Not alone. Kara Keough opened up about grieving her late son, McCoy, and encouraged other women to share their own stories as a way of healing.
In a powerful essay posted to Good Morning America‘s website on Thursday, October 15, the Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 31, admitted that she was still in deep pain over losing her child six months earlier. Keough revealed in April that her baby boy died during childbirth after experiencing “shoulder dystocia and a compressed umbilical cord.” She also shares 4-year-old daughter Decker with her husband, Kyle Bosworth.
“To My Fellow Loss Mom,” Keough wrote on Thursday. “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?!'”
After facing such an unimaginable loss, Keough felt like seeing “the rest of the world” still “spinning” was “a personal attack.” While others celebrate their baby showers, weddings and more, she sits “one trigger away from racing back to that worst moment” in the hospital. Keough’s loss placed her within a new community of women who are left asking themselves “the desperate plea: How could I have saved my baby?”
“We blame ourselves, not because we did anything to harm our children, but because we’re their mothers, and protecting them is our most sacred duty,” she continued. “People say the wrong things and people say right things that feel wrong. … 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.”
Shortly after losing their son, Keough told Us Weekly exclusively that she and her husband, 33, “joined a support group” for bereaved parents. “We are doing our best to make McCoy’s legacy a positive one, despite the nightmare we’re living,” she explained at the time. As more time passes, Keough wrote on Thursday, the gap in her heart has started “feeling less like a gaping hole and more like an invisible fullness.”
The California native, whose mother is Jeana Keough, has been comforted by the fact that she doesn’t have to suffer alone. Though the hours since McCoy’s death have been “jumbled,” Kara has learned that “grief can be an incredible gift” as she’s continued to share her story.
“Every day, every minute, another mother joins us in this club. It’s a club no one wants to be a part of, but the love and compassion within it are unlike any other,” she wrote. “The instant bond that ignites between two women when we sit together in this pain is almost spiritual. … 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.”
One week before publishing her inspiring message, Kara marked six months since her family’s tragedy with a lengthy Instagram tribute to her son.
“Missing you something terrible doesn’t have to be the only way to miss you,” she captioned a black-and-white photo of herself cradling her baby. “I want to miss you wonderfully. As in, full of wonder.”
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