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My Twin Soul

Mary and Jack

 

A lot of emphasis is placed on the concept of the “soul mate,” or one’s ultimate romantic partner. It’s become almost cliché. There’s another soul connection that many people think is just another expression for the “soul mate.” The expression is that of “twin soul,” or “twin flame.” However, twin souls or “twin flames” are not doppelgängers of one’s most coveted romantic self. Instead, a “twin soul” is a person with whom one often shares both genetic and psychic material. Siblings can be “twin souls,” for instance.

My twin soul was named John Wenham Alden, but we called him “Jack.” He was my older brother by two and a half years. He was the person I most revered in life for his extreme brilliance and sense of humor, but also because we shared a symbiotic relationship. Again, the word “symbiotic” has become one that is often disparaged in our culture as akin to “codependent,” but that’s an erroneous and incorrect use of it. Rather, a “symbiotic” relationship is one that is *interdependent* in many deeply meaningful ways.

Jack died tragically 27 years ago. A part of my soul seemed to die the day he left me, and I had a very difficult time recovering from his loss for many, many years. Strangely, after my accident I had no memories for some five weeks. I don’t remember the fall from my horse, the trip to the hospital, or even my time in the ICU. Later on, I was discharged and we left for Albuquerque. I don’t remember that either. Finally, my first real memory arrived in the form of a dream. It was Jack. He looked exactly as I remembered him 27 years ago, when I was 22 and he was 24.

“Mareda,” he said (he always called me “Mareda”), “ignore these idiot naysayers who think you won’t survive. You WILL survive, because it isn’t your time to go. I was there when you fell and it wasn’t your time then either. However, your recoveryA lot of emphasis is placed on the concept of the “soul mate,” or one’s ultimate romantic partner. It’s become almost cliché. There’s another soul connection that many people think is just another expression for the “soul mate.” The expression is that of “twin soul,” or “twin flame.” However, twin souls or “twin flames” are not doppelgängers of one’s most coveted romantic self. Instead, a “twin soul” is a person with whom one often shares both genetic and psychic material. Siblings can be “twin souls,” for instance.

My twin soul was named John Wenham Alden, but we called him “Jack.” He was my older brother by two and a half years. He was the person I most revered in life for his extreme brilliance and sense of humor, but also because we shared a symbiotic relationship. Again, the word “symbiotic” has become one that is often disparaged in our culture as akin to “codependent,” but that’s an erroneous and incorrect use of it. Rather, a “symbiotic” relationship is one that is *interdependent* in many deeply meaningful ways.

Jack died tragically 27 years ago. A part of my soul seemed to die the day he left me, and I had a very difficult time recovering from his loss for many, many years. Strangely, after my accident I had no memories for some five weeks. I don’t remember the fall from my horse, the trip to the hospital, or even my time in the ICU. Later on, I was discharged and we left for Albuquerque. I don’t remember that either. Finally, my first real memory arrived in the form of a dream. It was Jack. He looked exactly as I remembered him 27 years ago, when I was 22 and he was 24.

“Mareda,” he said (he always called me “Mareda”), “ignore these idiot naysayers who think you won’t survive. You WILL survive, because it isn’t your time to go. I was there when you fell and it wasn’t your time then either. However, your recovery is up to YOU.”

“Some of these people don’t seem very convinced,” I said. “So I’ve tuned them out. Most of them think I’ve tuned out because I’ve had to go somewhere else.”
“This is the problem with living people,” Jack said, laughing his most endearing laugh. “They’re so attached to their egos. They believe what they think, so therefore…cogito ergo sum. Remember your Latin; you had three years of it. Now ignore these people. Do you hear me? IGNORE them.”

“And then what do I do?” I asked.

“That’s up to you. It’s all up to you,” he replied. “You know, one of the great things about being dead is that I’m not attached to my ego. I don’t need it anymore. So just do what I say and ignore the rest.”

From that day forward, I slowly and gradually became better. The fear left me, and I either blocked out the naysayers or confronted them directly. I even corrected and fired my speech therapists. I told one of them that she’d given me an *incorrect* English construction to try to enunciate. Next!

With my dear brother Jack at our grandparents’ house in Princeton, New Jersey. Just enjoying being together.

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