The Lone Twin

Woodward, Joan


IBSN: 9781853432002 Category:


‘There is no doubt a greater awareness now of the significance of twin loss than there was ten years ago. I think that this is largely due to a big increase in articles, radio and television programmes as well as the spread of the Network. The well-known researcher Nancy Segal in the USA has, through her many books, added knowledge to our understanding of twin relationships as well as twin loss. She believes the loss to be highly significant and queries whether for some lone twins it is greater even than that of the loss of a spouse (Segal 2000). Others have written autobiographical material about their loss (Jones 1987; Farmer 1988). In spite of this, there is still ignorance. At a recent book launch for the publication of a book about the loss of a twin through drug taking (Burton-Phillips 2007) someone in the field of education said to a few of us from the Network, that she did not see how a twin who lost their twin at birth could possibly be affected. She asked, ‘How would the surviving twin know?’ I asked her to imagine how she might feel if told during her childhood that she had been born a twin, but due to her taking all the food’ during the pregnancy, her twin had not survived. I suggested that perhaps worse, she might have had her parents make it clear that they wished her twin had been the one to live. Less dramatically, she was asked how she might feel missing someone all her life who ‘should have been there’ to share it. This question was put by a lone twin who added that she had also had surviving twins born to the family to watch growing up as a pair, while she was without her twin sister. The educationist was honest and said she had never thought of those things before and then freely admitted our comments made her think again’ – Joan Woodward, Author.

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