Britain's Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has said that she suffered a miscarriage during the summer and has written of her and her husband Prince Harry's "unbearable grief".
In an opinion piece for The New York Times entitled The Losses We Share, the Duchess said that she miscarried in July while tending to the couple's infant son Archie, who was born on 6 May, 2019.
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," she wrote.
"Hours later, 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," she continued.
She recounted a journalist asking her about how she was feeling while on a tour to South Africa last year, and said that question came back into her mind in the hospital.
"Sitting in a hospital bed, 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?'"
"Are we?" she asked. "This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating.
"We've heard all the stories: A woman starts her day, as normal as any other, but then receives a call that she's lost her elderly mother to Covid-19. A man wakes feeling fine, maybe a little sluggish, but nothing out of the ordinary. He tests positive for the coronavirus and within weeks, he - like hundreds of thousands of others - has died.
"A young woman named Breonna Taylor goes to sleep, just as she's done every night before, but she doesn't live to see the morning because a police raid turns horribly wrong. George Floyd leaves a convenience store, not realizing he will take his last breath under the weight of someone's knee, and in his final moments, calls out for his mom. Peaceful protests become violent. Health rapidly shifts to sickness. In places where there was once community, there is now division.
"On top of all of this, it seems we no longer agree on what is true. We aren't just fighting over our opinions of facts; we are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact. We are at odds over whether science is real. We are at odds over whether an election has been won or lost. We are at odds over the value of compromise.
"That polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever."
The duchess concludes by writing: "We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it's forcing us to look into one another's eyes - sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.
"Are we OK?
"We will be."
The duke and duchess stepped back from their duties as senior royals in January and moved to California to live away from the glare of the media spotlight.
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