Meghan Markle reveals miscarriage: 'Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief'

Alexis Shaw
·4 min read

Meghan Markle is opening up about suffering a miscarriage in July — and how it made her recognize how much healing needs to be done during a challenging year.

In a candid op-ed published in the New York Times Wednesday morning, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she was hospitalized after feeling “a sharp cramp” and collapsing while holding her toddler son, Archie.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex arrives at the British High Commissioner residency where she  will meet with Graca Machel, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, on October 2, 2019. - Prince Harry recalled the hounding of his late mother Diana to denounce media treatment of his wife Meghan Markle, as the couple launched legal action against a British tabloid for invasion of privacy. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP) (Photo by MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex reveals in a candid op-ed published in the New York Times that she suffered a miscarriage in July. (Michele Spatari/AFP via Getty Images)

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote. “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.

“... 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 that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage,” she wrote. “Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”

While recovering, Meghan recalled a question she was asked in a 2019 interview while she and Prince Harry were on a tour of South Africa after becoming a new mom and she was trying to “keep a brave face in the very public eye.”

“‘Are you OK?’ a journalist asked me. 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,” she wrote. “‘Thank you for asking,’ I said. ‘Not many people have asked if I’m 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.

“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,” she continued, citing the coronavirus pandemic, the unjust killings of Black men and women in America and the polarizing U.S. political climate that “has left us feeling more alone than ever.”

But there are ways to break the cycle of loneliness, she said, and it starts by having a conversation about the bravery in sharing, no matter how difficult the topic may be, to ease the “load of grief.”

“In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing,” she said.

This Thanksgiving, Meghan asked people to commit to asking others whether they were 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. “For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.”

The Duchess of Sussex and her husband relocated to Santa Barbara, Calif., this year after stepping away from their royal duties in January. Meghan has spoken out about the intense scrutiny she felt in the spotlight and the impact it had on her mental health, calling herself “the most trolled person in the entire world” in 2019.

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