Meghan’s ‘unbearable grief’ helps women everywhere
Opinion: Critics of Meghan Markle have wished some truly atrocious things upon her over the years, but not even the most ardent of haters would have hoped for this.
On Wednesday, the Duchess of Sussex shared that she and husband Prince Harry had suffered a miscarriage in July.
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," she said.
In Australia as many as one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. In the US, where the Duke and Duchess currently reside, the rate is estimated to sit at somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent. Yet somehow, something so common is still so uncommonly discussed.
As Markle so eloquently put it, "losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief".
It is the news no one wants to hear, the news no one wants to deliver.
It is catching yourself in the moments before you almost answer truthfully when people ask how many children you have, trying to assess in microseconds if you should respond honestly or palatably.
It is crying for hours and days, emptying reserves of tears you didn't know your body contained.
It is good days and bad days, peaks and troughs, a return to normal life.
It is feeling guilt for no longer feeling guilty, for getting on with things, for forgetting for even the briefest moment in time that once, this other being had existed within you.
It's impossible to measure how many women around the world were comforted to read Markle's words. There is no quantifiable metric for the burden of hurt being lightened when someone so universally famous contributes to the breaking down of outdated taboo.
Last month, when John Legend and Chrissy Teigen shared the news that their third child had been born sleeping we got a glimmer into what it looks like to mourn on such a public scale, and what it offered so many. Much like the vile and highly unnecessary comments now rolling in following Markle's op-ed, Teigen and Legend's news was met by so many who told them to be quiet, to go away, to keep their pain to themselves. But they were quickly drowned out by people thanking them and saying they felt less alone.
How much you like or hate a person is redundant to an issue like miscarriage; fertility is not a popularity contest and grief is not a limited edition collector's item.
Which is why ultimately, it doesn't matter why the Duchess of Sussex chose to reveal what happened, it just matters that she did.
Originally published as Meghan's 'unbearable grief' helps women everywhere