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British Royal Family

Duchess Meghan's moving essay highlights a societal flaw - and it's sparked an important conversation as the world reacts

This week, Meghan bravely wrote about her experience with miscarriage.

By Jess Pullar
Duchess Meghan has been experiencing a deeply personal grief behind the scenes, but instead of hiding it for fear of stigma, she's normalised it in one swift motion.
The Duchess of Sussex last night went live with an incredibly powerful and moving essay about suffering a miscarriage - her second child - which occurred back in July this year.
''Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," the royal penned in the piece for the New York Times.
There was shock that Duchess Meghan had suffered such a devastating experience with not a soul knowing, and the pain both she and husband Prince Harry must have felt at losing their second child was not lost on many.
In itself, it's incredibly rare to see a royal speak out so candidly on such a personal matter, but the powerful essay also spoke volumes about something else: The fact that people don't speak about this topic enough.
Duchess Meghan bravely opened up about her experience with miscarriage in an open essay for the new York Times. (Getty)
Meghan's essay delved into the fact that many of us are connected through our losses, particularly this year, and highlighted the importance of checking in to ask: "Are you OK?"
She wrote: "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."
But she continued to explain that miscarriage was not uncommon, and urged others to talk about it.
"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," she said in the essay.
Meghan shared her surprise at discovering just how common miscarriage is. (Getty)
Her words have since been met with an overwhelming response from people the world over, many of whom are mothers who have also suffered from miscarriage.
"The news of Meghan Markle speaking about their miscarriage from July is a prime example of you don't know of what someone is going through behind closed doors," one wrote on Twitter.
Another said: "Good on Meghan Markle - speaking out so honestly on a devastating loss too rarely discussed. Helping others who've gone through it. Hope she's ok."
Fans and fellow mothers shared their own stories of loss in the wake of Meghan's powerful essay. (Getty)
One woman pointed out the distinct lack of resource for women experiencing similar losses.
"When I had a miscarriage, I remember scouring the internet for articles by women who had been through the same thing. Because reading that you're not alone is helpful and it's comforting. So thank you to Meghan Markle for writing about something so difficult," she said on Twitter.
Indeed the topic is one that has been met with ignorance, stigma and many blind eyes over the years - but in a world where we're more connected than ever before, there's no better time to bring it to the forefront, like Duchess Meghan has, and Chrissy Teigen also did a few months ago.
The influx of personal stories overnight from women who have experienced something similar is case in point - the grief and pain felt at losing a child is so tangible, so real and deserves recognition.
Perhaps we ought to keep that top of mind as we move forward into a new year.
For 24 hour live online support and resources on coping with miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death visit SANDS or call them on 1300 072 637.
Visit SIDS and Kids online who offer supportive forums which are moderated by trained counsellors.

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