Today, 1/11 marks the 30th anniversary which made me a twinless twin. Until this year I had never thought to search for anyone else who may have shared the same feelings I do about losing a twin. The loss, even my full lifetime later, still feels isolating to a point that it seems “no one” will ever understand, however, this article is assurance to me that people do. This realization brings comfort in a way I needed today.
My twin, Amy, died at 6 months old from a congenital heart defect after multiple surgeries and attempts to save her she was unable to survive on this day January 11, 1986. When we were born the beginning for both was rocky – between her heart and my weight at 3.4lbs., our outcome could have both been grim. However, after weeks I built strength and her situation turned the opposite.
My parents and older sister have always been supportive and we remember Amy and celebrate her life. I, however, harbor survivor’s guilt daily questioning why was I given a life that was taken away from her? It leaves not only a loss but so many unanswered questions.
Although these emotions will always be with me it brings great comfort to know that others can empathize with something I felt I was experiencing alone. Thank you for researching this project! It has been impactful and if I could help in any way don’t hesitate to reach out. – J W
I am so pleased that the article on my site was helpful to you. I am also very sorry to hear of the loss of your special Womb Mate, Amy. it is wonderful that the rest of your family has been so open to allow you the space and safety you need to mourn your loss. That is not always the case.
I wanted to address your concerns re survivor’s guilt, if you don’t mind. It is very common for survivors to feel such guilt. What I can tell you (which I am sure you already are aware) is that while humans can control so much of our circumstances, there is still so much that we cannot, e.g. weather, illness, who lives and who dies and when and how. Mother Nature has the final say in many areas yet. It is no one’s fault, certainly not yours or your Mother’s that you gained strength and Amy was unable to overcome her challenges. It is so much luck, and things could have easily gone the other way, but they didn’t. You are not “bad” because you survived. This was completely beyond your control. Another pain in the neck is that not everything can be explained or answered. Why? has to be one of the most annoying of questions.
I feel very strongly that Amy would be delighted that you remember her and that you are living a full and rich life. I am quite sure that she would not want you to change places with her.
Wishing you the very best of the best,