“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few. “
These are the words of Duchess Meghan Markle who penned an emotional column for the New York Times on grief, and dealing with the pain of loss.
This is the first the world has come to learn of the loss of the Duchess and Prince Harry’s second child. According to Meghan’s column, she was busy changing Archie’s nappy when she felt a sharp pain in her side. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote.
While in hospital and mourning the loss of their second child, Meghan knew that the first step towards healing was to ask her husband, “Are you okay?”
In a world that has suffered so much grief due to the pandemic, Meghan highlighted the importance of genuinely caring for one another. When we see another person in pain, don’t just walk away and hope that someone else will take care of them.
Be there. Be present. Ask, “are you okay?”
“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,” wrote Meghan.
Dealing with grief
According to an article shared by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), “Although 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, it’s rarely talked about.” The article was penned by Glynis Horning who wrote about her own miscarriage and tragic loss. “Society tends to neglect the devastating psychological effects it has on both partners.
“Everyone takes a different amount of time to heal, and you will get there.”
According to SADAG, a study showed that 55% of women who miscarried presented with “significant psychological distress” immediately afterwards, 25% at three months, 18% at six months, and 11% at one year after the miscarriage.
“Should you seem stuck, get counselling. We don’t work through the grief cycle in a linear way, and are often at different places in it from our partners, and deal with it in different ways,” says Joburg psychologist and bereavement counsellor Illeana Cocotos.
Meghan Markle is not the only prominent celeb to have suffered a tragic miscarriage recently
Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend lost their baby in October.
Chrissy shared images of herself in hospital in order to raise awareness, and to process her grief.
” I knew I needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.”
After trolls slammed Chrissy for sharing the heartbreaking images, South African comedian and media personality, Siv Ngesi came to her defence and shared the news that his sister had also experienced a miscarriage.
“My sister lost her child during childbirth a few years ago , I have never seen such pain! Little one came out looking just like her! My sister never spoke for days!,” Siv tweeted.
Singer Carrie Underwood revealed that she had suffered three miscarriages in a row. And late last year, the Queen B herself, Beyonce reflected on having ‘several’ miscarriages before finally welcoming Blue Ivy into the world.
Award-winning author, social activist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Jackie Phamotse says she will never forget the day she suffered a miscarriage. In January this year she shared a lengthy post on Instagram reflecting on her heartbreaking loss and revealed that she had not fully dealt with it.
“Today has been a brutal reminder of how I lost my son, a day I’ll never forget. Years later my fertility issues keep staggering,” she wrote.
The writer said she is proud of the “many milestones” in her life, but “this one thing still kills” her.
She revealed that she would be seeking professional help.
The pain of losing an unborn child cannot be fully described in words. The grief and loss can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one are struggling to come to terms with a miscarriage, please seek help from a professional counsellor.
Help is available: If you are feeling depressed, suicidal, hopeless
CONTACT SADAG – The South African Depression and Anxiety Group
For counselling queries e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact a counsellor between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Sunday, Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182
For a suicidal emergency contact us on 0800 567 567
24-hour Helpline 0800 12 13 14
Read Meghan Markle’s full column on the New York Times website HERE.