Keough’s son tragically died in April, as he suffered from shoulder dystocia and a compressed umbilical cord at birth that led to severe brain damage, according to Good Morning America. Keough and her husband learned that their baby was likely not going to survive due to brain damage. On National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which was on October 15, Keough opened up about the devastating loss of her son in an essay that was posted to Good Morning America’s website.
In the essay, Keough wrote about the pain she has felt since her son’s death. Keough wrote, “The space where our babies should be somehow starts feeling less like a gaping hole and more like an invisible fullness as time goes on. We want to hear their names, we want to think about them and smile, we want to see them in the world around us. Milestones hit us like bricks and time feels jumbled. How has it already been so long? And who would they be today?”
Keough continued, “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. The instant bond that ignites between two women when we sit together in this pain is almost spiritual. Sorrow like this, grief like ours, carves profound depth into our souls. We’re no longer flat, shiny objects, but we’re instead embossed by our loss. Somehow more beautiful for it.”
Keough Often Posts About Her Late Son on Her Instagram Page
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At four months old, we’d be seeing the Real McCoy by now, the face we could look back on later and say “Oh, see, right here, that’s when he starts looking like Mack.” Instead, every bulky blonde boy I see is you. That’s just one of the million cuts of losing you so soon, I’m forced to imagine the faces of your stolen future. Your first gummy smile is a mystery. The sound of your voice, like the roar of the ocean in a seashell: it’s just in my head and only if I listen really closely. The paler folds of your sun-kissed and chubby wrists stay tucked away and hidden. The curls bouncing on your two year old head, cut short. The shape of your legs, crushingly resistant to the metamorphosis that would take you from baby-to-boyhood right before my eyes. It’s all a blur now, all the ways you could have been you. You in your wedding day suit, dancing with me to a song we picked together… that’s all just a dream. And that’s what you’re starting to feel like now – a dream. Did this really happen? Did we ever really have you at all? The answer is a resounding yes, of course. And we always will. I notice that your name is our new “Hallelujah!” Every time the world gives us something beautiful, we shout your name. A butterfly floating in our periphery, “McCoy!” Rows of lavender in unexpected places, McCoy! A rainbow over our house, McCoy! A pod of dolphins on the horizon, McCoy! A warm breeze, McCoy! Lillian’s last round of chemo treatments, McCoy! A pregnant friend, McCoy! And (so slowly) finding our joy among our pain – McCoy! We see you, baby. We love the way you’re showing up for us and opening our eyes to the beauty all around us. We’ll be seeing you again some day, McCoy(!).
Keough often posts about McCoy on her Instagram page, sharing photos of the family together. On July 6, Keough wrote an emotional and heartfelt caption on what would have been her son’s three month birthday. “You would have been three months old today,” Keough wrote in the Instagram caption. “But instead, I’m three months into the deepest pain I’ve ever felt. I’ve survived three months when I didn’t think I’d live another three seconds. How has it been so long since I smelled you and felt your weight? Each day since you were born has felt like the longest day, a summer solstice of suffering. And yet, somehow, time is passing. Time is pushing on, moving my body begrudgingly into another day. Another day further away from the last time I held you in my arms…”
Keough also posted a photo of what would have been McCoy’s four-month birthday. In the caption, she wrote about how she wondered what her son would have been like at this point. “At four months old, we’d be seeing the Real McCoy by now, the face we could look back on later and say ‘Oh, see, right here, that’s when he starts looking like Mack,'” Keough wrote. “Instead, every bulky blonde boy I see is you. That’s just one of the million cuts of losing you so soon, I’m forced to imagine the faces of your stolen future. Your first gummy smile is a mystery. The sound of your voice, like the roar of the ocean in a seashell: it’s just in my head and only if I listen really closely…”
Keough Has Joined a Support Group for Bereaved Parents
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This bear weighs exactly 11 pounds and 4 ounces. Exactly the size of the hole in my heart. But thanks to this thoughtful gift, my arms don’t feel so painfully empty. I can’t quite articulate how much carrying the exact weight of McCoy against my body grounds me. I think my physical need for him will be there forever, the heaviness of his absence always present. But this sure helps. Thank you @kylieraedesigns for this big dude and thank you @mb_jackets for the custom ribbon. Also feeling thankful for my new (first) tattoo, with my son’s ashes in the ink… so that my baby can be with me always. He can stay forever in my arms this way, in the place he last rested. I know I’m privileged in my grief, to have the support of so many. It’s very hard to feel lucky right now, and yet, somehow, I know I am. That being said, I’m very much ready for the dick kicks to stop. To the poor Shipt shopper who remarked “the baby should have been born by now, right?” and the shocked insurance agent, and the others who didn’t mean to throw the grenades they did… when I say “It’s okay,” I don’t mean “I’m okay,” I’m saying I know you didn’t know. But I promise, you’re not upsetting me by “reminding” me, I’ll never need a reminder. I’m just sad that the answer to your question isn’t what I hoped it would be. It should be a joyful Q&A, not a landmine. It should be different. Instead, here I am, clutching a stuffed toy wishing it was a real boy. To my Instead Mamas, I thank you especially for all the continued comfort, encouragement, and love. And you’re right, it is getting easier to bear. (Look! I even did a pun. Good for me.)
In late April, after their son’s death, Keough told Us Weekly that she and her husband had 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,” Keough told Us Weekly. “We’re lucky to be surrounded by so much love and support.”
Keough continued, telling Us Weekly, “We know it’s going to be a long journey towards healing, but we’re trying to do the right things to stay on that path.”
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