Lone / surviving twin

Convener(s): Kate Maravan

Participants: Gerard Bell, Eve Leigh, Hugh Hayes, John Pinder, Morven Macbeth


Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

On the first of March my daughter Anouk will be 5, she lost her identical twin sister Liv at 31 weeks gestation. We told Anouk about her sister when she was 2 and when I explained that she had shared my womb with a sister a beam of joy/recognition spread across her face. We talk about and to her sister frequently but the extent to which Anouk will be affected positively or negatively will be hard to measure. It is an on going evolution of understanding.


As a mother of identical twins, one with us one not, I wanted to see if there were any others at D and D who had similar experiences. One of my group has a partner who has lost a twin but none of the other people who joined me had direct experience. At first this reinforced my sense of the rarity of my situation and how lonely it can feel, however a rich and interesting session evolved and whilst the unique nature of our experiences were different, we found connections and points of contact.


I am very interested in the experience of absence and presence. I see the gap and the spaces where I feel that Liv should be, that she and Anouk are two halves of a whole and the missing of her is like a underlying ache and yet I experience her spirit ever present and she has become a powerful and loving inner guide. A place of deep holding and strength. 


There is something fertile about living with this life/death duality, we talked about the relationship of the material and the spiritual and the experience of isolation and accompaniment. The public and the personal. One participant felt the power, support and aliveness of the D and D community, how she became aware of the complexity of each person in the room and our need to be mindful of their and our own uniqueness. We all have a story to tell and it helped me to understand that managing my story behind daily patterns and behaviors contributes to my isolation.  


We discussed Theatre as Ritual and the need for spaces to express inner life and the fullness of the personal and the universal experience.


After my session yesterday on Alzheimers all kinds of ideas and connections are buzzing around. I am fascinated by new ways of relating, being and perceiving the world that don’t consciously or unconsciously conform to the status quo. I realize that it is time to challenge my own stories of identity, expression and notions of reality.