Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

The Lone Twin: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

The Lone Twin: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss

Article excerpt

The Lone Twin: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss by Joan Woodward (1998). London: Free Association Books.

Joan Woodward's Bereaved Twin Study included interviews with 219 surviving twins whose uterine siblings deaths' occurred at stages ranging from prenatal to adulthood. The bereaved tell about their experiences in their own words and in their own names (very few chose to be anonymous) making the book very moving. From all witnesses, we learn how severe the loss of a twin can be. Although Woodward does not focus on twin losses in utero, there are a number of relevant case histories. When learning they had been a twin, without exception, the survivors said that they had already known about it at some level of consciousness and on hearing the news felt "everything fitted into place."

Of particular interest for APPPAH members is Chapter 2 which deals with twin loss at the time of birth. These early losses produced painful, long-term distress affecting some lone twins for life. The survivors were unconsciously searching for the lost twin and strove anxiously to make connections with people. Woodward points to common themes among those who lose their twin in childhood or adulthood. …

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