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Michael

by Debbie Cortez
Date: January 10, 1998

Having twins was the biggest surprise of my life, but I had no idea the impact it would make. Everyone told us that it would change our whole view of parenthood, but I'm not sure in the way they thought it would. First came Michael, alive but fragile, then came Laura, alive and healthy. Michael was born with HLHS. At 3 1/3months Michael left us for his new home in Heaven. Our first son Kenny (then just 2wks shy of turning 3) was somewhat untouched by this news at first. The day Michael died I had gone to the store and bought 3 white balloons and sent them up to heaven. At that time Kenny wanted to keep one but we had said no they were for Michael. About 1 month later I am standing at the changing table changing Laura's diaper. There's a window to my left and Kenny is behind me on a chair looking out the window.

His story begins: "Hello God, what are you dong?"

God responds: "I am playing with Michael"

Kenny says: "Hello Michael what are you doing?"

Michael says: "I am playing with my balloons"

Kenny: "Can I have one?"

Michael: "No"

I laughed and I knew then it was going to be alright. Kenny is 6 now and it has been interesting watching him go through his grieving process. He is now at the stage of where is realizing Michael was not our baby but his brother as well and now misses him in a new way. I thank God he gave me Kenny first because Kenny has kept Michael's spirit alive in our home with his questions and curiosities. Laura is 3 now and I wonder if she is sensing the loss of her other self. She has moments of "sad feelings" and "missing someone" I am having trouble of what to tell her at this age to help her understand. She knows of Michael and where he is, but is not aware that he is her twin. I think she is too young to understand this part and why she even feels this way. How do you tell a 3yo her other half died without her dying too?

I am interested in talking to other people who have lost a twin and are in this same position or may have already gone through this. You can e-mail me at RDLK@aol.com

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