Even though pregnancy loss is very common, those who suffer a miscarriage are often expected to deal with it in private. In recent weeks, we’ve seen celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, publicly share the heartbreaking experience of losing a child, in hopes of letting those who’ve endured the same tragedy know they are not alone. In a moving essay for the New York Times, Meghan Markle has also revealed that she had a miscarriage in July. The Duchess of Sussex offers an intimate personal account of the traumatic experience of losing her second child with Prince Harry.
“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,” she wrote.
Like Teigen, Markle writes that she is sharing her story in an effort to break the silence around an issue that affects millions of women a year. “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote. “In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
The essay about loss also reminds readers about the collective grief we share from an extraordinary hard year, touching on the pandemic, the murder of Breonna Taylor, and the presidential election. Markle reminds us to ask each other “Are you okay?”, and references the powerful moment a journalist asked her that very question last year. “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.”
As we learned from the sordid reactions to Teigen’s brave account of her pregnancy loss, it’s not easy to open up about a topic that Markle says is "taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning."
It’s this isolated sadness and the polarization of the country that she feels has contributed to the difficulty of 2020, but she has hope it can can get better. “We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes — sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears,” she writes. “For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.”