Tearing Down Taboos And Uniting Women: Meghan Markle’s Memoir

Gemma Cockrell

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is a mother, feminist and an advocate. She recently revealed in an eye-opening and thought-provoking memoir published by the New York Times, titled The Losses We Share, that she tragically suffered a miscarriage in July of this year, emotively and bravely detailing the events of the day that it happened, and the following and ongoing healing process.

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.”

In a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage

“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.”

As Markle stated herself, “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, 10 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. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”

Both Prince Harry and Markle herself have received a flood of support on social media since the release of the memoir, including author Matt Haig, whose wife miscarried two years ago, along with BBC presenter Tess Dunlop and ITV’s Lorraine Kelly, who both suffered miscarriages themselves.

Kelly went on to explain that Markle’s words would be highly beneficial to the multitude of women who have also experienced miscarriage, and as ITV’s Susanna Reid stated, her words would “provide solace to anyone who has suffered.”

Meanwhile, other social media users shared their supportive messages, with one Twitter user expressing, “I’m crying with you, for Harry and Meghan, for myself who has lost 3 babies through miscarriage and for every other family or woman that has gone through this unbelievable and unbearable. My prayers for everyone who are able to respect each-others pain, even if they don’t share it.” Another tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking. As someone who has suffered four miscarriages, I felt every part of this article.”

The news of the miscarriage wasn’t leaked by a tabloid, or told through the viewpoint of somebody else; it was told by Markle’s own voice, in her own powerful words

Obviously, this response of expressing positive wishes, sending kindness to both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is the only humane response to the situation. But this is too much to expect from some people, and it seems that the concept of being kind has been entirely forgotten, with one Twitter user questioning, “But if she wanted to leave the UK to secure her privacy then why is she telling everyone?”

However, this Twitter user is entirely misunderstanding Markle. She did not relocate to the States in order to retreat from public life entirely. She simply wanted to reclaim her own power, regain the ability to control her own life, and have control of her own narrative – and the memoir proves that this is exactly what she is doing.

The news of the miscarriage wasn’t leaked by a tabloid, or told through the viewpoint of somebody else; it was told by Markle’s own voice, in her own powerful words – her own personal narrative that she holds complete control over, with no speculations or gossip.

The memoir provided her with an opportunity to share her own personal story, a story which millions of women relate to, allowing them to find comfort and feelings of unity in their shared experiences of suffering. Ultimately, it breaks down the stigma surrounding miscarriage and enables women to feel as if they are not alone. Markle is using her platform in all the correct ways.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of  Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash. Image license found hereNo changes were made to this image. 

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