Today should be, and is, a day of celebration. However, it is also a day of tremendous sadness. My brother, Mike, is 40 years old today. My brother, Mark (Mike’s identical twin) was also born on this day, and should be sharing in the festivities. Instead, we are facing the first birthday without him.
As hard as this is for me to bear, it is even more difficult for Mike. At first, he didn’t want his birthday to be acknowledged, but we convinced him to let us take him out to dinner. It IS still his birthday, and a decade birthday, at that.
In an attempt to better understand what Mike is going through, I did some research on ”twinless twins.” Here’s some of what I found.
A twin's "self" is a multiple existence. Acting from a framework of "we," not I, they learn to rely on each other for many of their needs. This closeness, or twinning, becomes the closest relationship they ever know.
Twin grief is a lifelong process. A shared birthday is particularly difficult to bear, particularly the first birthday after a twin's death.
Also, The problem with twin bereavement is that, the other person is such an integral part of your sense of self that when you stop being a twin, when the person who made you a twin, dies, you have to really reconsider your whole sense of self.
And, It's a very devastating type of sibling loss that is often overlooked… [Twins] had an understanding and a trust, an acceptance and unconditional love beyond what most people have even in marriage. Every birthday is a reminder of the loss. It's an occasion most of them would just as soon wipe off the calendar.
Today, my heart is breaking for myself and for my parents and for my siblings, but, most of all, my heart is breaking for Mike.