In the piece titled “The Losses We Share” under the byline Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, the 39-year-old began by describing an ordinary July morning in the couple’s new Montecito, California, home.
“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,” the former Suits star wrote of picking up the couple’s now-18-month-old son, Archie.
“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,” she continued. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Hours later, Meghan wrote that she was lying in a hospital bed, clutching her husband’s hand.
“I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears,” she admitted. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
Meghan then recounted a moment during the couple’s royal tour of Africa in September 2019, when she was “exhausted,” still breastfeeding Archie and “trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.”
Journalist Tom Bradby, who was traveling with Meghan and Harry, 36, for an ITV special about their trip asked her, “Are you OK?”
She answered honestly, “not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, any anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering,” and thanked the British newsman “for asking.”
Sitting in her hospital bed after losing their baby, Meghan wrote that “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?’”
The California native then addressed what a challenging year 2020 has been for so many across the world as people grappled with “fraught and debilitating” moments amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She referenced on the Black Lives Matter protests after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of police. “In places where there was once community, there is now division,” she wrote.
Meghan also touched on the political division in the U.S. after the presidential election, writing that “it seems we no longer agree on what is true.”
The duchess explained her and Harry’s decision to share their private loss, writing that “losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by a few.”
“We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us,” she wrote. “In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Meghan asked that this Thanksgiving, people “commit to asking others, ‘Are you 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, pointing out that as we cover our faces with masks, it’s “forcing us to look into one another’s eyes — sometimes with warmth, other times with tears.”
“For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another,” Meghan concluded. “Are we OK? We will be.”