The Power of Chrissy Teigen, Joy-Anna Duggar, and Others Sharing Photos of Their Deceased Children Is Something the World Should Feel and Know

The Power of Chrissy Teigen, Joy-Anna Duggar, and Others Sharing Photos of Their Deceased Children Is Something the World Should Feel and Know

Women who have to endure the loss of a pregnancy should know that they are not alone. They should be able to speak and grieve openly, if they choose, and not be bombarded with questions asking why they would want to share something so heartbreaking.

Last week, cookbook author Chrissy Teigen shared photos of her and her husband, singer John Legend, saying goodbye to their son, Jack, who they lost roughly halfway through Teigen’s third pregnancy. The emotionally raw photos are hard to look at, but it is so important that people do.

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Shares Heartbreaking Statement Revealing They Had Lost Their Unborn Baby Boy

The Power of Chrissy Teigen, Joy-Anna Duggar, and Others Sharing Photos of Their Deceased Children

Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

According to March for Dimes, “for women who know they’re pregnant, 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage.” It is reported that “most miscarriages happen in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. Miscarriage in the second trimester—between 13 and 19 weeks—happens in 1 to 5 percent of pregnancies.”

And because some women can miscarry before they even know they are pregnant, March of Dimes reports that “as many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage.” And that is why these moments of vulnerability shown by women like Teigen, Joy-Anna Forsyth, or Kara Bosworth is so powerful.

These are moments in life that happen and can happen to any one woman. They are difficult and messy and should never be something women have to deal with emotionally alone or in the dark.

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Six months ago, I laid my eyes on you for the first time. I turned your big body around then looked at Daddy with a mixture of shock and pride and said, “It’s a boy.” Three hours later, I limped into the NICU to start what would be my first and last days of kissing you. Somehow, I kissed you a lifetime’s worth of kisses in six days. All without one kiss back. I still think about what it felt like to kiss you, and that I never got kissed back. It all still makes my throat ache like I’m being choked. I hate that the thought of kissing you creates this painful and involuntary spasm. I’d much rather be thinking of that involuntary happiness spasm that would overtake your body as a 6-month-old. Oh what I’d do to see those little joyful jolts, with your chubby arms air-pumping and flapping while your legs do that spring-loaded kick combo. Would we be dropping a nap, hearing you laugh, starting solids? Would all my shirts have drool pools on them? Would nursing you prove to be more of an Olympic effort around this time? And just where am I supposed to put all this love? This love that I reserved just for you? I still put it in you, of course. The love doesn’t leave just because you did. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I was feeling my love for you spilling out of me, in the form of tears, guttural sobs, and that worthless guilt. But there are better ways to feel my love for you. Missing you something terrible doesn’t have to be the only way to miss you. I want to miss you wonderfully. As in, full of wonder. Recently, your Daddy held me as he told me: “Each day, when you feel that strong breeze, or the sun hits your face, or you hear our daughter laugh… that’s our son loving his mama.” I considered the beauty in my life and how, like your Daddy said, each one of those little happy winks are you loving me. It’s you kissing me back. And that made my throat soften, and my heart open. And that, my boy, is the gift you’ve given me. A heart broken wide open is still an open heart. We love you, McCoy. And we miss you something wonderful.

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By these women sharing their most vulnerable moments with their large social media followings, they are giving millions of others permission to do the same. They are telling women it’s okay to talk about what they are going through because others have been through it or are going through it too.

RELATED: Kara Keough Bosworth’s Husband Kyle Gets the Ashes of Their Late Son Tattooed Into His Arm

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At four months old, we’d be seeing the Real McCoy by now, the face we could look back on later and say “Oh, see, right here, that’s when he starts looking like Mack.” Instead, every bulky blonde boy I see is you. That’s just one of the million cuts of losing you so soon, I’m forced to imagine the faces of your stolen future. Your first gummy smile is a mystery. The sound of your voice, like the roar of the ocean in a seashell: it’s just in my head and only if I listen really closely. The paler folds of your sun-kissed and chubby wrists stay tucked away and hidden. The curls bouncing on your two year old head, cut short. The shape of your legs, crushingly resistant to the metamorphosis that would take you from baby-to-boyhood right before my eyes. It’s all a blur now, all the ways you could have been you. You in your wedding day suit, dancing with me to a song we picked together… that’s all just a dream. And that’s what you’re starting to feel like now – a dream. Did this really happen? Did we ever really have you at all? The answer is a resounding yes, of course. And we always will. I notice that your name is our new “Hallelujah!” Every time the world gives us something beautiful, we shout your name. A butterfly floating in our periphery, “McCoy!” Rows of lavender in unexpected places, McCoy! A rainbow over our house, McCoy! A pod of dolphins on the horizon, McCoy! A warm breeze, McCoy! Lillian’s last round of chemo treatments, McCoy! A pregnant friend, McCoy! And (so slowly) finding our joy among our pain – McCoy! We see you, baby. We love the way you’re showing up for us and opening our eyes to the beauty all around us. We’ll be seeing you again some day, McCoy(!).

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Miscarriage or losing a child should not be taboo. These women who endure such trials should be given time to deal with these moments in their own way and without judgment. To those who have endured the loss of a child, there is no one way to handle a situation like that and you don’t have to weather the storm alone if you don’t want to.

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