Earlier this year when Chrissy Teigen decided to document her miscarriage and share the experience on social media along with pictures and a heartbreaking letter, there were so many who came tut-tutting. It is like we suddenly had a celeb who was sharing "too much." But wait, wasn't that extremely conceited and hypocritical given the rampant paparazzi culture where paps don't even mind circulating nip slip pictures and private sex tapes?
Wonder what was it about the narrative that made it so unpalatable for so many on social media that they did not even mind tagging Chrissy's grief absolutely fake, days after she shared the news about her miscarriage? Of course, the idea of female grief seems vague to our society and they are incapable of labeling it anywhere between hysteria and solitary mourning. Well, guess what? The women are no more rendering their grief secondary, like an afterthought that they can do away with and NEED to do away with just for the sake of society.
After Chrissy, actress and former Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has now opened up about the unbearable grief of having a miscarriage and losing a child in a New York Times column titled "The Losses We Share." In the column, she has revealed that she lost her second child to miscarriage in July this year and wrote, "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." However, things started feeling amiss the instant she felt a piercing cramp.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan added. In the column, she discussed at length the pain of losing a child to miscarriage and wrote, “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few."
Meghan also revealed that the sole purpose of writing this column was to recognise and validate the grief of so many like her who suffer the grief of miscarriage in absolute loneliness and shame. She wrote, “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 a miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame."
But is just expressing it enough to heal? Not really, but it is definitely the first step. What needs to follow is just a small testament of our humanities, the effort to just look at a fellow human and ask "Are you Ok?" "I realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK," writes Meghan.
Well, here's hoping that the actress's column helps women suffering from grief all by themselves with a sense of solidarity. Here's also hoping that they find as many companions on their worst days as they do on their best ones. Lastly, can we please stop dismissing women's pain and suffering by calling them "too emotional?"
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