Meghan Markle revealed this week that she and Prince Harry had been expecting their second child when she suffered a miscarriage over the summer.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, published on Wednesday, Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, said that in July she “felt a sharp cramp” while changing her son Archie’s diaper. “I knew, as I clutched by firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she writes. She describes lying in a hospital bed and holding her husband’s hand, “wet from both our tears” and “tried to imagine how we’d heal.” She added, “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.”
In her essay, Markle emphasized the importance of reaching out and asking the people in your community if they’re okay. It’s only more urgent in these times of increased physical isolation and political unrest for people to remain bonded, she writes, and curious about each other in whatever ways they can. Markle recalls an interview she did with ITV News last year during a trip to South Africa, in a moment when she was “breastfeeding our infant son” and “trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.” The journalist asked her “Are you okay?” and the question surprised her. She gave what she describes in the op-ed as an “off-the-cuff reply” about the challenges of becoming a mother for the first time under intense media scrutiny, concluding her answer in saying, “Thank you for asking. Not many people have asked if I’m okay.”
Markle ended her essay by imploring her readers to commit to asking others “Are you okay?” as we head into a holiday season during which many will be “separated from our loved ones, alone, sick, scared, divided, and perhaps struggling to find something, anything to be grateful for.”