'Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband's heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, "Are you OK?"
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped down from the royal family earlier this year after years of being hounded by the press and public alike, with Prince Harry even forced to release an unprecedented statement asking for her privacy.
Since the split from the royals, the Sussex couple has relocated to California, where that they have bought a home and are living a more private life with their baby Archie.
Meghan shocked the world this week however, as she broke her privacy to reveal that she had tragically suffered a miscarriage earlier this year.
Writing a heartbreaking open letter in the New York Times, the Duchess of Sussex explained that she and Prince Harry had lost their second child in July this year.
‘It was a July morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib,’ Meghan wrote in her open letter.
‘After changing his diaper, 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.’
She continued: ‘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. I recalled a moment last year when Harry and I were finishing up a long tour in South Africa. I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I 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. “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 realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”
‘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, ten 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.
Meghan later ends her letter with, ‘Are we OK? We will be.’
Our thoughts are with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.