******************I've heard it said that if you are twin, especially an identical twin, you always feel like something is missing when you lose that sibling. Like something just isn't quite right with you and no matter what you do you will always feel that way. It is very true. I lost my identical twin sister, Shannon, six weeks after we were born. I've also heard it said that we have some kind of connection and I believe that to be true as well. The reason for that is because no one told me about my sister. My father wanted to keep it from me, for reasons I do not know. While I do not remember this happening, I trust my mother to tell me the truth, no matter what, and she has told me that the night I found out about my sister I was awakened by Shannon and went into my mom's room and asked her "Who my other?"
As a mother, you feel the heartbreak, the sadness from losing a child and it's worse when doctors do not even know the cause. Yet, you have a few memories with the child to cherish after they are gone and to share with any siblings they may have. This is not the case for the siblings who were far too young to remember anything about the child. We just feel like we never got a chance to know them and how it is not fair that they never got to live their lives. God works in mysterious ways but I still feel guilty, every single day, for living when I was the one that was supposed to pass. When Shannon and I were born we were so small we had to wear baby doll clothes. We were born three months too early and the doctors said I was the one that would not live past 2 years old because I was always sick, always crying. Shannon was the one who never got sick and rarely cried, according to the pictures. Apparently, the doctors were wrong.
I have another sibling, an older brother, and while he lost her too, we sometimes forget that fact. Consumed by our own pain we usually don't stop to remember it. With each year, however, it gets a little easier, not much...but a little. I am always trying to find ways to remember her in a new way every year. While the pain never goes away, it gets a little bit easier. The only thing that gives all of us who have lost a baby (mother or sibling) any hope at all is that we will, one day, see that child again, hold that child. Maybe, someday in our lifetimes, we'll get to see a cure for SIDS or, at the very least, a reason for it.
After all the pain and sorrow, we have to move on with our lives because, had these children gotten the chance to live and thrive, they would not want us to be sad all the time. They would want us to be happy and to live our lives the best we can. I will never stop living my life for her. She is apart of me and always will be. I want to make her proud of me, even if she didn't get the chance to make her own family, start her own career, etc. I will do it for her and, I hope, one day I will get the chance to have some hand in finding a reason or a cure for this terrible thing that has taken so many innocent, far too young lives.
PS. We were identical and this is what I look like so I'm guessing, she would've looked mostly the same :-)
Precious baby Shannon, Loved and Missed.
We know you will be reunited with your family in Heaven one day. :)