Today on ABC’s The View, former co-host and journalist Lisa Ling opened up about her recent miscarriage. Ling said she was floored. She felt “more like a failure than I’d felt in a very long time… when I heard the doctor say there was no heartbeat it was like bam, like a knife through the heart.”
Now Ling wants to help other women who’ve miscarried find a way to talk about it openly and without shame. She hopes to take the stigma out of miscarriage. To that end, she has started a website called The Secret Society Of Women. Here’s a place where women can post stories they might not feel like they can share elsewhere. Not just about miscarriage but about cosmetic surgery, eating disorders, addictions, sex and other other taboo subjects.
It’s estimated that as many as one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, and yet the topic of pregnancy loss is still largely taboo. We’re advised to keep early pregnancy secret in case we miscarry; right there we’ve been sent a message that were a miscarriage to occur, we shouldn’t talk about it. Not to suggest we should share stories about early pregnancy and pregnancy loss with everyone on the block. This is a personal decision each woman should make. But talking about miscarriage is a huge part of working through the sadness.
Lisa Ling is not the only public personality to speak up about miscarriage. Recently, Lily Allen talked about her second trimester miscarriage and Mariah Carey revealed that she miscarried two years ago. I think it’s encouraging that women talk more about this very real part of many, many people’s lives.
Of course people don’t always know what to say; I think in general our culture is not so great when it comes to talking about loss. People often feel they have to explain it or fix it. What they really need to do is just listen. Websites like the secretsocietyofwomen.com help women tell their stories to an audience that understands that simple truth.