Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has penned a powerful op-ed for The New York Times about experiencing pregnancy loss.
In a piece entitled “The Losses We Share,” published Wednesday, Markle wrote about her own experience of going through a miscarriage, considered the power of asking someone the simple question, “Are you OK?” and drew on the collective grief many of us are experiencing in 2020.
“After changing his [Archie’s] diaper, I felt a sharp cramp,” Markle wrote. “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,” she added. She described lying in a hospital bed as her husband, Prince Harry, held her hand. “I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears,” she wrote. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
Markle recalled a moment during her and Prince Harry’s tour of South Africa in Oct. 2019 when a journalist, Tom Bradby, asked her if she was OK. “I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I was trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye,” she wrote.
She wrote that while she was sitting in the hospital bed, she realised the only way to begin to heal is to ask that very question: “Are you OK?”
“Are we?” she asks. “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.”
People who’ve experienced pregnancy loss have praised Markle for opening up about her experience, which will undoubtedly contribute to destigmatising this prevalent, and deeply traumatic experience, which so many go through alone and in silence.
When I had a miscarriage, I remember scouring the internet for articles by women who had been through the same thing. Because reading that you’re not alone is helpful and it’s comforting. So thank you to Meghan Markle for writing about something so difficult
— Anita Singh (@anitathetweeter) November 25, 2020
Having recently endured a miscarriage myself, Meghan Markle’s piece is heartbreaking to read. However, the subsequent spiteful, ignorant, venomous comments people have taken time out of their day to write have hurt my heart more.
What a world.
— Rachel Hawkins (@ourrachblogs) November 25, 2020
How brave if Meghan Markle to speak about an issue that has impacted almost every woman I know and is too often not discussed. So important.
— Dr Bethany Usher (@bethanyusher) November 25, 2020
Markle uses the piece to consider the incalculable, painful losses that have marked the year 2020, including the devastation wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic and loved ones who died from it, and members of the Black community killed at the hands of police officers this year.
“A young woman named Breonna Taylor goes to sleep, just as she’s done every night before, but she doesn’t live to see the morning because a police raid turns horribly wrong,” writes Markle. “George Floyd leaves a convenience store, not realizing he will take his last breath under the weight of someone’s knee, and in his final moments, calls out for his mom.”
Markle finishes the piece by writing that this Thanksgiving will be very different to previous years, with many people separated from the people they love. She implored readers to ask others if they are OK. “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 wrote.
“Are we OK?” she asks one final time. “We will be.”