Find more here: www.grievingparents.net

The ‘Right’ and the ‘Wrong’

Find more here: www.grievingparents.net

It just IS.

Over the past week I have taken a ‘sitting-at-my-desk’ break and focused on outdoor activities and enjoyed my creativity with photography. I have also had more time to ponder and let thoughts take me where ever they wanted, rather than where I wanted them.

I had a conversation with my husband about right and wrong and my thoughts wandered back to the time shortly after the birth of my girls and after Amya had passed away. I remember thinking: How can this happen to me? What does this mean? Why Amya?

I clearly remember this one point in time, where I said to my husband: “This sounds strange but suddenly all seems as it should be. Everything seems right.” I wouldn’t have said this to anyone else because seriously, a woman who just lost her daughter thinking ‘everything seems right’ must be crazy…

Now, 3 years later, I don’t think in terms of ‘right or wrong’ anymore in relation to the death of my daughter. I don’t believe ‘she should be here’ or ‘it’s not right for her sister to grow up alone’. What is, is.

‘Wrong’ and ‘right’ are judgments based on a measurement that we make up. It’s not real or based on any hard and fast rule. Who am I to know that the death of my child is right or wrong? It’s neither.

What I can say is that it has felt devastating, hard to believe, and immeasurably sad. And even that has changed. Now it has become part of our family’s history and reality. It’s no longer devastating. There are sad moments but mostly, my life is about wrestling with a 3 year-old headstrong toddler and enjoying her antics.

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8 comments

  1. My youngest is about to be 3 years old. We knew ahead of time her twin would be still born. They had only about 21-23 weeks together snuggled inside me and then we saw there was a problem. The girls were born a few weeks later and I was just thankful I still had one extremely small but healthy baby that I would eventually get to take home. I wonder often if she will has feelings she doesn’t understand because her twin is not with her. I wonder if the reason she clings so hard to my son, who is not quite 2 years older than her, is because she is trying to fill her missing piece. I wonder if other parents with small twinless twins have the same questions or experiences and know how to help their child even when their child can’t really express what is happening to them…….

    1. Dear Dawn,
      I’m sorry for your loss of your girl.
      My daughter does not have a living sibling and she’s also not clingy to us. I think it’s a very personal and individual thing, which depends on the situation and also on the parents’ way of emoting and processing the grieving experience. If you’d like to ask, there are groups on FB which are specifically for parents of twinless twins – there you might get a broader repertoire of experiences.
      Sending you my love ❤

  2. I am 45. My twin died in the womb too.

    I have missed her every day of my life. I knew about her in my mind, long before my parents could bring themselves to tell me.

    Sometimes, like tonight, when I can’t sleep, I google pictures of our family names to see if I can get an idea of what she’d look like now. Like me, of course, but with a different adult life, she’d be a little different looking, maybe a different weight or lifestyle or fashion.

    I used to look at faces in crowds, unconsciously hoping to find one I recognized. It took me years to learn that this is something people whose twins didn’t make it.

    http://www.vanishingtwin.com/index.php/main-menu-definition

    This article (and website) has some good information that might still apply to your surviving child. He talks about how losing a twin even at such a young age can affect the child.

    Also, maybe or maybe not as a result of this (how can you go back and test?), I score very high on the psychopath personality tests. I’m a well-mannered one, for the most part, and have been brought up to use those traits for aggressively pursuing a business career, rather than just being a jerk. But to have known death before I even knew life – it is more comfortable to be detached and aloof.

    Perhaps the memories in my then-tiny brain became feelings of somehow being cheated out of, I don’t know, a playmate? A friend for life? A toy? (You know how kids think about their siblings!) Or maybe it was just the feeling of being alone. It was 45 years ago, I don’t remember what was going on in my mind at the time.

    When I was a child I had a hard time grokking mirrors. They were difficult to understand, why couldn’t she make it out through the glass? I spent so much time gazing at my own reflection waiting for it to move independently. To this day I still mix up the words “mirror” and “window” if I’m not paying attention.

    If it helps, print this off and save it for your child to see. And talk to them about their twin, even the stillborn ones or the “vanished” ones, give them a name and refer to them sometimes. “What do you think your sister would be doing today where she is?”

    And don’t use the word “vanished”, because that’s something that happens in magic. Sometimes things can unvanish in “magic” and I know full well that my sister isn’t going to turn up on google or in a crowd, she’s gone, just a memory. A deeply felt loss.

    And I am very, very sorry for your own losses, parents and siblings alike. I hope that you find good ways to cope. I have a little oh, maybe not a shrine exactly, but a little place on a shelf that’s for her. Sometimes I’ll burn a candle in her memory. As long as their siblings are alive, part of that other person is still here.

    Their memory may be stronger for your children than for adults who have seen loss. At my age, death of one of my other siblings would suck, but I could process it as a grownup. I clearly cannot say the same for my infant brain.

    My first child was born on my birthday. I remember thinking, when she was a few weeks old, “I won’t ever be alone again”. I didn’t think of her as my twin reincarnated or anything, but that the two of us would have a birthday together felt like something was finally right. The kid has since grown up and moved out, and she’s a great young woman, strong, determined, but not screwed up like I always felt I was. I didn’t cling, although the temptation was strong.

    Didn’t plan it like that, but it was good for the soul.

    -K

    1. Dear K,
      Thank you for your long comment. Interesting to hear your story of an adult twin.
      I myself am a twin with a twin who died early in the womb. It has however not been at the forefront of my experience, neither as a child nor as an adult.
      I could analyse certain of my behaviours or longings to be related to that but then we never know what else might influence our beings.
      Both of my daughters have their space ‘with’ me and my surviving twin is well aware of her sister but it’s not a focus.
      I’m very conscious for her to have her own experience with this. At the moment, she is very natural about it.
      Best to you ❤

  3. I have been struggling with this a lot lately. I lost my son Atlas 2 Septembers ago and it definitely could not be right or wrong. He is, at least to me, what he was always meant to be. It makes me feel a handful of emotions that are all over the place, but he is mine in his very special way, and gives my life purpose. I also have an older daughter who is almost 3 and she keeps me busy as well. Thank you for sharing this!
    Lot’s of love. ❤
    Kimberley Lynn
    starlaced.org

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