Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review - Beginning with the End by Mary R. Morgan

   'Beginning with the End' is a compelling book dealing with the loss of one's twin. Author Mary R. Morgan lost her twin Michael Rockefeller in 1961 when he disappeared on an anthropology expedition off the remote coast of New Guinea. As the daughter of then Governor of New York, Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller, she had to deal with this crisis in the glare of the public eye.
   Throughout the book she gives important insights on the experiences that one encounters following the loss of one's twin. The information will not only resonate with fraternal and identical twinless twins  but anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. Her personal account of what it means to repress grief over a long period and how the support one gets from family and friends affects an individual is very instructive.
   The need to adjust to life without a twin is dealt with in a detailed manner. The steps she used to achieve this are interesting. I was particularly struck by the use of imagery and the impact of nature.
    Serious food for thought is given to the twinless twin as he/she learns how crucial it is that you do not try to see your twin in another individual as it causes a myriad of problems.  Mary reveals this as she relates how it affected her relationships.
    The feeling of being off balance is an important revelation. Mary’s account is a real eye-opener for those of us who have had a similar experience.
    Her flashback to moments spent with Michael encourages the twinless twin to treasure memories while trying to adjust to a whole new world. Immediately the saying “Once a twin always a twin” comes to mind.
     Mary holds a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and has played an important role as psychotherapist to other twinless twins. Of particular note is her assistance to those who became twinless twins following the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster.
     I recommend this book as it offers an unique perspective on loss and grief as well the healing journey that one must take if life is to continue to be meaningful. 
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