By Carolyn Shane, twin to Cary
The NY/NJ Region is fortunate to be able to meet four times each year alternating between the New York area and in various towns in New Jersey. An email is sent to everyone weeks prior to a meeting for a vote to be taken as to which dates provided will work best for the members of the region. The most popular date wins and the meeting date and location is set and a follow-up communication is then sent to everyone informing them of the meeting date details. The date of Oct. 30th won the vote and we were fortunate to have 14 members and 3 supporters who attended this meeting on Long Island at the beautiful and comfortable home of Laurie.
We begin each meeting at noon time with everyone bringing something for the group to eat and an hour is spent having lunch together and chatting informally. At 1 pm everyone is gathered together for our formal time together. We start by lighting two candles; one in memory of our twin and one for us, to be blessed with peace of mind, body and spirit. Fred then leads us in a prayer which sets the tone for our get-together. After the initial part of the meeting where we review the rules and procedures of the afternoon, discuss the past and upcoming conference, and remind everyone that it is important that we as Twinless Twins support our organization, we go around the room and we share our name, if appropriate our twin’s name, and the circumstance of their death. Depending on the number of attendees, this portion of the meeting can take an hour or more. We then take a 15 minute break to eat a bit more and to connect with each other in support, after our sharing time.
When we reconvene, there is always a chosen topic to be discussed. On Oct. 30th, the topic was ‘How has being a twin affected your life positively and/or negatively?’ Everyone participated and shared at their own comfort level. Part 2 of the discussion was ‘What have you done /are doing/or plan to do to make a positive impact on others and yourself to honor the loss of your twin and to help you in your healing process?’
We ended the discussion by quoting Dr. Brandt’s belief and one of TTSGI’s motto: “Healing by helping others.” I also distributed the following quote by Dr. Phil which we read in unison: “The depth, breadth, and longevity of your grief are not a reflection of how much you cared about the person. Celebrate everyday of their life instead of grieve the moment of death.”
Our meeting ended with a universal thank you to everyone who came and by their participation made this meeting very special, indeed. And of course, the meeting was not complete without our photo moment. Thanks to Burt and Steve, two of our supporters who took what seemed like 14 cell phone photo moments.