by Corey Whelan
Today would have marked the 82nd birthday of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I have always been fascinated with Jackie O – I’ve had two Jackie sightings in my life. One, on a beach in Negril (1975, wearing a tie dyed tee shirt over a bathing suit) and once on Madison Avenue (1977, wearing her signature large sunglasses and head scarf).
Jackie really was American royalty. Her outward persona when President Kennedy was assassinated has been discussed unendingly since 1963. Less discussed has been her miscarriage in 1955, and her still birth, in 1956.
Jackie has always fascinated me. Like all celebrities today, we know so many things about her that are simply none of our business to know. But having had a miscarriage myself, this has always been the piece of Jackie history that I have held onto when I needed to call up a bit of courage.
I remember years ago, speaking to Grandma Rita (Whelan) when she was in her early seventies. She started to tell me about her miscarriage, some fifty years earlier but couldn’t get through it because she choked up. It’s a horribly painful experience for a woman to bear, whether it is tied to a larger story of personal infertility or not.
Those who miscarry are part of a large group, a universal family of women who know, and understand. I came across this list, by no means complete, of our more famous sisters who count this as part of their life experience:
If you need to know the company you are in, please visit it, and know that you are not alone.
Happy birthday Jackie O. What a life you lived. Thank you.