Posts Tagged ‘lone twin’

While there is a lot of literature available to support bereaved parents, there is less so for the survivors of multiple-birth and/or who lose their co-multiple later in life.  Multiples come into the world at the same time, but there is no guarantee they will leave it at the same time. What challenges do survivors face?  Below I have shared some of the existing books which I think are very supportive.  If I have missed any that you think should be added to this list, please let me know.

Twin Loss: A Book for Survivor Twins, by Raymond William Brandt.  Dr. Brandt lost his twin brother when they were 20 years old.  Dr. Brandt began the American organization, Twinless Twins, to support surviving co-multiples, parents, grandparents, healthcare professionals, bereavement counsellors and anyone else needing to learn about the unique twin relationship and the challenges when one dies.  Twinless Twins can be reached at http://www.twinlesstwins.org

The End of The Twins:  A Memoir of Losing a Brother, by Saul Diskin.  Saul lost his twin brother to cancer later in their lives.

Who Moved the Sun?:  A Twin Remembers, by Ron McKenzie.  Ron lost his twin brother, Don when they were 62 years old.

The Lone Twin: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss, by Joan Woodward.  Joan lost her twin sister when they were three years old.  In this book, Joan explores not only what her loss means to her, but after working in the multiple-birth field for several years and learning about multiples’ connections, Joan prepared this important and eye-opening book.  This is a must-read book for understanding and comprehension of what it means to lose a co-multiple at any point in life and what the survivor has to face moving on alone.

Living Without Your Twin, by Betty Jean Case.  Betty is a twin, had twin brothers and twin grandchildren.  In this book, Betty explores loss of a twin through death, suicide, murder, adoption and estrangement.  She discusses what it means to lose a twin, separation and reuniting and its challenges.

The Survivor, by Lynne Schulz.  Lynne’s first book was The Diary.  Lynne had boy/girl twins and her daughter, Meghan, did not survive.  Lynne addresses the challenges of raising a survivor of multiple-birth plus some of the challenges that parents can expect to have to face as their survivor navigates their lives without their womb-mate.  Lynne also discusses the challenges for her, as a parent, of loving and bringing up her son while knowing there should have been two children throughout the same journey.



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Hi there, I would just like to connect with twinless people.  I lost my other half, my sister, past year and the sadness I feel is overwhelming me.  I struggle every day.    

Kind regards,  E.

Response:  Hi E.,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sister.  There is a group in the United States called Twinless Twins and they can be reached at www.twinlesstwins.org   They have chapters all over the US and an annual convention.  I am sure they will be able to support you.

Please also consider seeing a bereavement counsellor who has experience with the unique needs of twinless twins.   As well, there are several books on the subject which you might find helpful.   Joan Woodward wrote “The Lone Twin” and  Betty Jean Case wrote “Living Without my Twin.”

Enclosing Peace and Comfort,                                                                                                               Lynda

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When there is a loss in multiple births (i.e. twins, triplets or more), there are two different groups of people affected by the loss.  1)  The Parents, and all the grief that comes about with the loss of a child(ren); and 2) The Survivor(s), and all the emotions that occur around the loss of a special sibling(s).  It may be very difficult for parents to share the loss with their survivor for various reasons.  The topic may just be too emotional to discuss, or one or both parents want to forget the loss ever happen and life should go on as it was before – and of course this is a fantasy.  Life is never the same after the loss of a child.  It may be that the parent wishes to protect the survivor and not have him or her become hurt and/or upset.  In some cases the parent may have difficulty bonding with the survivor in case that child dies too.  For the survivor, this news that they began life as a duo, triplet or more, is an important part of who they are and what they may think and feel about themselves.  Knowing their true history from the beginning helps many survivors integrate the news and make it a part of who they are as they grow and develop.  It has certainly been my experience that those survivors having the most difficulty with being a ‘twinless twin’ have learned later on in their life and have the news has literally rocked their world and changed everything they thought about themselves.  Sadly, many express that ‘the wrong twin died.’  They can think so little of themselves that they feel things would have been better all around should they have died and their co-multiple survived.

For parents it may not be easy to share with their survivor(s) the true circumstances of their birth, but try and consider the possible consequences when your survivor finds out later in life and needs to make dramatic readjustments regarding their life’s course.  Sometimes we need to focus on what we do have and making sure what we have grows to be healthy, vibrant, knows they are loved and protected.  I feel very strongly that our children deserve the best from us, including the truth, even when it hurts us.

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For parents who have lost one, more or all of their babies, The Ottawa Citizen did the following interview with me:


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