In a powerful piece written for the New York Times, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, revealed she miscarried her second child in July of this year.
The Duchess describes a summer morning where everything seemed normal until she felt a sharp cramping in her stomach. She was holding her son, Archie, when she had to drop to the floor. "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."
In her article, Meghan goes on to describe the healing process she and Harry had to go through. She recalls an interview she did with ITV last year in which her honest response to the question "Are you OK?" resonated with so many mothers across the world.
"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?'
"Are we? This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating."
Meghan goes on to speak in more detail about the turmoil 2020 has brought for so many people, mentioning the global pandemic, the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the loss of faith in science, the so-called war on truth ("we are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact"), and more.
She goes on to focus on how isolation can make problems seem all the more insurmountable.
In her closing lines, Meghan speaks about the loneliness that can be felt by people who miscarry a child, despite the fact that 10 to 20 out of every 100 people who become pregnant will experience this type of loss. "[T]he conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning," she writes.
She ends by saying:
"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."