Chrissy Teigen Just Explained Why She Shared Photos of the Son She Lost
"These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me."
For the first time since the tragic loss of her son 20 weeks into her pregnancy, Chrissy Teigen has opened up about the grief she feels as she continues to mourn. In a deeply moving post on Medium, published on Oct. 27, the author and model candidly described how she and husband John Legend have been helped through this difficult time by the kindness of strangers, how she has coped through tragedy, and why she chose to share photos of the baby she lost with the public on social media.
In the heartbreaking essay, Teigen described how her diagnosis with partial placenta abruption had made her pregnancy a complicated and physically taxing one, requiring multiple blood transfusions and constant care. She also recalled the pain she felt when doctors told her that "it was time to say goodbye" to her unborn child, who she and Legend had been calling Jack. "Even as I write this now, I can feel the pain all over again," she wrote. "Oxygen was placed over my nose and mouth, and that was the first picture you saw. Utter and complete sadness."
But the post also brought to light the joy Teigen has been able to salvage, turning the tragedy she and her husband suffered into something she hopes can help others who are mourning their own losses. Read on for more on why she made the decision to share her painful moment with the world, and for more candor from Teigen, check out Celebrities That Have Spoken About Their Depression.
On her choice to share the photos of Jack
While describing her heartbreaking loss, Teigen wrote that the decision to photograph the difficult moment was one that was rooted in love—and something she doesn't regret. "I had asked my mom and John to take pictures, no matter how uncomfortable it was. I explained to a very hesitant John that I needed them, and that I did NOT want to have to ever ask. That he just had to do it," she wrote. "He hated it. I could tell. It didn't make sense to him at the time. But I knew I needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story."
Teigen also addressed the criticism she received for sharing her moment of loss, unapologetically saying she only ever hoped the images could help others who have shared similar losses deal with their own grief. "I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it's something you wouldn't have done," she wrote. "I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren't for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like. These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me."
On her grief
Teigen also wrote about the guilt she feels while she continues to mourn and how difficult it can be at times to move on. "I cry when I get mad at myself for being too happy. Sometimes I read things that make me gut laugh, or see an Instagram post worthy of a like (yes, I'm gone but I've still been creeping!)," she wrote. "And, I always forget I'm not pregnant anymore. I hold my belly when I walk around. I have a moment of freak out when the kids jump on my non-existent bump. The clarity after these moments always makes me sad."
But Teigen also explained that even her grief is partly related to how happy she had felt before her tragic loss—and that she feels guilty for making so many people share in her sadness. "I feel bad our grief was so public because I made the joy so public. I was excited to share our news with the world. Stories leading up to this had been chronicled for all," she wrote. "It's hard to look at them now. I was so positive it would be okay. I feel bad that I made you all feel bad. I always will."
On the kindness of strangers
Outside of the profound grief she feels, Teigen also said that "the moments of kindness have been nothing short of beautiful," noting how people have made her feel loved since her loss. "I went to a store where the checkout lady quietly added flowers to my cart. Sometimes people will approach me with a note," she wrote.
But she also took the time to acknowledge that many people have experienced a loss similar to hers—some silently—and that she hopes her story can help others. "The worst part is knowing there are so many women that won't get these quiet moments of joy from strangers," she continued. "I beg you to please share your stories and to please be kind to those pouring their hearts out. Be kind in general, as some won't pour them out at all."
On the advice she's ignoring
In a heartfelt moment, Teigen also described how some people have helped her by pointing out the type of advice she doesn't have to heed and how thankful she's been for their support. "Strangers always tell me that life will move on, just differently," she explained. "They tell me not to let anyone tell me this was 'God's plan,' or that we will 'have another soon.' Thanks to you, I will block this out forever."
On how she'll remember Jack
As for how she will carry on, Teigen explained that her tragic loss will not destroy her joyful spirit. "People say an experience like this creates a hole in your heart. A hole was certainly made, but it was filled with the love of something I loved so much," she wrote. "It doesn't feel empty, this space. It feels full."
Teigen said her family will appreciate the memory of the son, brother, and grandson they lost by always keeping him close in spirit. "Jack will always be loved, explained to our kids as existing in the wind and trees and the butterflies they see," she wrote. "Thank you so much to every single person who has had us in their thoughts or gone as far as to send us your love and stories. We are so incredibly lucky." And for advice on what to say to your loved ones in difficult situations, here's The Worst Thing You Could Say to Someone Who's Grieving.