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Twinless twin

A twinless twin, or lone twin,[1] is a person whose twin has died. There are many causes for such losses and different issues facing each type of twin loss.

A twinless twin goes through a magnitude of losses simultaneously at the moment their twin dies that includes the loss of their twin, loss of their twinship, and an injury to their identity. This makes the loss of a twin complex, intense and lifelong regardless of whether twins are identical, fraternal, same sex or opposite sex twins. The level of loss is a spectrum depending on many factors such as the physical age of the twin when the loss occurred, the type of twinship the twins had and the amount of years that twinship was lived out, and the amount of years lived LATD (life after the death) of their twin. The impact of a twin loss and the ongoing psychological ramifications experienced in the lone twin throughout their life is not currently studied or acknowledged in our medical society.

Twins and higher-order multiples experience life and their twinship from conception in-utero which triggers a unique psychological difference from singletons. Utero bonding for a twin carries both advantages and liabilities but in regards to twin bereavement how twins form their identities and this level of relationship can be crippling once a twin is loss. This can be seen in a twinless twin who has lost their twin before or shortly after birth and experiences a sense something is missing from their life even before they ever learn they are a twin and have no memories of their twin. They say they can feel a real sense of grief for not only the loss of their twin, but also the lack of memories.[1]

Some twinless twins feel guilt that they have survived when their twin did not. Others may feel the need to live for two and do the things their twin cannot. Children and sometimes even adults who lose a twin can feel displaced within their family. This is particularly so within families who have placed a great deal of emphasis on the fact that they were twins. The twinless twin may now feel like they are less than and not as important or special as they once were.

Twinless twins around the world unite through organizations and online groups to share support and the status as a twinless twin.[2]

Triplets, quadruplets and higher order multiples can also experience this sort of loss.

Notable twinless twinsEdit

  • Dolla, American rapper, his twin sibling died during birth.[citation needed]
  • David Jason, British actor, twin brother died during childbirth. [3]
  • Elvis Presley, pioneering rock musician (twin brother Jesse Garon Presley was stillborn).[4] Elvis often spoke to friends and in interviews about feeling that a major part of him was missing without Jesse. Elvis's middle name at birth, Aron, was spelled to match with Jesse's designated middle name of Garon; but, as Elvis grew older, he expressed to his father his desire to have it spelled in the traditional way, "Aaron"; a wish that his father granted on Elvis' tombstone at Graceland.
  • Heather O'Rourke, child actress (twin brother was miscarried).
  • Jarosław Kaczyński, former Prime Minister of Poland and identical twin brother of former Polish President Lech Kaczyński, who died in the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash.[5]
  • Liberace, classically trained pianist and comedian known for his elaborate costumes (the entertainer was known to have counseled the young Elvis on being a twinless twin and the desire to "live for two").[6]
  • Philip K. Dick, American science fiction author whose twin sister, Jane, died when the twins were five weeks old. The loss of his twin is said to have profoundly affected his writing.[7]
  • Marlon Jackson, former Jackson 5 member (twin brother Brandon Jackson was stillborn[citation needed]). As a result of the birth, Marlon was born a few weeks premature, but he survived.
  • Miklós Radnóti, Hungarian poet whose twin brother died along with their mother during childbirth.
  • Solomon "Shazam" Conner, member of H-Town. His twin brother and bandmate Keven "Dino" Conner was killed in an automobile accident in 2003.[8]
  • Chuck Panozzo, member of Styx. His fraternal twin brother and bandmate John Panozzo died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1996.[9][10][11][12]
  • Jonathon Blum, American hockey player, whose fraternal twin sister, Ashley, perished in a house fire.
  • Tom Gullikson, American tennis player and identical twin brother of Tim Gullikson, who died of brain cancer in 1996.
  • Sullivan Sweeten, former American child actor. His identical twin Sawyer committed suicide in 2015.[13]
  • Mary Rockefeller Morgan, licensed psychotherapist and author, daughter of the New York Rockefeller family. Twin brother Michael disappeared off the coast of Papua New Guinnea in 1961.


  1. ^ a b Anderson, Ros; Taylor, Megan (20 July 2013). "My twin died, I survived". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  2. ^ Twinless Twin support group
  3. ^ Moreton, Cole (18 December 2011). "David Jason on Europe, X Factor and returning to the BBC". Daily Mail. London. 
  4. ^ Alan C. Elms, "Elvis: Nothin' but a Twinless Twin: Book Review of The Inner Elvis: A Psychological Biography of Elvis Aaron Presley by Peter O. Whitmer." Found at Accessed July 8, 2010.
  5. ^ "Polish President Lech Kaczynski dies in plane crash". BBC News. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Kucukalic, Lejla (2008). Philip K. Dick: canonical writer of the digital age. Taylor and Francis. p. 27. ISBN 0-415-96242-0. 
  8. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2003-02-03). "H-Town Lead Singer Dies". 
  9. ^ "John Panozzo – Styx Drummer". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 16, 1996. 
  10. ^ "John Panozzo, 47, 70's Rock Drummer". New York Times. July 18, 1996. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Perrone, Pierre (20 July 1996). "Obituary: John Panozzo". The Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^

External linksEdit