Oprah’s Honesty to Piers Morgan About Losing Her Baby at 14

Piers Morgan’s interview with Oprah was revealing on many levels.  Over the years Oprah has shared much of herself with her world audience but this interview revealed a different aspect of her to all of us. 

We all know that Oprah is singleminded in her focus and that she is unafraid to share her vulnerabilities and work them out with all of us, but her words regarding her loss of her baby at 14 years-old were heartfelt and memorable on many levels.

She shared that she “had no connection whatsoever ”and “felt nothing but just, OK, relief….”  Oprah had internalized her father’s words when he said that if any girl child of his brought “shame” on the family by having a child before marriage he would “would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River…” than have her be a part of his family.

On The View today Barbara Walters wondered how it was that Oprah could feel no emotion with regards to losing her baby.  I thought that it was not difficult to understand why Oprah felt no connection to the child because even at that time she knew what she wanted and needed for her life to flourish: and a child was not it.

A woman like Oprah would not be where she is without great strength of character and mind.  She also likes to deal with reality and not revel in delusion or illusion. Maybe, at a later date, she might have mourned the loss of that child.  We will never know because she did not divulge this information. 

On the other hand, because of her great inner strength she might have processed it differently and just left it behind. It might be hard for some of us to understand this but some people can be very clearheaded when it comes to making decisions about their lives.  The fact that she can reveal such a private time in her life so publicly says that she has done quite a lot of inner reflection.  This is quite ‘Oprahresque’ (my word meaning like Oprah). 

Even though the revelation was quite depressing I am sure there are many women out there who will identify with Oprah and feel relief that someone like her understands.

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  • crowepps

    Barbara Walters wondered how it was that Oprah could feel no emotion with regards to losing her baby. 

    Maybe Barbara Walters might want to consider that feeling emotion about losing a baby isn’t something that every women in the world is able to produce on demand so other people can label her reaction ‘appropriate’.  Consider even that some women who say ‘of course I was very sad’ are actually saying what they know people want to hear because they fear people ‘wondering how’ and don’t want to be labeled.


    I have been following a thread on Salon about schizophrenics, where an article detailed a horrible childhood due to mother’s illness and the grown child said when mother finally died she just felt relief that she didn’t have to deal with her any more.  People THERE are also saying ‘how can you not love your mother?’  Our emotional responses are not hard wired instincts.  Our emotional responses depend on the circumstances.  The idea that even though the circumstances are different we should STILL all feel exactly the same way is just — weird.  It also reduces us to our biology instead of recognizing that we THINK.