Nov. 25 (UPI) — Meghan Markle is sharing the “grief” and “pain” she felt after having a miscarriage this year.
The 39-year-old duchess of Sussex went public in an op-ed for the New York Times published Wednesday about having a miscarriage in July while pregnant with her second child with her husband, Prince Harry.
In the op-ed, titled “The Losses We Share,” Markle said she had a miscarriage during an ordinary morning in July. Markle was with Archie, her now-18-month-old son with Harry, when she realized something was wrong.
“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,” Markle recalled.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she added.
“Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand,” she said. “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.”
While in the hospital, Markle said she thought of a moment during a 2019 interview when ITV anchor Tom Bradby asked if she was 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?'” she wrote.
Markle applied the question to the wider world, reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement have defined 2020 for so many. She said “polarization” in the United States and social isolation have left many feeling “more alone than ever.”
Markle then recalled a moment from her late teens when she saw a woman crying on the street in Manhattan. Markle asked her cab driver if they should stop but the driver assured her someone would ask if the woman was okay.
“I wish I could go back and ask my cabdriver to pull over,” she said in the op-ed. “This, I realize, is the danger of siloed living — where moments sad, scary or sacrosanct are all lived out alone. There is no one stopping to ask, ‘Are you OK?'”
Markle then described the grief she felt after having a miscarriage and discussed how many people carry the pain of miscarriage alone.
“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 in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage,” Markle said. “Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
“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,” she added. “In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Markle encouraged people to check in on each other, despite any physical distance and disagreements. She ended her essay by asking, “Are we OK?” and answered, “We will be.”
Markle and Harry married in May 2018. The couple said in October that they’ve spent some “special moments” with son Archie at home during the pandemic.