On April 12, Kara Keough Bosworth birthed the son she named McCoy. Sadly, shortly after he was born, McCoy passed away just hours after entering into the world. According to Good Morning America, six days prior to the day he was born, “McCoy experienced shoulder dystocia and a compressed umbilical cord, which caused severe brain damage.”
A series of tests that would take days to complete revealed that McCoy was “unlikely to ever regain consciousness.” Now, the former Real Housewife is opening up about the loss of her son six months later.
October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. Kara Keough Bosworth wrote that while it’s a club no one wants to be apart of, the mom reflected on what it is like to be a member of the club and what that means to her.
“To My Fellow Loss Mom,” Bosworth began. “I wish there was something else I could call you, something else I could call myself. ‘Angel Mom’ feels too fluffy, and ‘Bereaved Mother’ sounds like we should be wearing black lace and howling on our knees in a stone church somewhere.”
“Don’t get me wrong, we’re absolutely still howling. But we’re doing it in yoga pants. Lululemons just do a better job of hiding our postpartum bellies and helping us avoid questions like, ‘When are you due?’ or worse, ‘How’s the baby?!’ That’s one thing even grief counselors don’t warn you about: how you’ll have to break the news of your child’s loss to strangers, insurance agents, employers, acquaintances, TSA agents, everyone.”
Bosworth continued by saying it almost feels like a personal attack when the rest of the world continues moving even though their “hearts are this broken.” Broken to the point where they should be required to “a sticker that reads ‘FRAGILE: Handle with care’ because we’re one trigger away from racing back to that worst moment.”
“For some, that worst moment has a soundtrack: ‘There’s no heartbeat.’ For some, like myself, that moment stretches over the course of six days. For most, it’s the moments before the moment — the ‘if I had only,’ the ‘if I could have just,’ or the ‘why didn’t I?’ These questions plague all of us, the ones we ask ourselves and others, the desperate plea: How could I have saved my baby?”
As the mom candidly writes, many mothers who experience the loss of a child blame themselves “not because we did anything to harm our children, but because we’re their mothers, and protecting them is our most sacred duty.” Bosworth then writes about the way in which people on the outside react to what grieving mothers are going through.
“People say the wrong things and people say right things that feel wrong. The ‘at least you know you can get pregnant,’ or the ‘I wouldn’t be standing if I were you’ are the wrong things. Talk of ‘God’s plan,’ ‘your strength,’ and the ‘I haven’t stopped crying for you’ are right things that feel wrong. Some days the right thing is a friend pulling you out of bed and handing you a cup of coffee. Other days, the right thing is just staying in bed and feeling it all. […] Those who show up and ask nothing are the best kinds of friends. The friends that can sit quietly with us without feeling the need to fill the silence with the ‘I’m sorry’s that don’t bring our babies back but instead make us feel like we need to respond with, ‘It’s OK,’ when it isn’t.”
Eventually, though, time makes it easier to think about them, smile at the mention of their name, and it makes it easier to try to find the things that remind you of them. “Milestones hit us like bricks and time feels jumbled. How has it already been so long? And who would they be today?”
And although it’s a club no one wants to be apart of, “every day, every minute, another mother joins us in this club.” But with that also comes a support system like no other, Bosworth writes.
“The instant bond that ignites between two women when we sit together in this pain is almost spiritual. Sorrow like this, grief like ours, carves profound depth into our souls,” she writes. “We’re no longer flat, shiny objects, but we’re instead embossed by our loss. Somehow more beautiful for it.”
“Grief can be an incredible gift.” – Kara Keough Bosworth
If it’s not wasted, Bosworth admits. “After the initial haze, the lens through which we see the world sharpens our view. It’s almost like that first victorious gulp of air after being underwater too long, so much more treasured than the sip before. In grief, the spirit of the Earth somehow reveals herself to us.”
And the grief she was forced to endure has also revealed just “how many people love” her.
“Yes, being a mother with empty arms becomes a strange juxtaposition. More joyful despite suffering, more alive despite death and more loving despite loss. We ask ourselves, ‘Where are we supposed to put all this love, all this love that we had reserved for them?’ The answer becomes so clear: all around us, of course, and into them, still. Most importantly — and with no hesitations — we must put the love back into ourselves once again.”
As Kara Keough Bosworth writes, “Terry Tempest Williams insists, ‘Grief dares us to love once more.’ So, to grief, we respond, ‘You triple dog dare me?'”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.