“Mother, feminist and advocate” Meghan Markle is sharing a deeply personal part of her life…
She and Prince Harry suffered a devastating miscarriage in July.
In a new piece for the New York Times published on Wednesday, the Duchess of Sussex gets very personal, detailing her journey of grief. The former actress starts off by candidly sharing the moment she knew she’d lost her second child:
“It was a July morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib. After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
Markle then reflected on a rather poignant trip in her royal tenure. When she was on her African tour with Harry and baby Archie, a journalist asked how SHE was doing — which was something few had ever said to the new, breastfeeding mother.
After admitting she had to put on a brave face for that entire time with the press, Meghan detailed the encounter:
“‘Are you OK?’ a journalist asked me. I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering. My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.”
“‘Thank you for asking,’ I said. ‘Not many people have asked if I’m OK.’ Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”
The humanitarian then went on to explain something we already knew. So few women talk about their experience with miscarriage and loss publicly, and if they do, people react with judgement and ridicule as if there’s a cookie cutter approach to grief:
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few. In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
“Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Particularly, we can’t help but think about Chrissy Teigen, who a few months ago was mourning the loss of her son Jack. Critics jumped and spoke out about the way she chose to share her story, but it did give more women the bravery to detail their own experiences. Perhaps the cookbook author served as a little inspiration for Meghan?
We’ll likely never know, but it is so important someone with Markle’s platform is sharing her truth and making other women feel a little less alone.
You can read her full essay HERE.
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