Fragile Parts of Womanhood
Takira Q. Charles was born on the warm and sunny island of Saint Maarten. She left the island at age 19 to further her studies in the Netherlands. The author worked as an English teacher for over eight years and as a student-anxiety coach for two years before migrating to Canada, where she currently lives with her husband and son. Takira Q. shares the painful and unexpected event that sparked an insightful journey towards healing and purpose as a writer.
At 22 weeks and two days, Takira delivered her baby girl, Grace, and had to say hello and goodbye all on the same night. All grief is grim; however, pregnancy loss is a complicated category of grieving, which the author describes as tremendously traumatic. The loss forever changed her perception of her womanhood.
Like many women who have experienced miscarriage, pregnancy loss, or infant loss, the writer struggled with severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression afterward. She grappled with a loss of self and lack of control over what she called “the unfair unpredictability of life.” However, her story shows that the road to recovery is tough, but not impossible.
The author started writing poems daily, as well as letters to God and Grace. Besides speaking with a psychologist, the author believes that the writing process restored her sense of self. It took time and hard work, confronting the ugly layers of emotions, but writing helped her dissect the heaviness of loss she often felt.
She decided to publish a small collection of her poems in Magnificent to Hold, knowing how isolating the experience can be for bereaved mothers/parents. Her goal is to let other women know that they are not alone in their grief and that“they owe it to themselves to take as much time to grieve in the ways they need to grieve.” She admires those who have also shared their experience with pregnancy loss and infant loss.
“The truth is that pregnancy loss and infant loss occur frequently; 1 out of 4 women experience pregnancy loss. That is one too many. Yet as a taboo topic in many cultures and religions, it is impossible or hard for us to share such fragile parts of our womanhood. It is time we spoke our truths, unashamed, so we get the help and support we need.”
Since publishing Magnificent to Hold, the author has joined different online support groups and hopes to volunteer more to raise awareness and encourage greater empathy for stigmatized topics like mental health and pregnancy loss. In addition, she hopes to inspire women to embrace who they are, scars and all.i
Takira Q. is also an active blogger who writes about several topics dealing with loss, womanhood, parenting, and relationships on her author page, takiraqcharles.com. She shares real-life inspirational stories on overcoming the messiness of life. Readers can learn more about her upcoming book releases and follow her Afro-Caribbean short stories of womanhood on her website. Takira Q. Charles can also be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.