The loss of my twin sister at the age of 47

by Rebekah Arnold
(Selmer, Tennessee)

I was born a twin, my sister Deborah (Debbie) was born 3 minutes before me. My mother said she cried when the doctor said give me another band there is another baby.  Our mother thought she was going to have a huge boy and had only picked out one boys name , instead she ended up with two very tiny girls , we were both under 4 pounds . The doctor did not know about me because my twin laid over top of me the whole time and he could only hear one heartbeat. We were born on our grandfather’s birthday and he sent my mother roses with our names attached, one Deborah Faye, and mine Rebekah Jo, he picked our names from the bible, and our middle names come from our mother’s name. This was back in 1964.
My middle son came and woke me up at 2 am November 15, 2011 to tell me that Debbie had been in a bad car accident and they were unsure if she was going to live. I live in Tennessee and my sister lived in Indiana. I was up tried to call our mother, and had to drive over to give her the news. We had to wait until am that morning before being able to head to Indiana where she was in the hospital, because I could not get my paycheck before that time. When telling my bosses about what happened, my boss rolled his eyes at me and told me I would have to find my own replacement, and work for them on Friday and Saturday. I told him he must be crazy, I did not think I would be back by then, as I had no idea what or how bad she was.
It was a 8 hour drive and the longest day of my life , we got a call from my niece a half hour away from the hospital to tell us the doctor did not expect her to make it through the night , They had done surgery on her leg to fix it with a rod . It was broken or shattered and it was the only way to repair it. She was not waking up at all and her O2 level had dropped into the low 40s. We arrived at the hospital the evening of the 15th to find her hooked to a vent and many IVs.
She was not responding to anything of course we cried but after we arrived her O2 level was normal, when asking her nurse about this she said they has to readjust the vent to get it back up. She showed me her legs where they were what is called molding and told me that was not good. I knew this from working in the health care field all my life. Debbie lived until the morning of the 19th at 530 am she passed with my middle son by her side. The 18th my niece and I went into see her and she was blinking her eyes like when you do and are confused about where you are, and when we grabbed her hands, she grasped them. I was so excited and ran to tell our mother she was waking up. While my mother and I were in seeing her the doctor came in and gave us the results of the MRI they had done the nights before He told us the news that she was mostly brain dead and this was caused by going without O2 to her brain for at least 20-30 minutes. I know it is and was true but I cannot believe it still when she was showing signs of waking up. I asked the doctor why then was she grasping our hands when we put our hand in hers and she had not before. He said this was a reflex the brain did not need to think to do and if she was to stay alive we would have to keep her on a vent and feeding tube and she would be a vegetable the rest of her life . We cannot figure out where she went without the O2 and will probably never know that answer. The whole family agreed she would not want to live on life support for the rest of her life and decided the next day to take her off the vent at a set time so they could harvest her organs, as this was her wish. She did not live long enough for us to do this so we were able to let them harvest her corneas and skin and bone to help someone else live a better life. She would be happy knowing this.
It has been 2 weeks ago today and I cry everyday and cannot say the date of her death without tearing up. I start to call her every day after work because this is what we did, talked all the way home from work. Debbie and my niece came down to see us the end of October, I am thankful for that short time of getting to see her. I feel so empty like half of me is gone, I am so angry at god , and I am so lost without her she was my twin , my sister, my best friend, my strength and I will always have a empty hole where the part of her should be .

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Dec 12, 2014
by: sharon

Trust me when I tell you I know what you are going through and I wish I could tell you it will get better but I don't believe that myself. I lost my twin sister 5 months ago.She was coming in to see the doctor I work for that day.when her husband went to wake her up she was gone, She had a heart attack. what an awfull drive from work to the hospital where she was at. I ran in the er where she was covered up and removed the covers and told her wake up you can't leave me !!! I sm just going through the motions of life too. My heart breaks for you. I asked God why. Why didn't you take me first so I would not have to live in this pain. we are 60 and so much we wanted to do and I am now left with just the dreams we had. I will pray for you.

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Aug 05, 2014
My brother
by: Debbie

I lost my twin brother 4 months ago. He to covered my heart beat. They thought only one child. My brother was born 5 minutes before me the year 1/01/65. We where new born babies we made the papers. The first twins born in that hospital on New Year's Day. I just want you to know, I know your pain. It hurts terribly. The only thing that keeps me going is our beloved our God. If I didn't know then I do now know his surpassing love! Blessing to you:)

Sep 02, 2013
The loss of our twin sisters
by: Anonymous

I am so very sorry about your twin sister and I know the loss you feel. My twin sister died 2 years ago on 9/7/11, and to this day my body and life feel so empty. There is a hole let that cannot be filled, no matter what I do. I am a Christian and I believe God works In mysterious ways, but I can't get mad at Him. I have prayed until I'm sure He is tired of hearing from me. Sometimes it seems to work and then at other times, I just feel like I'm wasting my time. My twin and I were so close and she had just retired from work, we talked every morning for at least 2 hours and she was my confidant, my very best friend, always someone I could count on, and now she's gone. Her death is something I will never be able to handle or get over. My prayers are for you and I do hope this get better for you.

Apr 27, 2013
My twin sister
by: Christi

I am three minutes older than her. Tomorrow she will be a year dead. She was only forty five. Her place is empty it feels like a part of me is gone she was my friend we went through so much together. And nobody can understand that I can not get over her. If I think of her tears just start rolling down my face she is the whole time in my head

Jun 08, 2012
Dear Rebekah,
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for you loss. I am only 23 and my twin sister died 2 in a half years ago and right at this very minute it is still effecting me. She's my twin sister.. my other half. I've said it to so many people.. I loved her way before anyone else got the chance to.

I don't have the words to express to you how deeply sorry I am for you loss, but I do understand your grief fully because I am experiencing it as well.

I hope that you can find some comfort in your family and friends while you struggle through this hard time. I found this site when I couldn't handle the pain anymore and I was so lost and my people here didn't understand what I was going though. I needed to get our story out and to share it and try to fill this emptiness thats inside me that I can't seem to fix.

Thank you for sharing your story.. it breaks my heart that you are suffering and the point of commenting was to tell you that you arent alone. If you'd like someone to talk to, you can talk to me. I can't fix anything but I can grieve with you.

Please don't be mad at God. He loves you and your sister very much and he had a reason for this happening the way that it did. It's okay to be hurt and it's okay to be upset.. but talk to Him about it. Let Him know how you feel and try to find peace in knowing that your sister is safe with Him now. I don't want to sound preachy or anything because trust me I'd be a hypocrite but I know that God is the only one that can deliver you from the pain you are experiencing.

Dec 04, 2011
Don't be angry at God
by: Anonymous

I cried when I read yours. Debbie left her organs for others to survive. God takes us all, death is painful to survivors. But we all know it will come. I know this sounds the opposite of what you said but thank God for giving you a person on your journey that was so special, who chose to help others on her last journey. We are given people in our lives that make our own journeys meaningful. I am so sorry, I couldn't even imagine your situation. This part may be hard, but begin to write down the good times you had together, journal it. This period hurts, but for some reason, writing the good memories down helps to heal, and later, are a blessing to your memory and your family.

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