what not, especially in this cynical society of ours. but most days I truly believe I will be reunited with my twin, It is the only thing that keeps me going forward.

      • Hi my name is Vanessa and I lost my twin sister Tamara also to suicide. She was 18. Now I’m 23. It‘s so hard I miss her so much… since she died I also suffer with mental illnesses… I have depression and anxienties. I feel so lonely without her… and misunderstood. It‘s a fact that I will never have this deep connection with any person again. To understand without saying the words… we were so good at it. Until the end, I can understand her decision. I‘m glad that I can read your stories but at the same time it‘s heartbreaking reading that you‘re going through the same pain. Why did that happen to us? – Maybe it was a higher might, maybe not. But the struggle will be the same.

  10. My twin brother died tragically and unexpectedly. I was round the corner when he fell from a chimney on a hospital site. He had been admitted a month before he died. They thought he had a mental breakdown and suffered from psychosis. He had escaped once before two weeks before he died. The hospital failed to keep him secure and safe. He was under section the first time he escaped. The day he died we we’re 20, he died on May 9th 2014. It’s nearly been a year now and our 21st birthday is next week. I have no idea how to get through it and what to do! Everything has been hard, but most has been too hard so denial sets in and I’m okay. However with our birthday creeping closer I’m not doing very well. Has anyone got any advise on what I should do? I have brought him some Chinese sky lanters and some candles for the place he died and where his ashes are buried. But I don’t feel this is enough. As it’s our 21st I feel I should do more?

    • Hello Carla,
      Your story is so similar to mine and at the same age as well. My heart truly goes out to you, I can understand only too well how you are feeling.
      I had ‘my’ 21st birthday (and my first without my twin) on my own too. To be honest, I can barely remember it as it is quite a long time ago now, but I would just suggest that you do whatever you feel like doing. Light the candles and maybe put your headphones on and play his favourite music and talk to him? I used to talk to my sister all the time.
      I will also email you privately, take care of yourself, we are here to help you through this.

      • Would love to hear from one of you please I am in the same situation. It’s my 21st this year and the first year without my twin brother.

    • I feel your pain. I had my daughter on our birthday so I still get to say Happy Birthday to someone in our family.I have lit a candle for the last seven years and chatted with her.They want us too carry on how insanlely difficult it is.

  11. Hi I am 39 years old and 3 months ago my twin brother died of esophageal cancer. For five months he fought against it but it was already advanced in stage IV when we found out. I still feel connected to him and I actually heard his voice once. But the thing is that, even though there were already 8 months from we had the terrible news and 3 months since he left, I still can`t believe its true. I find myself asking how could that all be every day and I still don`t believe it. Sometimes I think he is calling me when the phone rings.
    It`s good to know there is help from others who had been through this before. I would appreciate it. Thank you.

    • Hi Joe

      Not sure if you will get this, I lost my Twin brother very suddenly in 2011.

      Although I still feel him around me, especiallly when life is taking me down a rough old path bu I still wish he was here physically.

      Take Care
      Ann

      • Hi Ann,

        I feel the same way. It’s so hard not having them physically, isn’t it? Sometimes we would spend hours just talking. I have other two brothers and I love them the same way but a twin has that special unique connection that there is just nothing even close to it…

        Anyway when I get sad I try to remeber that wherever they are now we are going there sooner or later aren’t we? My daugthers also give me a huge strength to keep going.

        I am sorry for you loss (physical)

        Thanks for your reply!

  12. hi, i am the mother of identical twin girls, natasha and tamara. my daugther tam, took her own life, leaving natasha alone. the thought of one living without the other is unbearable. thankyou to dr woodward for LTN. i have been searching for something to help me understand. reading the personal experiences of other twins helps me to understand my own daughters greif.

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