When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their pregnancy on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, it struck some as quite insensitive. I get that, I do. Social media can be a mine-field when you are grieving, and seeing such happy news all over the place when you are feeling the pain of your own loss can be devastating. I have felt that many times.
It reminded me that even in our depleted state, grievers are often the ones who must educate others about being aware and sensitive. People don't know what they don't know. Those who shared their pain about this topic helped spark important conversations and encourage future understanding for not just the royals, but for society in general.
It sure would have been helpful for a trusted advisor to have suggested the royal couple wait a few days to announce the pregnancy, but on their own, Harry and Meghan did not know enough to know better. In fact, I would hate for them to know better, because if they did, perhaps that would mean they are one of the many, many couples who have found out the hard way what so few talk about-- that miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss happen. A lot.
But what about me?
I can't give myself a similar pass. I was so excited about Meghan and Harry's news that I posted it right away on my An Inch of Gray Facebook page. About a minute later, upon realizing the date, I took it down. I didn't want to cause grieving parents more pain on my page, a page that I hope is a safe place. In the same way, I understand if some bereaved parents have had to step away from my Facebook page because of frequent Andrew pictures, something I didn't "get" before Jack died.
My wish is that NO ONE would know the pain of child loss. But since I DO KNOW, it is my responsibility to do better. To be more sensitive. To acknowledge. And to help educate those who just don't know.
Children's Book Update:
A Hug from Heaven is available NOW from Mascot Books and for Preorder on Amazon! It is a wonderful gift for a child grieving the loss of any special person.