In the last few weeks I’ve been pondering something and decided to pose a question to some of my online TTTS mommy friends who walk the path of loss of one twin as well. My question is something that I don’t talk about a lot here…or anywhere because it’s one of those things that hurts more then many things in this world of ‘loss of one’. This is what I posted last week….
Does anyone else have a hard time truly feeling like a twin mommy, really feeling like their survivor is a twin?
I just feel some days like this isn't real, like it is a story...someone else's story. I can't truly picture myself with twins most days. When I read the questions of people on twin pregnancy sites (I know...why do I torture myslelf this way) I have a hard time even remembering my pregnancy . Am I alone here????
And not surprisingly I had so many responses of others who felt the same way. It lead to a discussion about how hard it is at times to live in this world where you can see what you have lost each and every day but have no basis for what life could have been like. But it also lead to discussion as to why we feel this way, what aids in this feeling for us.
One of my friends, put in words what I know to be one of the biggest reasons it happens to me….
That's exactly what I feel like. I know I'm a twin mommy, but I don't feel like it. I also believe that no one else views me that way, well most. And that doesn't matter so much, but if they did, it might help me feel like it. Does that make any sense?
And boy, does that make sense…. And I’m sorry to those who are reading this who might be bothered that we would say that about our friends and family but maybe it’s time we put it into words, time we explain why it is so important to us to acknowledge ourselves as twin moms and our survivor as a twin. My friend Debbie hit the nail on the head with her comment that if others acknowledged us as twin mommies and our survivors as twins, as part of a pair, that we, too, might find it easier to acknowledge it in our hearts. We should not have to justify this, we should not have to be having ‘chats’ like these, things should have turned out a different way. But the fact is that it didn’t turn out as planned but it still turned out, life still happened and life does go on.
I know that some people think I talk about Cole too much, talk about my pregnancy and what happened too much, talk about Cameron and Cole’s connection, their twinness too often. I know this because I’ve been told this, sometimes in gentle kindness, sometimes not as gentle but always with concern about me and my grief. I’ve been given that compassionate “I’m so sorry for your loss” look. And that is great…well it’s not, I wish no one had to give me that look or comments but it is nice that people acknowledge our journey, our loss, with compassion. But this isn’t about loss, it isn’t about grieving. Sure, I’ll never truly be done with grief. There will always be moments when I am sad that my son is not here with me, always be moments when I wish things we different. Things will trigger this forever…this past week it was talking about when Cameron starts school. But this is not about grief. It’s not about moving on ‘past what happened’. Because the fact is that it did happen and ‘it’ stares us in the face each morning. ‘It’ gives us hugs, tell us ‘It’ loves us, reminds us daily how amazing ‘It’ is. Talking about the connections twins have, that MY twins have is not living in the past nor is it part of the grieving process. It is not about whether I am grieving well or not.
It has little to do with grief and a whole lot to so with celebrating this amazing gift God has given me. Sometimes I think people think it is easier to not mention Cole’s name. This is not true, I love to hear his name, love to acknowledge his life and all that it has given me. I have been told many times to focus on the life of Cameron and trust me, I do. I know he is a miracle, I know he is a very special little boy. But I also know that talking about him as a twin, talking about Cole is not grief talking, it’s so not that.
Imagine, if you will, that you were born in Canada, grew up here and moved to say, Japan, when you were an adult. Would you say you were Japanese? Of course not, you are Canadian and always will be. Imagine one of your children did the same thing…moved to Japan when they were an adult. Would you say you had a child who was Japanese? Of course not.
Twins share a bond that goes beyond what any siblings can have. They begin together from the moment of conception, they are the first friends the other has. They are connected for life….but then life stopped for one of them. Does this mean the connection stopped? Did this life simply no longer exist? Of course not! So why should we act like it did. Most mothers connect with their baby while the child grows inside of them. But when it’s two babies (or more) growing inside of you it is, well magical. I was always in such awe of this egg splitting miracle that happened in my body. I felt such a connection to those little miracle beings.
It doesn’t make me not a twin mom because my child died and it doesn’t make my child not a twin just because his twin went to heaven first. If he’d lived 45 years and then died we would still say he was Cameron’s twin. We would still say I am the mom of twins. We’d just have a whole lot more cool memories to share.
So let me have those moments of twin mommy-ness, let me share my memories and savour the moments of one the coolest times of my life. It doesn’t make me sad, it doesn’t even really hurt that much. It makes me proud and honoured.
And just cuz I often do, I have to post a scripture that captured my heart on this one…
2 Corinthians 4:18(NIV)
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The good book always has the answers.
Cole may not be seen but he is eternally my child, eternally Cameron’s twin.