James Van Der Beek and his family experienced the immense heartbreak of miscarriage when his wife, Kimberly, lost their baby 18 weeks into pregnancy in 2019. Sadly, they faced another late-term pregnancy loss shortly after and understandably struggled to cope with the grief.
Now, Van Der Beek, 45, is sharing how he processed the pain — reflecting on the blessings of his family of eight in an Instagram post. The actor and Kimberly welcomed their sixth child, son Jeremiah “Remi,” in November 2021, and have tried to appreciate the small moments of life since.
On Friday, Van Der Beek, 45, shared a collection of photos — the first of which was taken shortly after their first loss. In the picture, Van Der Beek poses by a river with his son Joshua, 10, during a “healing” trip in the family’s RV in December 2019.
“We had just lost a baby 18 weeks into pregnancy and almost lost @vanderkimberly in the process. I had a collaboration going south, rapidly. And I’d just been booted off a reality dancing competition I’d been favored to win. (I feel like three out of those four are fairly relatable 😂),” Van Der Beek, who was competing on Dancing with the Stars when he learned of Kimberly’s miscarriage, began.
He continued, “So, last minute, we rented an #RV, and headed north. No real plan, just day-to-day. Late one night we pulled into a quaint little RV park I’d booked a few hours earlier, and woke up next to this river. And thus began the process - not necessarily of healing — but of being present. Present to the pain. Present to the beauty around us. And present to the acceptance of being in a process I did not understand.”
The actor went on to say that, after the couple’s second loss, the family moved from California to Texas, got their own RV, and visited the same spot by the river again — this time with baby Remi.
“Reflecting back on that first trip, I’m astounded by how much I didn’t know about the path to where I am now… and by how much peace I was able to feel in the midst of that darkness,” he wrote alongside photos of his children and Kimberly by the river.
The pair also share daughters Olivia, almost 12, Annabel, 8, Emilia, 6, and Gwendolyn, 4.
“Whatever you’re going through… if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, or even know where to look for it… I invite you to not underestimate the power of a little change of environment… and of taking the time to sit exactly where you’re at,” Van Der Beek concluded. “Healing comes at its own pace. Presence might just be a pre-requisite.”
The Van Der Beeks have been open about their experience with loss and the ceremonious arrival of their rainbow baby. During his time on DWTS in 2019, Van Der Beek opened up about his family’s heartbreak and how Kimberly, from her hospital bed, pleaded with him to continue dancing.
“All you know is that it brings you closer together, it breaks you open, it opens up your heart,” he said at the time.
The Van Der Beeks have surely been a source of comfort and camaraderie for many grieving parents facing a similar situation.