The Duchess of Sussex has described her “unbearable grief” after she suffered a miscarriage.
In a moving account written for the New York Times, Meghan Markle said: “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.”
In the article, she describes feeling a sharp pain while she was holding son, Archie.
She wrote: “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.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
“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.”
Meghan goes on to describe how she tried to keep a “brave face” in public.
She described an interview with journalist Tom Bradby, filmed during her and Harry’s trip to South Africa, when he asked her how she was doing and she answered: “Thank you for asking. Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
She writes: “I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering.
“My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.”
Meghan said that when she was sitting in a hospital bed watching her husband’s heart break “as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine”, she realised that the only way to heal was to ask herself “Are you OK?”.
In her article the Duchess of Sussex reflects back on the trials of 2020, noting the “loss and pain” that has plagued many people who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 and the wave of Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“In places where there was once community, there is now division,” said Meghan.
“We aren’t just fighting over our opinions of facts; we are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact. We are at odds over whether science is real. We are at odds over whether an election has been won or lost. We are at odds over the value of compromise.”
Meghan wrote that it was disheartening to learn just how many women suffer from miscarriages and yet the conversation remains “taboo, riddled with (unwarranted shame)”.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she said as she urged others to take the time this Thanksgiving to ask family and friends “Are you OK?”