My Twin Sister Has Died

(110 Posts)
Twinless Thu 12-Dec-13 23:19:36


Not sure what I expect or want from this thread but I feel like I need to write down how I'm feeling.

My twin sister died suddenly last month aged 37. It was due to complications from pneumonia leading to heart failure. She went to the GP because she felt she had a chest infection, the GP couldn't hear anything on her chest but was given antibiotics. Apparently because of her age even if pneumonia was suspected, the treatment would have been the same.

My DH, DS (6) and I were with her on the Saturday morning when she suddenly collapsed. I realised very quickly that something was very wrong and called 999. I told my son to wait in the other room while I started CPR, I was overcome with emotion so my husband had to take over, she stopped breathing altogether quite quickly. The ambulance arrived within 8 minutes and managed to shock her heart into beating again but she took a lot of stablising. She was taken straight to resus then transferred to ITU.

Our parents live a 4 hour drive away and I had to persuade them to get here asap rather than leave it overnight which they wanted to do. I don't know whether they were in denial about the seriousness of my sister's situation but I feel resentful that even if that was the case, why didn't they think that my sister would want them there if she woke up or I might need some support?

They eventually arrived later that night and over the next few days tests showed that she had suffered too much brain damage to survive due to lack of oxygen. They tried to cool her brain down for 24 hours and gave her the apparently standard 72 hours + 24 extra hours due to her age to show signs of improvement but nothing. We had to make the decision to let her go.

I hate myself that I didn't save her. I keep thinking did I compress hard enough? Was I distracted too much by my DS keep coming into the room? I wanted so desperately to save her and I keep replaying the whole thing in my mind. Coupled with when she actually died in hospital, It feels like I watched her die twice which is too painful for me to bear. I physically crumpled and howled in pain when I was lead away from her. It still feels that raw but my pain feels trapped, like if I let go again I'll never recover.

I've not been sleeping since. I was persuaded to see my Gp who prescribed a weeks' worth of sleeping pills and has referred me to a breavement counsellor which I do think I need but I feel like I don't want to accept she's gone in case in case it feels like I've forgotten her. The pills aren't helping much, I'm still waking up so haven't taken them for the last couple of nights.

Without turning this into a bigger essay, there was a family estrangement (for an extremely good reason) which meant that my twin sister, my DH, DS and me were our own little family here and now I feel pressured into pretending everything is ok. I've been having to emotionally reassure family members that she loved them really when I know that she never recovered from or forgave her, me and DS being treated so badly from them. I've had no help with clearing my twin's flat yet everyone wants a keepsake to remember her by and I don't really feel that some of them deserve it but I have to keep the peace for my parents sake.

I was left to register her death and arrange the funeral yet I faced pressure to do what they wanted, not what my sister would want or I felt, being the closer to her, what should be done. I had to stick to my guns and even had one of my parent's scream down the phone at me that I had got out of hand with the arrangements. FFS, I arranged a simple, pretty basic funeral but a beautiful ceremony in a Church where we had a connection to and I felt I needed somewhere to go and remember her and the Church turned out to be the cheapest part of the funeral costs! Considering I ensured the large funeral deposit was paid I felt upset that I was being criticised.

I feel like I have been ripped in half. Our birthday is later this month and I can't comphrend turning a year older without her. I don't know what I'm going to do without her. The family situation with my parents has calmed now and I know they are worried about me and are trying to support me but I have been left to it and dealing with everything on my own.

I am also worried about my son and him processing what he saw. I explained everything to him and he chose to see my sister in ITU and the Chapel of Rest which seems to have helped him. I have arranged counselling through his school which is going well. I just want to take those images out of his head. I;m scared that I'm going to die young and leave him too.

I'm rambling now. Thank you for taking the time to read x

Lucysaysno Thu 12-Dec-13 23:23:58

I don't have any particular words of wisdom, but I am so so sorry for your loss xxx

Twinless Thu 12-Dec-13 23:24:14

I know I shouldn't post and run but my DS has just got out of bed and I need to sort him out and probably get to bed myself even though I don't feel like I can sleep.

Twinless Thu 12-Dec-13 23:25:37

Thank you Lucysaysno, I appreciate your kind words. I think I just needed an outlet to get everything out of my head. It's a living nightmare x

Edinbugger Thu 12-Dec-13 23:27:21

OP - I don't have any words of wisdom, what you are going through is beyond my imagining and I am so sorry for your loss. You did the right thing with the funeral. You did the right thing when your sister collapsed. Someone with better advice will be along in a minute. x

sooperdooper Thu 12-Dec-13 23:28:39

I'm so sorry for your loss, please don't blame yourself you did everything you could

Thinking of you and your family

I am so so sorry. That is so sad. I think losing a sibling must be heartbreaking but losing a twin must feel like losing half of you. And your family issues sound like a nightmare.

Forget them. Concentrate on you. Start your bereavement counselling as soon as you can. It WILL help.

Look after yourself. It will get easier but nt for a while. X

woodchuck Thu 12-Dec-13 23:31:26

Dear Twinless,

Your post made me so sad, and I really don't know what to say.I didn't want to leave your thread unanswered. What a hard and horrible time you are having. From experiences of bereavement in my family, I understand the pressures of people getting involved who have no claim to, and everybody wanting a bit of the person to remember and I know you are finding this hard. Your twin sister was yours, after all. Please try to find some comfort from the closeness that you shared and that you can hold that to you when things are difficult. Your family members may not be able to do the same in good heart, hence the anger and shouting and displays of ownership - perhaps they feel regretful or guilty?

Your son will be fine. If he remembers at all, he will remember with love how mum tried so hard to save a person she loved in tragic circumstances. Please be kind to yourself, allow yourself time to heal, and express how you feel if you need to. You are allowed to have emotions about this too.

So sorry for your loss,

ajandjjmum Thu 12-Dec-13 23:31:27

That's so sad Twinless, but of course you couldn't have done more than you did.

I hope that you get the help you need to get through this awful time - your DS needs you. smile sad

Lucysaysno Thu 12-Dec-13 23:31:43

I hope that it helped to write it down. As Edin said, you did the right thing for your sister x

CoolBananas Thu 12-Dec-13 23:32:02

I too am so so sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you.

LaVitaBellissima Thu 12-Dec-13 23:33:29

So sorry for your loss thanks

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 12-Dec-13 23:36:19

So so sorry flowers

BrianTheMole Thu 12-Dec-13 23:40:54

I'm sorry mate. You did everything you could. Look after yourself. Your dh and ds are there for you, as you are for them.

piratecat Thu 12-Dec-13 23:46:40

oh Twinless, i am so sorry for your loss, it sounds as though you had a lovely relationship.
You were there for her all through it. Noone could have asked for more. xxx

EBearhug Thu 12-Dec-13 23:47:25

Oh Twinless, it must be so hard for you, but it sounds like you've done right by your sister. Wishing you all the strength you'll need for the time ahead. Take care of yourself.

Tobermory Thu 12-Dec-13 23:50:52

Twinless, so sorry.
What an awfully traumatic few days your family has had. Reading your post was heartbreaking and I couldn't not post-despite not really knowing what to say. I have experienced bereavement and can remember those feelings of despair and disbelief. And anger. Anger that they'd been taken and the unfairness of it all. But to lose a twin, and one who you obv so very close to must be so very hard.

If you're worried about your DS, could gried counselling be made available for him?

MetallicHighlights Thu 12-Dec-13 23:52:39

Thinking of you flowers. It sounds like you did everything you possibly could to help her and protect your DS. Be gentle to yourself. X

Tikkamasala Fri 13-Dec-13 00:00:02

I'm so so sorry, how awful thanks please don't think anything is your fault at all, you did your best to help her.

PassTheSherry Fri 13-Dec-13 00:03:27

So sorry for your terrible loss. thanks

whethergirl Fri 13-Dec-13 00:07:23

I'm so sorry Twinless, I can't imagine what you must be going through. Everything you feel - your self-doubting etc. is natural, but not true. You were there for her right until the very end and she wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I always wonder what I would do in such an emergency situation, I don't think I could even attempt CPR, my standard reaction to such things is to freeze.

Your ds will be ok, children are surprisingly resilient and live very much in the moment. I'm sure he will at times feel sad or he might have a flashback, but in the next minuted he will happily play away.

I'm so sad for you. This is still so new and raw. Of course you'll never forget her, but gradually, in time, your day to day functioning will become easier and it won't be so consuming. Sending you much love xxx

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 13-Dec-13 00:10:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoloXantiaClaws Fri 13-Dec-13 00:12:57

Oh Twinless, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your post has taken me to tears.

I just wanted to say that your darling twin sister will live on forever in your heart and your memories and no one can take that from you. You did everything you could to keep her with you, but it was, sadly, her time and not to be.
Look after yourself and do have counselling as I believe it will help enormously.
Your son will be fine, children do somehow bounce back from awful things and we can't always hide away from them what we'd like to.

I am praying for you all.x

Very sorry for your loss. I've got no words of wisdom but I'm thinking of you.

threestars Fri 13-Dec-13 00:21:51

You are doing an amazing job. You did everything possible for your sister, and you are still doing that now. What a huge loss. thanks

scotswayhay Fri 13-Dec-13 00:23:24

How awful for you, wishing you strength and healing in the months to come. You have done all you could and more, be kind to yourself x

BeaWheesht Fri 13-Dec-13 00:27:44

It's not your fault. You will never forget her and your ds will be ok.

Look after yourself. I wish I could say something of more use but it's absolutely normal to feel how you're feeling - don't try and not grieve if that makes sense? Give in to it, just do what you need to. No matter how low you let yourself go you will come out the other side.

Stop caring what other people want you to do and about keeping the peace, I'm not saying argue but just take a step back and explain that's what you're doing and then just let it all float over you - they are not your concern.

Cuddle your ds, remember the good times with your sister, look at photos or keepsakes, cry, howl, sob all you need to and it's ok to smile and laugh and not think about her for a second when the time comes. It seems so all consuming but a new kind of normal will come around and you'll adjust and you will be able to remember her with a smile even though you will always miss her.

I'm so sorry.

timtam23 Fri 13-Dec-13 00:27:47

Twinless I am so sorry for your loss and for what you have been through

Just a thought in case it might help your son - Child Bereavement UK are a charity who can provide help & support for a bereaved child, they have a lot of online info/advice sheets and email support also

Thinking of you all

MiserableMistletoe Fri 13-Dec-13 00:28:03

I'm so sorry for you Twinless. Your post made me cry. You did everything you could and I think that later on you will see it is a positive that you were physically there when she collapsed and tried to help. I hope that later on you see that you did your best to help her and where there supporting her at her time of need. You do not have anything to feel bad about and your reaction now is raw and only natural.

Your sister loved you and you loved her, that is the corner stone of it all. She will always be there for you, watching over you and your family.

wilkos Fri 13-Dec-13 00:35:32

You did everything you could for your twin just before she died and now as well... what you have written is so painfully sad, you're doing remarkably well just to be able to articulate what has happened to you and your twin. My heart goes out to you thanks

exexpat Fri 13-Dec-13 00:39:06

Easier said than done, but try not to dwell on whether you could have done anything more to save her - hardly anyone survives a cardiac arrest outside hospital, even with trained first-aiders to administer CPR.

My DH also died of sudden heart failure. Part of me wishes I had been with him at the time in case I could have made a difference, but I know that it is very unlikely, and I am sure the experience would still haunt me.

You say you have arranged counselling for your DS - do you have anyone that you can talk to about it? Maybe someone who could also be a sympathetic ear for the family issues? It sounds like you've been trying to hold it together for everyone and smooth out family rifts, but you could do with some support too.

This may seem like an odd question, but what antibiotic was she taking? DH was also on antibiotics (for an ear infection) when he died, and I discovered years later that one kind of antibiotic is associated with increased risk of cardiac arrest, particularly if it is combined with other medication or something as innocuous sounding as grapefruit juice.

Oh I am so sorry. You sound amazing.

lolalotta Fri 13-Dec-13 01:03:23

I'm so sorry twinless. I am twin and I know how you feel each other's pain as your own. I nearly lost her once to cancer when we were much younger, it was awful. Please take comfort in your son and DH, and don't be too hard on yourself. I'm so impressed you were even able to attempt CPR in that situation, I would have been useless.
My heart goes out to you. xxx

Rhythmisadancer Fri 13-Dec-13 01:14:45

So sad, love to youTwinless, but you did everything right, and grief is just hard - don't soak up anybody else's problem. accept that you need to be unhappy for a while - probably a long while. If it had been the other way round could she have done anything different? No. Is she blaming you? No. She would be / is sorry to have left you. She would want her legacy to you and your family to be strength and love. Of course you are feeling vulnerable without her. There is a path from where you are now, and the place she would want you to be, and many have travelled it.
Too soon, but chin up against these relatives who will be gone before you've got your act together, and then you can put your precious and happy memories back in place, and live around, not without, the happy space she once was. Much love, be kind to yourself - THAT is what she would have wanted xxxxxxxx

monicalewinski Fri 13-Dec-13 01:24:31

Twinless, I am so so sorry to hear what you have been going through. You did all you could - you kept her going until the ambulance got there so you have nothing to feel guilty for about what more you could have done. You were there, that is important.

It is so easy to say as I am not you, but what the rest of the family say/think/do does not matter - your sister had you, your DH and your son and this was what was important to her; take strength from your DH and the family unit that you 3 have and you will all get through this - your son will be ok and so will you in the end.

I hope you get some sleep tonight flowers flowers

Oh, Twinless - I want to climb through screen and just give you a huge hugsad Please just KNOW that you did EVERYTHING 'right' - including (actually, ESPECIALLY) the funeral given you were the one person who very literally 'knew' your DS inside out.

YOUR family unit sounds beautiful, and that will help you as you grieve, but please please DO ensure you get the counselling you need - which you DO need if you are 'blaming' youself in any way; let alone the simply enormous loss you have suffered. Cruse are simply brilliant, so will you call them please? Likewise, Winstons Wishes for your DS.

My DM (who was a much better GM than she ever was a DM) died this year, and the support I got from orgs. like the above was simply awesome in helping my DCs.

I cannot begin to imagine the scale of your loss. Or the trauma or of your pain. Am sending you huge un-MN'y hugs and can only hope that you access the support that really IS there, and then can grieve as you are right to. Your loss is immense, please know how many of us are now thinking of you and sending you love tonight thanksthanksthanks

Twinless Fri 13-Dec-13 02:29:15

My Goodness, I couldn't sleep so here I am and there are so many touching and kind replies. Thank you to every single person who has taken the time to post, I am moved to tears by your generosity of spirit and wise words thanks thanks thanks thanks

Woodchuck I think you are right. My Mum feels very guilty and has a lot of regret as we hadn't seen or spoken to her in 3 years. She basically took my brother and other sister's "side" when they were exchanging emails ripping the piss out of my DS (who is now undergoing investigation for AS). My twin and I have always had a fractious relationship with our DM which I could fill a whole other thread about. I tentatively resumed contact with my DM last December as I was facing a major operation and felt she should know.

Timtam23 Thank you for that link - it looks really good and I think it will help my DS. I think he is taking it in his stride even though they were so close, I guess as children do. I get the odd question thrown at me at random times like in Tesco but I do answer him truthfully in the best way he can understand so I feel he knows that I'm there for him.

MiserableMistletoe As traumatic as it was, I know you are right and deep in my heart that she needed me with her and I had to be there for her. I honestly dread to think what would have happened if we weren't there. She was known to pop off for an impromptu evening or weekends with friends and worked long hours so it wasn't unusual for us to miss each other when calling so I am glad she wasn't alone when she died and we didn't have to suffer finding her days later. I also know that she would have wanted me there over anyone so I am grateful that I was able to be.

Exexpat I don't know what antibiotics she was on. I think I may have the bottle somewhere with her other medication to take to the chemist to dispose of so I'll take a look. How frightening to think that. I'm so sorry for the loss of your DH thanks

AmGrowing I was passed the details of Cruse by the hospital and thought I might contact them but was worried about finding the words to start the conversation but I will call them, I promise smile

I wish I could reply to every single one of you, I am so genuinely touched that you have reached out to me to offer advice, gentle words, affirmation regarding my feelings about the funeral and our closeness.

Despite all the pain and guilt, the past few days I have been able to start taking comfort from a few things. We had recently had a conversation regarding organ donation so we went ahead with that. A lot of her major organs were too damaged by the treatment and infection but her liver and eyes were able to be donated and I can honestly say that the knowledge she wanted to and has been able to help others is a huge comfort. The transplant staff were absolutely amazing and I can't praise them highly enough.

My DH has been my rock and a huge source of strength to get me through this past month. In a roundabout way, it's thanks to my twin that we are together and therefore have my DS.

I'm hoping the flashbacks will start to fade in time. I keep replaying everything, reliving it and I don't want to think of her in pain and incapacitated. I know counselling will probably help with that and hopefully it won't take too long for my appointment to come through. Logically, I know I won't always feel like this but it feels like the rawness and huge sense of loss will never so away.

SecretWitch Fri 13-Dec-13 02:38:37

My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine to know the grief and loss you must be feel. I am reaching out to hug you..xx

Twinless Fri 13-Dec-13 02:59:07

Thank you SecretWitch x

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Fri 13-Dec-13 03:07:26

So sorry for your loss. You did everything you could.

snowtunesgirl Fri 13-Dec-13 08:27:13

Holding you in my thoughts.

It's such a shock when someone in the prime of their years suddenly goes as it's so unexpected.

My cousin died from a brain aneurysm a month before my DD was born. He was my age. I think of him often.

I think that sudden loss happens more often than we think it does.

I wish you well OP. X

Imwoodword Fri 13-Dec-13 08:31:04

I am so so sorry for your loss. Please be kind to yourself thanks

Mignonette Fri 13-Dec-13 08:33:44

You have my deepest condolences.

Can I point you towards one of the organisations that could help Here and also a good book by Joan Woodward called 'THE LONE TWIN: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss'.

Cruse will also help you as twin loss can be so much harder.

flowers to you.

SoloXantiaClaws Fri 13-Dec-13 11:19:50

Your loss is so new, you are bound to feel raw and sore and flashbacks to a traumatic event are a natural thing too, but they do stop. You may have some after they have stopped, but ime, they don't reignite in the same way as the original.
How wonderful that other peoples lives have been made better through your twin sister. How good is it that she expressed those wishes to you. She somehow lives on a little through the recipients I think.

Do look after your own needs.

Faverolles Fri 13-Dec-13 11:25:36

I'm so sorry Twinless sad
I'm a twin, I can only imagine what you're going through right now.
Please don't blame yourself for not doing enough, you did everything you could.

MissMilbanke Fri 13-Dec-13 11:29:07

You sound like an amazing woman, a loving sister and mother.

What you have been through is heartbreaking, but in a small way I can see that the organ donation is a wonderful thing to come out of this.

Be kind to yourself and take all the help and support you can to ensure you get through this.


I'm so very sorry for your loss x
My beloved dad collapsed and died suddenly in July at a Family wedding.
My dh and I did CPR but to no avail. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
I wish I could give you words of comfort but I can't. I also feel so guilty I couldn't save my dad. I don't think it will ever leave me.
Sadly later the same day my mother suffered a stress induced heart attack and my siblings were too shocked to do anything. So the funeral and all arrangements fell to me.
It's a very lonely place to be.
It sounds like you did her proud. She loved you and was loved in return. I think that's all any of us can hope for, and many of us never have.
I am hopeful that in time he raw grief and pain I feel will ease, and I hope that for you too x

Lizzylou Fri 13-Dec-13 11:40:16

I am so very sorry thanks
You did absolutely everything that you could do.
I hope that your ds is ok and am pleased that you have such a supportive dh.

Faithless12 Fri 13-Dec-13 11:47:59

Twinless, I'm so sorry for your loss. My DM died in very similar circumstances and the family scenario are similar as well.

Don't rush clearing her flat or give away anything you don't want to. By the time I got to my DM's flat everyone had taken what they wanted and I'm still angry about it now, years later.


happytalk13 Fri 13-Dec-13 11:50:14

What an awful, awful shock for you. I have no experience of bereavement and all I can think of saying is to not be hard on yourself and seek help (which you have done) and don't judge yourself for feeling the way you feel.

OTOH I have PLENTY of experience of toxic relationships. I was appalled to read of your mother's and siblings' behaviour over their piss taking out of your son. You mention that you and your DTS had always had problems with your parents. |They haven't changed much have they? Why should you have to feel obliged to involve them now. Your mum feels guilty - that was her doing and her alone - not yours. \Toxic people are never healthy to have around, even more so in your case where you are so raw and so vulnerable. You can't heal a would by pouring poison on it. Would you consider posting about your parents on the relationships board, or visiting the stately homes thread? there are some amazing posters there.

I'm really sorry you lost your twin sad

Owllady Fri 13-Dec-13 11:58:03

I am sorry twinkles sad it is absolutely devastating to lose your sister and having a dysfunctional family can just make it worse. You need to make clear that you will not be emotionally abused by them. Look into some counselling for yourself and see your Dr if you need any medication.

The blaming and questioning yourself are natural, but you did all you could x

Hope you're doing OK this evening twinkles.

Twinless Sat 14-Dec-13 11:42:30

Migonette Thank you for that book recommendation, I think that will be helpful. We have recently been in contact under my usual posting name and you have helped me more than you know, thank you x

Badvocatyuletide I am so sorry to hear of your loss in such tragic circumstances too thanks. I can't imagine the stress and heartbreak you went through on the same when your DM suffered a heart attack. Yes, it is a very lonely place to be isn't it? Especially when you are the one dealing with everything and making the decisions trying to include everyone. I've got a wonderful DH and gorgeous DS but I feel like I want to shut myself away with my thoughts.

Faithless12 Oh I am so sorry to hear that about your DM. I've never understood that mindset of "getting in their first". I can't help but think that if you are overduly concerned about is a loved ones possessions, then that person couldn't have meant that much to you in the first place.

HappyTalk13 I did post previously under an old name on the Stately Homes thread and received some amazing support but I only wrote a fraction of my experience and the responses made me realise it was worse than I thought as I felt guilty about posting in there when there were people with very real, awful families and experiences. When things settle, I may well return to the thread or post my own in Relationships. Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has said that I did all I could. I've started to think that if people who have never met me are saying that, it's probably true. I know in my heart of hearts that I tried my hardest in the circumstances and more importantly, my sister will have known that I tried. I am finding little pockets of comfort here and there which I didn't think would be possible a month ago so hopefully that's the start of me dealing with everything?

There was a bit of a "discussion" about the music which should be played at the Crematorium so I did comprise although I felt my sister would have preferred a particular song. A couple of days after the funeral, I heard the song I wanted being played in Morrisons! It's not a Christmas song AT ALL! That made me smile, silly as it is, it felt like a sign she would have wanted my choice smile

I'm still not sleeping well but I'm eating better so feel like I have a little more energy during the day than before. Not sure what the GP can do, but I will speak to her next week. I'm going to need my strength to get through Christmas (for my DS) and what would have been our Birthday later this month.

We spent the evening around a very good friend's house last night. I didn't feel up to going really but I haven't had a chance to see her so wanted to make the effort. We ended up having a genuinely lovely evening, talked loads about my sister, the good times as well as things now, which really helped.

We're going to finishing clearing her flat this weekend which is so hard as I've hit a bit of an emotional brick wall in that regard. There isn't much to do now, just giving away furniture to charity / friends but it's so final that she doesn't have her home anymore and I hate seeing her lovely flat so bare. But my sister's best friend is helping us there then coming over here after for tea and cake. He has been such a support and is such a lovely person, he's part of our little family really so we're being there for each other.

I think this thread has turned into a sort of therapy for me and I'll be tapping away on the leyboard long after you've all gone!

Thank you all again, you bunch of lovely, kind vipers smile thanks xx

happytalk13 Sat 14-Dec-13 13:32:02

I'm glad you got out to see a friend and had a nice evening. I'm sure your DTS would want that for you.

I'm sorry about the lack of sleep - insomnia I torture. I hope it stops soon.

Twinless Sat 14-Dec-13 17:56:12

Thanks happytalk. Still can't believe I'm waking up during the night on sleeping tablets but I am getting back to sleep so it is an improvement. Could just do with one uninterupted night sad

monicalewinski Sat 14-Dec-13 18:01:43

You just made me smile when you said you heard her song in Morrison's!

Glad to hear you're eating better and getting physically stronger - the rest will follow in time. xx

Mandy21 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:25:32

I couldnt post and not reply. I am also a twin, I cant imagine what you are going through.

I think you need to take comfort from the fact you were with her and she had you. It sounds like you were amazing in the moment and gave her a chance. That twin bond is there whether she is around or not. It sounds like you have a brilliant son & DH who will help you get through this.

I'm sorry twinless. There are no words, but I think beareavement counselling is a good idea - there's so much to process. Be kind to yourself. xx

thoughtsbecomethings Sat 14-Dec-13 18:33:39

So sorry for your loss x

herladyship Sat 14-Dec-13 18:34:34

so sad to hear about the loss of your sister

you sound like you had a lovely, close relationship & the price we pay for such deep love is very deep grief sad

surround yourself with people who love you, and please be very kind to yourself. you've not done anything 'wrong' & how you are feeling is completely natural & understandable

if it helps to write things down & post on here, you will always get great support & advice


Mignonette Sat 14-Dec-13 18:36:02

Twinless I suspected this might be 'you' and I have been thinking of you a lot. My sons GF is an identical twin and she asked me to send you her condolences.

Yes, you could not have done more.

Sleeping tablets do lose efficacy over time and I am of the belief that a troubled mind with troubled bereaved thoughts will punch through the sedation at certain times of the night. it is probably during a particular part of your sleep cycle. Have you heard of mindfulness? Have a google when you feel up to it as there are some good techniques for night restlessness and insomnia. They will help you rest if not sleep deeply.

Remember that grief and bereavement are not 'abnormal' but something that has to be navigated through. Ask for help whether it be through Mn, friends, counsellors etc in managing it. Nobody on here will ignore a request for help, listening and time.

Much love to you xx flowers xx

Yama Sat 14-Dec-13 18:36:49

Oh Twinless, your posts have hit a chord with me. My wee brother was only a year and a half younger than me and we were extremely close. He died 3 years ago and for a long time I worried that I just didn't understand the magnitude of what had happened, that when I did I wouldn't recover.

Still, I can spend days on end close to tears.

My dd was four when he died and for a time I didn't know if she'd get over it. She has though. She remembers her Uncle but she doesn't think about it constantly the way she did back then.

My heart goes out to you.

georgie22 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:48:14

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss Twinless. I don't have siblings so I can only imagine the sense of loss you're feeling. Your feelings sound completely normal following a bereavement, especially that of someone so close to you. You did all you could for her and I think that your feelings about resuscitation are understandable but the actual statistics on successful resuscitation outside of a clinical setting are quite poor. I agree that you should start bereavement counselling as soon as possible as it will help. You're clearly doing the right thing by your son in ensuring he has the support he needs but children are often far more resilient than we fully appreciate.

I can understand that it is hard to manage family relationships when there have been issues in the past. There may well be some guilt on the part of others which is motivating them to want something material as a keepsake to remember your twin. Always remember that your sister will live on in you and no one can ever take away the precious memories you have, some of which you share with your dh and ds.

Sending love and thoughts to you as you go through this horrendous time.

Twinless Sat 14-Dec-13 19:14:12

HerLadyShip the price we pay for such deep love is very deep grief That has really struck a chord to me, it really is the deepest grief I have ever felt and of course, she was the closest person in the world to me.

Migonette It is so kind of you to be thinking of me and please thank your DS's GF for me. We were never the "twiny-twin-samey" type of twins but we had such a strong, unexplainable bond. It has left a huge void and I feel it constantly. I've never heard of Mindfulness so I will definitely read up about that, thanks. I'm clinging onto the fact she died with dignity and to know from our "conversations" that she would have been treated with diginity and respect behind the scenes too has given me so much comfort. Thank you once again, you really are a very special person xx

Yama I am so sorry to hear about your DB thanks Despite feeling so utterly bereft I do feel like the magnitude of her death hasn't hit me fully yet and I am so frightened when it does because I think I will drown in it. I saw a book on one of the children breavement websites someone kindly linked to upthread that I am going to buy for my DS which is a cross between a scrapbook for recording the child's memories and a story to explain death - I really don't want him to forget her as they were so close.

Have to dash, DS has made me promise we'll watch Strictly together and I'm on hot chocolate duty but it means so much that so many kind people are thinking of me and posting with their support x

Mignonette Sat 14-Dec-13 19:22:38

I am sure she died with dignity and grace from what you have described. And she was generous and thoughtful of others in her actions as are you and other close family.

Enjoy Strictly and your DS is a love for looking after you. I am glad you have somebody with you and glad that our thoughts and words have helped ( I mean everybody on here, not just me). There are so many of us bereaved people on here, all willing to lend an ear at any time.


So sorry for your loss - it sounds like you were amazing.
Oddly, someone told me about a lone twin organisation only a couple of hours ago - wonder if you might find some support there:

Twinless I am so sorry for your loss.
My ds has autism and the book the school used to help him understand the death of a much loved TA was this one It helped him remember all the things that were special about Mrs M, all their good times and helped him come to terms with his loss. Maybe your ds would find it useful too.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sat 14-Dec-13 19:53:09

So sorry for yr loss xxx

Manchesterhistorygirl Sat 14-Dec-13 19:56:14

I'm so sorry, I don't have much to offer in terms of advice, but couldn't read and run.

So sorry for your loss. Winston's Wish has some brilliant resources on their website that might be helpful for you DS, there's a list of books, and also a resource page for teachers working with bereaved children that perhaps cold be used by his school?

Mignonette Sat 14-Dec-13 21:04:36

YY to Winstons Wish as Nibledy has mentioned.

nellie78 Sat 14-Dec-13 21:26:57

you are in charge, you two will always be together in spirit if not physically. please just do what makes you feel better and it takes years and years to cope with something like this. the best advice i had was to treat yourself, indulge yourself in precious quiet time with yourself and your memories. candles, music, bubble baths etc. and i always feel that children need to see stuff and it's up to you to lovingly and sensitively support them through it. most of all retain your sense of humour, get lots of sleep, fresh air and cry your bloody eyes out. just imagine she's right next to you (even if you don't believe it). harsh thing is, only time helps x big hugs (14 years for me x)

chocolatewine Sat 14-Dec-13 21:49:05

I'm so sorry for your loss.x

Auntierosemary Sat 14-Dec-13 22:16:35

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sounds absolutely horrific.
As others have said, be kind to yourself and try not to be upset by your family. Nobody will be thinking straight at the moment, give each other some time, and maybe some distance.

My mum died from pneumonia in similar circumstances when she was 55. I don't think you could have saved your sister with even the best CPR in the world - my mum was in intensive care whether lungs etc packed in and all their machinery and drugs couldn't save her.

As for your fear that you are going to die early too, that is a totally normal feeling, and understandable. Just give yourself time to prove to yourself that life is more secure than it feels at the moment. And if you have started to feel like you are going mad, don't worry, you're not, and you won't. Get yourself a good counsellor.

It will never be ok that your twin died like this, and you will never get over it - you probably don't even want to. But in time you can learn to accept it, and everything can become a new kind of ok. The best advice I was ever given was to welcome my grief and to nurture and embrace it. Sounds like psychobabble but it made a lot of sense to me. X

custardo Sat 14-Dec-13 22:18:19

sorry for your loss xx

Willabywallaby Sat 14-Dec-13 22:41:03

Another one thinking of you at this awful time x

zebrafinch Sat 14-Dec-13 22:51:08

I am sorry for your devastating loss.
My twin sister died but even though she was terminally ill I did for a long while keep going over her last few days in my mind wondering whether I somehow could have kept her alive longer. I think this is part of the normal grieving process.
You did everything you could do in the circumstances. Please do not be hard on yourself. For me the best way I can honour my twin is to live life to the full , to grab each new day and try to live it as best as I can . It is still early days for you, please be kind to yourself, your sister loved you and would want you to remember all the good times you both had together.

melonribena Sat 14-Dec-13 22:55:42

As someone who is very close to my own twin sister I am so so sorry for your loss. Twins have a bond that is special and built over years and years of love and shared experiences.

You did the very best for your twin. I'm so very sorry.

ThenAgain Sat 14-Dec-13 22:59:57

I'm so sorry, you sound like a lovely, lovely sister xxx

Twinless Sun 15-Dec-13 20:19:46

Toomany That lone twin website looks really good, thank you. It's given me some ideas on how to deal with what would have been our upcoming birthday. I was dreading it but there are some beautiful suggestions which I feel may help.

Insanity That book looks lovely, thank you for the suggestion. I'm glad it helped your DS thanks

AuntieRosemary I'm so sorry to hear about your DM thanks Something you wrote hit me, I am feeling like I don't want to get over her death, it feels at the moment that it means like I'll be forgetting her if I did. Logically, I know that's not true but I suppose at the moment the constant grief is a way of feeling she is still here.

Had an argument over the phone with my mum last night. She was saying how great it will be for me for to spend my birthday there (200 miles away) with my brother and other sister, what a comfort it will be to me. Earlier upthread I mentioned their email, mainly regarding son but also saying awful things about my twin and me, causing the no contact for 3 years. When my twin was dying, I opened up my home to my brother and sister and allowed them to say goodbye to my twin and I never got an apology, just a motion towards "water under the bridge". I tried to say that I was finding it hard to fall back into being their sister straight away only for my DM to become extremely agitated and angry that "I need to get over it, it's in the past, I have to let it go". I explained all I wanted was a bit of understanding that it's too soon for me to play happy families but she kept jumping to my DSis defence. I told her that her reaction and first instinct to jump to DSis's defence is part of the reason we were no contact. That was the second time since my twin had died that she has screamed down the phone at me. I just hung up.

My twin and I have always been treated as seperate. We were the scapegoats, from a young age always being told that we were the reason our DM had to marry our Dad. How she wanted an abortion with us. She constantly told us we were fat and denied us food while the rest of the family ate. I could go on and on about her behaviour over the years. In the end, my twin didn't want to know that side of the family and we were our own little family here which we built on with my DH, DS and really good friends.

Last Dec I got in touch with my DM to tell her I was having problems with my hips (avascular necrosis, dysplasia and severe osteoarthritis) and would be having a hip replacement. Stupidly, I felt she should know. But she didn't vist and only planned to visit at the end of November (why she didn't come sooner I don't know, probably too engrossed in life with my other sister). My twin still didn't want to see our DM but was doing it for me. But when she was in hospital, I had to grit and lie through my teeth that she loved everyone really. In return, I get screamed at and bullied. I'm beginning to wish I never bothered getting back in contact.

My twin died at 9pm and the next morning, everyone went straight home. I had to go and register her death, find a funeral director, organise the details, contact the bank, credit cards etc. inform family friends, sort through her flat, collect her ashes, take donations from the funeral to the hospital ward she died on. All with no help from our parents and I get this shit from our DM.

I'm feeling sick with stress and it's the last thing I need on top of the devastion I feel.

Paintingrainbowskies Sun 15-Dec-13 20:39:04

I am so very sorry, for all you have been through and continue to face.

My daughter died 4 years ago, I hated the thought of carrying on, that living my life meant that it looked like I did not love her. Slowly it comes though, you just have to get through each day.

My daughter died suddenly too and I had terrible flashbacks and huge regret and guilt. Talking and counselling helps.

Twinless Sun 15-Dec-13 20:47:02

Oh Painting I am so, so sorry for the loss of your DD thanks thanks

You have summed up exactly how I feel, that by moving on or laughing, forgetting for a moment means I don't love her. I know in my heart she woudn't want me to put my life on hold and would just want me to remember the good times but it's going to take so long to get there. I reslly hope the counselling referal from my GP comes through soon but I am thinking of contact Cruse in the next few days who several posters have recommended.

If it wasn't for my Ds I really don't think I could go on, the pain is so all-encompassing. I have some amazing friends who have been so supportive and have found it easier to remember and talk about her and the good times so that is helping a little.

God, just want to eat my body weight in chocolate and hide under a duvet on the sofa hoping it all goes away sad

Auntierosemary Sun 15-Dec-13 20:57:22

Twinless - you will get through this awful early part, you will find a way to cope and come through it, and once all the arrangements are sorted you won't have to have any more contact with the rest of your family. Sounds like your twin sister had the right idea and kept her distance - remember she would be facing all this if it was the other way round and you were the one that had died (god forbid!). But try to think what advice she would have given you in this situation.
Family or not, sometimes you need to protect yourself by cutting ties. But at the same time, don't say or do anything you might later regret - you may not be so angry, and your family may not be being so hurtful, in a year's time.
My heart goes out to you x

Auntierosemary Sun 15-Dec-13 20:58:52

Ps my other piece of advice is to eat your body weight in chocolate and hide under the duvet on the sofa for as long as you need to!

Twinless Sun 15-Dec-13 21:04:29

Thank you AuntieRosemary I like the sound of your advice smile

Yes, thinking about it, if the situations were reversed my twin still wouldn't be running back into the family fold. I won't make any rash decisions but I am regretting letting them back into my life.

KeziaK Sun 15-Dec-13 21:11:35

You have been such a good sister and twin. You were faithful and true from beginning to end. With a profound love and loyalty like that you are going on to mourn.
Your sister must have been so proud of you.

Twinless Sun 15-Dec-13 22:20:41

Thank you so, so much for your kind words KeziaK I really hope she is x

Mishmashofstyles Sun 15-Dec-13 22:48:32

You sound kind, sensible, and thoughtful. You must have been such a wonderful sister for your twin. I am sure you brought her joy in your little family unit.
Look after yourself.
Stick up for yourself.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

zebrafinch Mon 16-Dec-13 06:04:39

Twinless don't get pressurised into spending your birthday in a manner that others choose for you.
Birthdays will always be difficult because your twin is not there. Spend the day how you want to , sometimes it is better to have space to sit quietly and think about your twin on your birthday than have to join in with people who are trying to do what they think is best for you.

stickysausages Mon 16-Dec-13 16:10:09

thanks be kind to yourself & do whatever's needed to make things bearable. Cream cakes & wine have helped me through some hard times. So sorry for your loss x

Twinless Mon 16-Dec-13 19:46:15

I've told my Dad I'm not coming down for my birthday and he understands, said I need to do whats best for me. He doesn't get involved with family issues (my parents are divorced) but even he said I didn't deserve my DM going off at me. I'm leaving the ball in her court now and maybe I'll just go ahead with the plans I made with my twin for our birthday anyway (going to a posh tea room).

I had to hand the keys to her flat in today which was so hard. It feels final, like there's nowhere that's hers anymore and nowhere I can go to see her. It was becoming harder and harder to go there any sort things out so it sounds awful to say but it was an emotional milestone round my neck but at the same time, I didn't want another piece of her gone. So I do have conflicting emotions about today.

Tomorrow I'm picking up her ashes. I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about that. Part of me is starting to feel very protective of them, I really don't want to give them to my DM and I know my twin wouldn't have wanted DM to have her but I thought my DM should have her daughter. Now I don't want her ashes to be so far away from me with someone who caused us so much pain and continues to do so for me.

I'm also a bit scared of holding them, knowing what they represent, would it be too painful? My DH has offered to carry them home but I'm feeling that she would want me to hold them. I was the person who loved her no matter what, was there for her, who tried to save her, held her hand and stroked her face as she passed - I'm scared the finality and symbolic enormity of the ashes will be too much for me to cope with.

Thank you for listening...

stickysausages Mon 16-Dec-13 19:53:37

The funeral director will guide you, and they will be sensitive.

Keep the ashes wherever you feel comfortable, when you feel stronger, you can decide what to do with them

Twinless Mon 16-Dec-13 20:33:27

Thank you Stickysausages I didn't think to mention how I was feeling to the funeral directors. They have been so lovely, a real gift and guided me through so much i.e. us and my then my DS viewing her body, so I hope they will try to help me make sense of how I feel about taking her home.

Yes, now my birthday visit "home" looks cancelled I'm in no rush to make a decision about her ashes. I was trying to do the right thing, to my detriment really, about my DM having her but I;m getting more and more convinced that I should keep her here with me.

Thank you, and everyone, for the advice and support

zebrafinch Tue 17-Dec-13 04:13:02

Take your time making decisions about your twin's ashes, keep them until you are ready to let them go. When you are ready and this may take some time you will know what to do.

Pull Tue 17-Dec-13 04:21:10

So sorry for your loss x

Twinless Tue 17-Dec-13 12:08:29

I'm not long home from collecting her ashes. It was very emotional but the funeral director was so lovely, he held my hand and had a lovely chat. I really don't think I'll be able to let them go. I really feel that she belongs here in my home with her family. It really is what she would want but I was trying to keep everyone happy, but seeing them and holding them has given me the strength to do what I know my twin will want.

SapSuma Tue 17-Dec-13 14:44:09

Op -I'm so so sorry for your terrible loss. Please do what you feel is right and don't worry about others. You have been through so much and my heart breaks for you. Just try to get through each day at a time flowers

SoloXantiaClaws Tue 17-Dec-13 23:09:00

You should do what both you and what you feel your twin would want you to do imo. My Dads ashes spent far too long (imo) at the funeral parlour as my Mum couldn't bring them home...I suggested we collect them and they are at home with her now.

Don't let anyone bully you into doing something you don't want to do.

I hope you are taking care of yourself.

SoloXantiaClaws Tue 17-Dec-13 23:10:03

Meant to say that Dads ashes are over 4 years 'old'.

whethergirl Wed 18-Dec-13 22:31:20

Can I just say to an outsider, these are the facts:

Your/your twin's relationship with your mother is 'complicated' (I'm being kind there!) and your twin distanced herself from that part of the family
Your twin would want her ashes to be with you
You want her ashes to stay with you

It seems obvious her ashes need to stay with you. At least untill you ever feel otherwise? I cannot believe and I'm so sorry your mum is behaving the way she is. If anyone was in a position to be 'selfish' and think of yourself and your needs, rather than pleasing everyone else, it's you. If you were my best friend, I would encourage you to keep any contact with your mum and siblings to a bare minimum if at all, because I would put your needs first, especially during this immensley difficult time - you really don't need all that bullshit right now (if ever!). The snapshot description of your childhood is so so sad, but although you did not have any choice as a child to be with a toxic family, you have a choice now.

by moving on or laughing, forgetting for a moment means I don't love her I can totally understand that and it is a very natural to feel this way when bereaved. Would it help to consider, if the tables were turned, how you would feel about your twin - would you want her to be happy, to live her life, to laugh?

Also, Twinless, reading about your twin donating her organs led me to go on the organ donation website, it's something I have thought about for a long time. I have now registered, I hope it means a little something that your twin encouraged me to do this, and I'll always remember her as the reason for registering thanks

Snog Wed 18-Dec-13 23:15:12

What a shocking and profoundly traumatic time you have had OP. To lose a twin in this way is shocking even to read about so i can't imagine how you are feeling sad . You sound like an amazing sister and getting support for your ds makes you sound like a pretty amazing mother too. I was too upset myself when my dad died in May to support my dd for a while or even to recognise the depth of her loss. Keep your mum and other siblings at arms length and be kind to yourself. I am very sorry for your loss thanks .

Twinless Fri 20-Dec-13 19:32:55

Whethergirl Wow, wow, wow! You are so kind thanks That is so incredibly touching and it means the absolute world to me to know that she has inspired you to register. It's so tragic that there are such few donors and knowing she has been able to make a huge difference to several lives brings me so much comfort, in fact, I know I cling to it as it's the only positive to come out of such devastion. You have done a wonderful thing and thank you for doing it, in part, in memory of her. I have also pm'd you as I want you to know her name thanks thanks thanks x

Snog You ARE an amazing mother. I know this because a bad mother would never acknowledge that they could have done something differently and it takes a strong, loving person to say otherwise. Please don't be too hard on yourself, grief is such a strong emotion and sometimes everyday minute is a battle. I am also so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad thanks x

Thank you once again everyone for all your support. I haven't spoken to my Mum for nearly a week and I've cancelled the visit. I am taking a huge step back from her. I'm upset that my DS didn't remember her at all (she went NC when he was nearly 3) and when she was here she was making all sorts of promises only to disappear so quickly again because she doesn't get her own way - so I let her back into his life only for him to get messed about. Ultimately, he is better off without her in his life if she can turn her back on him so easily but it's unfair on him now.

I am also keeping her ashes. Full stop! It is definitely what my sis would want so that's what I'm doing. Thank you for helping me realise that and give me the strong to speak up for myself x

Snog Sat 21-Dec-13 10:27:15

I'm very happy to hear that you decided to keep the ashes, Twinless. Well done for looking after yourself and stepping back from your mum. Your experience brings me to tears and I don't know what to say other than don't be hard on yourself over what happened - you did CPR for your sis in a shocking situation and you were there for her when she needed you. You love her and you did your best for her.
The most comforting thing anyone said to me is that your loved ones are forever with you, they are always part of you and you carry them with you.
I also found "mindfulness" to be some relief ( basically trying to be more in the moment if you have not heard of this).
Keep on speaking up for yourself
And Merry Christmas - will you do something on Christmas day for your sis?
thanks thanks thanks

Twinless Sat 21-Dec-13 20:50:54

Hi Snog, I think trying to be more in the moment might be a good way of dealing with things. Especially now all the hoo-hah of arrangements, telephone calls, letters etc. have ended I've not got much to occupy my mind so I'm constantly thinking about it. Maybe Christmas is a double-edged sword - on the one hand it's going to be so hard and I'm dreading it but on the other hand, it's something to focus on and try to "enjoy" for my DS. It was my twin's favourite time of year so she would want me to try and enjoy it.

Funny you should say that about doing something for my Dsis. I was out shopping and saw the most beautiful, unusual frame and I immediately could see my twin's photo in it so I bought it! Part of her present was a candle she picked for herself for me to buy (typical of her, bless her!) so I'm going to put her photo in the frame and light her christmas present candle beside it. I might do the same for our birthday next week or maybe buy some flowers to go next to the photo?

I suppose being identical twins she will always be a part of me and a part of my DS. The difficult thing though is looking in a mirror, at the moment it's such a hard reminder. After she died, we were taken into a room and when I sat down I realised I was facing a window. As it was dark, I could see my reflection and I immediately felt sick and had to move. I suppose it means my DS will never forget how she looked so that's a good thing. My DGF died when I was 14 and years later I met up with is Dsis and I was in awe to see his features in 3D again, it was a nice feeling so hopefully my DS can experience that.

Thanks again thanks

Twinless Sat 21-Dec-13 20:51:17

p.s. Merry Christmas too x

DENMAN03 Sun 22-Dec-13 20:44:33

Im so sorry for your loss. Your post made me cry. Im a twin myself and I know how strong that bond is. Honestly if my twin sister died I couldn't actually cope without her. You sound amazing and Im sure you did everything you could. You wouldn't have been able to restart her heart without a defribulator (sp) so please don't blame yourself for her dying.
Words wont bring you much comfort now and I can imagine how you feel but Im sure her life was enriched by having you as her twin.
stay strong and much love.

Me2Me2 Sun 22-Dec-13 20:52:44

I'm so sorry for your loss

Skogkat Sun 22-Dec-13 21:16:01

I'm so sorry for your loss thanks

whethergirl Sun 22-Dec-13 23:55:10

Twinless I wondered if you were identical, and how that might affect you. I am not a twin so can't imagine anyone looking just like me, but when I look at my sister sometimes I recognise myself in her. Being a twin is no doubt a very special bond, and you are that part of her that is living, you are a walking memory of her.

I hope it your resemblance will also be a comfort to you at times. Perhaps when you are older, you will know how she would have looked too.

The photo frame and candle for Christmas is a lovely idea. Our dc are blessing to us at times like these, because whatever happens, they still need us every day and life has to go on for their sake.

I have also pm'd you.

Twinless Tue 24-Dec-13 17:37:45

Thank you DENMAN03 - logically, I know you are right. It was the paramedics who managed to get her back and stablise her enough to get to hospital. Before they arrived, her breathing was erratic and she wasn't getting enough oxygen so the 999 operator talked us through CPR, then she actually stopped breathing completely so in your heart, you can't help but feel you did it wrong or something. My sense of guilt and blame is starting to lessen but it is hard. I am grateful that I was able to attempt it though, I always thought I would freeze so it shows you never know how you will react in an emergency. Hug your twin tight - I never fully appreciated the gift of being a twin, I suppose i took it for granted but it is such a special bond x

Me2Me2 and SkogKat Thank you for taking the time to post x

Whethergirl Thank you for your touching pm. I suspect too in time it will be a comfort to me to still be able to "see her" in me. I am so lucky to have such an amazing DH, DS, friends as well as my twin's friends who have all rallied round me too.

Every single poster who has taken the time to post will never know how much it has meant to me, thank you so much for your kindness. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and I'd like to wish you all every happiness for 2014 x thanks wine

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