Friday, November 11, 2011


I recently read this beautifully written article called The Ghosts of Children Passed.  It talks about grief and acknowledging the lost children in people's lives.  It's definitely worth a read - I made the mistake of reading it at work though.  Don't do that.  You will need tissues.

I haven't lost a child, but the idea of these ghosts of children who have passed made me think of other ghosts.  I don't mean that I believe there are actual ghosts - but the article made me think of the ghosts of our children - not passed - still present, but irrevocably changed by their circumstances.

Occasionally the 'ghost' of Ashlea as she could have been still haunts me.  Like in the article - for a brief moment I can picture her skipping off to big school with her twin. Or sharing twin secrets and games.  Or running through the house with her sisters.  Maybe it's the twin thing  - although I suspect it's really a grief thing - but because Ashlea and Audrey are identical twins I have a carbon copy right in front of my eyes showing me exactly what Ashlea would have been like - could have been like - without disability.

Maybe the article also struck a chord because it mentioned school and the idea of these ghosts following families and trailing at the school gate.  We have big school looming on the horizon - and once again it appears that it will be one of those transitions that serves as a reminder that things are different from how I'd imagined they'd be.  I will have 2 blond haired girls starting kindergarten next year, but not in the way I initially pictured when I found out I was having identical twin girls.  It's very hard not to let my mind conjure up that picture of what could have been. 

It's only ever a fleeting image in my head, this other Ashlea that visits my imagination.  The ghostly image of what might have been.

Do any of you still get haunted by 'what could have been?'


ferfischer said...

OMG your posts are killing me lately. Like we are in the same head!!! Oh, I do understand, in a way we have the ghost of "pre-accident" Cici around us too. I wonder constantly if Penny is a little "off balance" because she in so many ways lost her ID twin. Or if they would both be different, which I suspect they would. Or if Penny's requests to share a room with Cici now would be a complaint if the accident hadn't happened. I just don't know. I should stop wondering, but it's hard not to. And, like you know, seeing other identical twins just makes it hurt.

Alison said...

Sorry Jenny - but I knew you of all people would get it!!

Cathy said...

Oh, it haunts me every day!! And sometimes Bella does something and I get a glimpse of what should have been and try desperatly to grab onto it but it always slips away

Missy said...

I can only imagine how hard it must be when you have an exact "disability free" copy right in front of you. That constant reminder of what things would have been like.

I am lucky in lots of ways, as my girls have that twin relationship that I was always so desperately worried about them "not" having. But there are certainly those little moments that tug at the heart strings.

I think mine is less about the twin thing and just more about the grief of the situation not being normal, if that makes sense.

So I will wait and read that once everyone is in bed!


Sarah said...

I definitely long for what could have been but also realise at the same time of course it could have been much much worse.

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Alison I too am loving your writing especially the last few posts. xx I can relate somewhat to your post especially now as I have another boy even though it's 6 years later but I do often think of Cooper inutero was a different child to the one who was born as such. As for school even though it seems so massive now you will blink and your Kindergarten kids will nearly be finished with their first year and it hopefully won;t seem as full on as you thought it was :) love bron

Kat Carroll said...

Wow! I can very much relate to what you're writing Alison. I don't so much see Jacob as being fully able like his ID twin, Samuel BUT it really gets to me when I see other id twin boys together who have no disability between them. I find that I don't want to see other twin boys play or interact together as it hurts like crazy to see what my boys are missing out on.It's a reminder of what might have been if we hadn't had the TTTS. I feel taunted by it. With regards to them starting school I feel desperately sorry for Samuel as Jacob is already beginning to be a bit of a 'novelty' (for want of a better word) with all the other kids. At orientation nearly every kid that passed us was saying 'hi' to Jacob but totally ignoring his brother. Jacob is the most confident of the two (go figure!) and Samuel is so sensitive and is now worried that Jacob has loads of 'buddies' at big school and he only has one.I never imagined I would worry so much about our able twin...