"Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few."

Olivia Harvey
Nov 25, 2020 @ 9:35 am
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Credit: Karwai Tang / Contributor, Getty Images

In a November 25th op-ed for The New York Times titled "The Losses We Share," Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, opens up about having a miscarriage in July. After experiencing a severe cramp while changing son Archie's diaper on a morning like any other, Markle wrote, "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."

Markle said she remembers laying in her hospital bed and recalling the moment journalist Tom Bradby asked if she was OK during the South African tour she and Prince Harry went on shortly after Archie was born. "I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many...But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself," Markle wrote.

"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?'"

In asking the question aloud, Markle wrote, she realized how loaded it was. Are any of us really OK in this year when sickness, social injustice, and constant political opposition continue to knock us down? "That polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever," she wrote.

"Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," Markle continued. "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."

She noted that "unbearable grief" can become more bearable if we are willing to talk to one another and listen. "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," Markle wrote. "In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing."

Markle asked us to commit to asking others if they're OK this Thanksgiving. "As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year," she said.

"For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another," Markle wrote. "Are we OK? We will be."