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Beginning With the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss and Healing

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In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson A. Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 2 In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson A. Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 27-year repression of her grief and an unconscious denial of her twin’s death, which haunted her relationships and controlled her life.    In this startlingly frank and moving memoir, Mary R. Morgan struggles to claim an individual identity, which enables her to face Michael’s death and the huge loss it engendered.  With remarkable honesty, she shares her spiritually evocative healing journey and her story of moving forward into a life of new beginnings and meaning, especially in her work with others who have lost a twin.


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In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson A. Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 2 In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson A. Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 27-year repression of her grief and an unconscious denial of her twin’s death, which haunted her relationships and controlled her life.    In this startlingly frank and moving memoir, Mary R. Morgan struggles to claim an individual identity, which enables her to face Michael’s death and the huge loss it engendered.  With remarkable honesty, she shares her spiritually evocative healing journey and her story of moving forward into a life of new beginnings and meaning, especially in her work with others who have lost a twin.

30 review for Beginning With the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss and Healing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    Beginning With the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss and Healing by Mary R. Morgan In 1961, Mary R. Morgan's twin brother, Michael Rockefeller (yes, of 'the' Rockefeller fame), mysteriously disappeared off the coast of New Guinea - his body was never to be found. She was 23 years old when he disappeared and her life was forever changed. Twins have always fascinated me. I myself am not a twin (although I've always wanted one). I fully believe twins share a bond that most non-twins could never begin to u Beginning With the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss and Healing by Mary R. Morgan In 1961, Mary R. Morgan's twin brother, Michael Rockefeller (yes, of 'the' Rockefeller fame), mysteriously disappeared off the coast of New Guinea - his body was never to be found. She was 23 years old when he disappeared and her life was forever changed. Twins have always fascinated me. I myself am not a twin (although I've always wanted one). I fully believe twins share a bond that most non-twins could never begin to understand. Like an intrinsic thread that connects their minds, bodies and souls. Secret languages shared between twin babies and toddlers even before they learned to speak. Knowing what the other is thinking - even if they're miles away, or the feeling of 'there's something wrong' ... and then finding out something bad has happened with the other twin. We've all heard about these phenomena. Can you imagine it happening to YOU? It's something you'll never really know ... unless you're a twin (or multiple) in which case, it's just the way it is. no matter what. Beginning With the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss and Healing is just that. A heart-felt account of Mary Morgan's difficult journey and personal struggles to find 'herself' and a life of her own in an unfathomable, nearly unbearable world without her twin. Mary felt the loss of her beloved twin brother harder, longer, deeper than those around her ever could. How could she not? A part of herself was missing. gone forever. Unable to move forward, the strife in her personal life, from dealing with unstable marriages (with partners chosen for the wrong reasons) to the stress of family ties and business relation issues, were the direct cause of her own grief-stricken inability to wrap her head around her loss. It was not until years later, when she attended a rehabilitative nature retreat, that she was finally able to understand her own feelings and connect with her inner pain and grief. Through spiritual enlightenment achieved during her retreat, she was finally able to find a modicum of closure to her brothers disappearance, thus essentially setting free his ghost. She has since been able to move forward to once again find a meaningful happiness in her life. My condolences to the author for her loss. I truly appreciated the honesty and rawness of her personal journey - from the depths of her grief to her eventual success in finding a sense of wholeness and purpose in a whole new world. I also appreciated this rare glimpse into the twin phenomenon I have only ever imagined. As a relatable tool to identify and help you understand that you are not alone in the world after losing a loved one. I would recommend this book as a therapeutic option to anyone who has lost someone they were really close to (which I suppose means pretty much everyone) and especially to twins suffering from a twin loss. I received this book in a GoodReads first-read giveaway in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Goodreads for the giveaway opportunity and Vantage Point for the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Interesting memoir on an individual woman’s recovery from loss of her twin. Morgan describes the mourning and recovery process she went through over several years following the unanticipated death of her twin brother Michael. Several stages of grief and closure are explored from being stunned, to suppression of grief, to denial of its effect on other intimate relationships, and to eventual formation of a new and independent self-defini I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Interesting memoir on an individual woman’s recovery from loss of her twin. Morgan describes the mourning and recovery process she went through over several years following the unanticipated death of her twin brother Michael. Several stages of grief and closure are explored from being stunned, to suppression of grief, to denial of its effect on other intimate relationships, and to eventual formation of a new and independent self-definition. The field of twin loss is yet evolving and this book will serve as an important addition. The memoir component describing the family dynamics and the relationship between the twins as adults is limited and leaves the reader desiring greater context.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Bannister

    I received this free copy through Good Reads. The book is a fitting memorial to Michael Rochefeller by his twin sister Mary. The myth I grew up with was that Michael lost his life and his head to local headhunters. On the contrary, I learned that he was loved and missed by the tribes people he came in contact with. Mary's book has three components that filled in all the gaps for me. First it's a memoir of her brother and her as little children with glimpses of the close bond they had. Secondly, I received this free copy through Good Reads. The book is a fitting memorial to Michael Rochefeller by his twin sister Mary. The myth I grew up with was that Michael lost his life and his head to local headhunters. On the contrary, I learned that he was loved and missed by the tribes people he came in contact with. Mary's book has three components that filled in all the gaps for me. First it's a memoir of her brother and her as little children with glimpses of the close bond they had. Secondly, an accounting of the feverish and disappointing search she and her family made to find Michale hopefull alive and well. And finally, a journal on Mary's coming to terms with the death of her brother and the years of grief she has worked through.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Diane

    Wow! I found this book fascinating. I can remember when Nelson Rockefeller's son Michael disappeared off the coast of Papua, New Guinea. Mary is Michael's twin sister. She chronicles the arduous search she and her father led for Michael and the crushing realization they would never find him. Interspersed with that story are chapters about growing up with her twin, Michael, in a famous, wealthy, political family. I came to understand the incredible bond twins share and how emotionally wrenching t Wow! I found this book fascinating. I can remember when Nelson Rockefeller's son Michael disappeared off the coast of Papua, New Guinea. Mary is Michael's twin sister. She chronicles the arduous search she and her father led for Michael and the crushing realization they would never find him. Interspersed with that story are chapters about growing up with her twin, Michael, in a famous, wealthy, political family. I came to understand the incredible bond twins share and how emotionally wrenching the death of that sibling is. Great read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    When Mary Rockefeller lost her twin, Michael, she had to face public scrutiny , as the governors daughter as well as her own devastating loss. This is the story of her struggle to come to terms with being I instead of we, and releasing the part of her that wouldnt let go of her other half. Her spiritual quest , thru imagery is one that I have also delved into with my loss of a daughter, and though it is not for everyone, it helped me more than anything else. Now a twin loss psychotherapist , she When Mary Rockefeller lost her twin, Michael, she had to face public scrutiny , as the governors daughter as well as her own devastating loss. This is the story of her struggle to come to terms with being I instead of we, and releasing the part of her that wouldnt let go of her other half. Her spiritual quest , thru imagery is one that I have also delved into with my loss of a daughter, and though it is not for everyone, it helped me more than anything else. Now a twin loss psychotherapist , she has turned her tragedy into a haven for other twins and has learned to embrace her own life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    A Serious Lover

    I was very interested in this book as I recall hearing about Michael Rockafeller's disappearance as a young child. I enjoyed the beginning of the book to the about the halfway point immensely from there to the end, not so much. The vision quest the author pursued had a lot of meaning for her but it was overchronicled in the book. The 'twin' aspect of the book was of enormous interest.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karry Vanherreweghe

    I won this as a Goodreads, First reads winner. This book was a heart wrenching and yet heart warming read. I really enjoyed the journey the author lets the reader in on and definitely recommend it, especially if one is going through a hard time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

    A very emotional and personal memoir about the loss of a twin. A must read for anyone who has lost a twin or for anyone who knows someone who has lost a twin.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tangi Lepper

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma little

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lexxi

  12. 4 out of 5

    Allison Noble

  13. 4 out of 5

    Edelmira

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sloan Facques

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly

  16. 4 out of 5

    Celestina Bordeaux

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  18. 5 out of 5

    kam

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shira

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kamryn Leigh Buoy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  22. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mohosana mohosanakatun mohosanakatun

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michele

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jodie Bookout

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alliyah

  27. 5 out of 5

    Someone

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janet

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