Liam Neeson on “60 Minutes”
“Grief is like a three-legged table,” he said, “The Earth isn’t stable anymore.” These poignant words struck me as I listened to Actor Liam Neeson open up to “60 Minutes” last Sunday about the loss of his wife, actress Natasha Richardson.
It was the first time Neeson has spoken publicly about his wife’s death in 2009. You may remember that she hit her head while skiing in Canada. Richardson said she felt fine, but died two days later after complaining of a headache.
He told 60 Minutes that he visits her grave often and plants her favorite flowers, daffodils and roses. Neeson also said he has been unable to part with her clothing. He said that grief still overwhelms him.
As I listened to this honest and moving account of Liam’s battle with grief, it reminded me of the loss of miscarriage. While we can’t plant a “favorite” flower, and there may be no clothes to part with, we live with the “three-legged table” that makes the earth feel unstable. In so many ways, grief gives us the clarity and empathy to reach out to anyone who is grieving…no matter the loss. I realized that we share a common, and unwanted bond- a collective understanding of the grip of loss and the pain that can overwhelm us. Let’s hope that we can also share our stength, acceptance and compassion when our fellow man is grieving.
New research by scientists in Denmark suggests that it’s possible that about a quarter of miscarriages could be prevented by lifestyle changes.
The research team looked at data from approximately 90,000 pregnancies that occurred between 1996 and 2002 and were tracked by a national registry in Denmark. They focused on modifiable risk factors including exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking, drinking coffee, work schedule, regular heavy lifting, prepregnancy weight, and maternal age, and concluded that by lowering these risk factors, more than 25 percent of miscarriages could be prevented.
The prepregnancy factors they found that were most associated with lowering miscarriage risk were weight and age. Women who had a healthy body mass index (BMI) and were between 25 and 29 years old at the time of conception had a more than 14 percent lower risk of miscarriage. According to the data, the overall highest risk factors associated with miscarriage were drinking alcohol during pregnancy and a maternal age of 30 or over.
Critics of the study point out that “risk is not the same as cause.” However they agree that miscarriages should be a topic for prevention. See more about the study at: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/researchers-25-percent-miscarriages-preventable-192300319.html.