~”4 years (ago) I l lost my brother. I still want to take my life. Why should I struggle through life? It’s so hard ..”
I receive a lot of messages such as the above and each one puts a lump in my chest. The sadness, unhappiness, loneliness, and inability to see any future that so many survivors feel is astounding – understandable, but also astounding.
It is an enormous challenge to go from We to I. There is no proper preparation for such a state. From the very beginning two or more souls have been together, aware of each other, caring and “checking in” with each, sharing a birthday, sharing so much. When the connection is cut, forever, what now? Who is watching my back? I have lost my best friend (some survivors say the feeling is worse than losing a spouse). How can I possibly be anything or move forward without my special partner? There may be survivor’s guilt. So many messages indicate that the survivor wants to die and join their co-multiple.
How do we help and support these very vulnerable folks at the worst point in their lives? How do we assist them in recognizing what they are feeling but encourage them to continue on to be the best they can be, without guilt: get an education, meet someone, perhaps have a family, travel, share their experience and still remember their true roots?
~I think understanding professional help is a good start. Speaking with someone who is aware of the unique bonds between multiples and who won’t pooh-pooh a survivor’s deep-seated feelings is essential. We know that multiples are aware of each other in the womb and these intense connections survive beyond the womb and remain throughout their lives. A professional who is aware of the unique bonds and honours them when counselling a survivor, is a gem indeed.
~I feel quite strongly that the deceased co-multiple would not wish their survivor to join them in death. What they would want is for their co-multiple to mourn and move on to live a healthy, happy life and enjoy what they can from life, free of guilt, while remembering and keeping a small part of their heart to remember their deceased. I do not think for a moment that a deceased co-multiple would choose death for their co-sibling. It just does not make sense that this would be the case.
~Suicide is, in my opinion, something that a desperate person chooses. One who feels this is the only recourse left open to them. They have convinced themselves that no one would miss them and the world would be a better place without them. They cannot take the pain any longer of living. Living is not an easy thing to do day in, day out. We need tools in our toolbox to handle a lot of what is handed to us over a life time: house burns down and we lose our things, crash our car, didn’t get the job we wanted, our best friend moved away, have trouble losing weight, to name a few – or we lose our co-multiple. This can be a monumental challenge, but seeking the right support and resources can get us through and tomorrow can be a little brighter, promise. The world would NOT be a better place without you and so many family members, friends and colleagues would miss you beyond belief. Please, please, please don’t choose suicide as an option. Life is not bleak every minute of every day and with the right support, you can get through. You are not alone. Plus who better to remember your co-multiple than yourself? Only you know the details of your lives and are in the best position to remember and honour your special sibling.
~Don’t be shy about reaching out to speak with others. The Internet is full of Web Sites, books, resources, grief information to help you help yourself get through. Speak to your doctor, clergy person, or someone who feel safe with. Every one of these resources is ready and waiting to support and assist you.
~Some surviving co-multiples have written books sharing their experiences of being with and being without their co-multiple. Maybe writing such a book would also be good for you. Or simply keeping a journal for your own eyes can be very cathartic. I will list some of the books written below. I have read them all and each and every one of them is worth their weight in gold.
I sincerely hope you can find some solace in this world until your own time is decided and live a full and happy life, while honouring your unique birth experience and partner.
Sincerely, Lynda (July, 2016)
Support For Survivors
Living Without Your Twin, by Betty Jean Case
Who Moved the Sun? A Twin Remembers, by Ron McKenzie
The End of The Twins: A Memoir of Losing a Brother, by Saul Diskin
The Lone Twin, by Joan Woodward
The Survivor, by Lynne Schulz
On the Internet
Multiple Births Canada
Loss Support Network
Twinless Twins Organization (US)
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