James Van Der Beek is looking back on the heartbreaking moment last year he learned wife Kimberly had suffered a miscarriage just one day before he was eliminated in the Dancing With the Stars semifinals. The Dawson's Creek actor was sent home just hours after wife Kimberly lost their son, whom they later named John, 17 weeks into her pregnancy on Nov. 17, 2019.
One year later, James looked back on the "grace" he felt during that devastating moment in an emotional message he shared to Instagram Wednesday. "Been feeling my way around how to talk about this moment for some time, now... one year ago today," he began the caption, recalling his wife pleading with him to dance in the semifinals after he rushed her to the hospital.
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"This was ½ an hour after the judges pretended to not know what was going on with me after I tried to fake my way through a cha-cha with a broken heart, and just moments after they'd chosen to send a different contestant to the finals, who - along with everyone else in the room - was shocked at their decision and tried to give me her spot live on air," he continued, thanking fellow competitor Ally Brooke an "angel" for her moment of attempted sacrifice on live TV.
James explained that he only revisited this moment because, at any other stage in his life, the elimination, juxtaposed with the miscarriage would have led him to feel "injustice, frustration, anger [and] pain." Instead, he felt only "grace," which he could honestly say he had not been "fully in touch with" before losing his son. "And this might sound crazy to some... but I feel like that was his gift to me," he continued. "That was one of the things his soul came here to unlock: He gave me access to grace."
James, who is father to Gwendolyn, 2, Emilia, 4, Annabel Leah, 6, Joshua, 8, and Olivia, 10, with Kimberly, said he decided to share his feelings with his followers, as "we're all going through something," and for many, things are "much more dire" than a celebrity dance show. "The mystics talk about the cure being IN the disease... and whether or not that’s true in every situation, on behalf of the son I’ll only ever hold in my heart... I’d like to invite us all to the possibility that it just might be," he wrote.
In June, the Van Der Beek family announced that Kimberly had suffered another miscarriage, losing a son named Zachariah. "After suffering a brutal, very public miscarriage last November, we were overjoyed to learn we were pregnant," he said at the time on social media. "This time, we kept the news to ourselves. But last weekend, once again, 17 weeks in... the soul we'd been excited to welcome into the world had lessons for our family that did not include joining us in a living physical body."