I thought I would start with a little bit of information about myself and my twin. I was born 3 and 1/2 months premature and was only 1lb 2oz. when I was born. I am six minutes older than my identical twin, who was 1lb 8oz. at birth. She died three days later due to heart complications and low birth weight. I also lost an older sister two years prior to my birth; she died at 8 months of age due to head trauma.
I didn't understand my mother's reaction to my birthday for a very long time. She would throw party after party for my childhood birthdays, but someone else usually took care of the day of my birthday because she would be weepy and silent. When I was 9 I found a baby picture that I pointed out to my mother; I had thought it was me. It was then that she told me that it was my identicial twin sister, who was deceased. She never really talked about the experience, and it took years of soul-searching, talking to relatives, and even securing her birth and death certificates for myself to understand. Shortly after discovering the baby picture, my mother subsequently burned all of my (and presumably my sisters') baby pictures, but not my younger brother's. Suffice it to say, she has not handled it well.
As a result, I find myself with huge amounts of survivor's guilt. Core messages such as 'she should be alive instead of me' and 'what a mess I've made of a life I shouldn't even have' are at the heart of a great deal of emotional distress for me. But that's a whole 'nother journal now, isn't it?
Come...share your stories...I'm eager to meet and connect with others who've lost such a special bond.