Friday, April 22, 2011

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

"O vos omnes qui transitis per viam adtendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus?"

On Palm Sunday, the people welcomed Jesus with cloaks strewn across his path, hailed him with palms, and cries of "Hosanna in the highest"

In the chapel, on retreat, I smiled as we held our palms. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving to God, and looked at the stained glass window of the Holy Family. There was a baby growing in my womb.

Like the excited masses at the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when I told Mark, he was overjoyed.  We started picking out names, looking at strollers, reading reviews of hospitals and baby books, and planning how we would rearrange the furniture to make our loft apartment ready for a baby. We had wanted this for so long.

During Holy Week, the apostles quickly grew troubled at the sayings of Jesus, the priests and elders plotted his death, and Jesus said, "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour."

Only a few hours after I had shared the news with Mark, we were going out to celebrate.  I went to the bathroom and could tell that something was wrong. Mark and I grew troubled. We prayed, and called the doctor, and did all we could to be spared from that hour. But on Holy Thursday we learned, just as the apostles would learn, that the hour had come. Our baby had died.

On retreat, I had prayed to come to a better understanding of the cross, Christ's suffering of love, and to grow closer to the heart of Mary. I didn't know that God would take me so literally.  But it is not because of that prayer that our baby died. That is something we cannot know yet.

On Holy Thursday evening, as the priest washed the feet of the twelve men, I looked at an image of Mary. She was proudly showing the baby Jesus to St. Dominic. I told her, "Mary, my baby died, and he hadn't done anything wrong!" In my heart, I heard, "My innocent baby died too." And so I stand with her at the foot of the cross today, and we try to understand.

We named the baby Raphael, because God heals. In time, He will heal our hearts. God only plans the best for those who love him, and right now, I keep telling God that something really wonderful had better come of this, especially since it hurts so terribly. Good things already have come of it. Mark and I now know it's possible for us to have children. We are closer, and we pray together more. I pray that the fruits don't stop there. And we will see our little Raphael at the Resurrection. With Mary and the apostles, we are waiting for that day.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."


  1. Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry Anne!

    Lots of prayers for you and your family today and this weekend.

  2. Oh Anne, I am so so sorry to hear this. What a great honor that Our Lady has let you share in her sorrow in such a close way.....and what a tremendous heartbreak. Thank you for sharing this so that we can keep you in prayer this weekend. Thank you also for your example of love of the cross--I really needed it today. Much love to you and Mark!

  3. Anne, We just lost our baby a few weeks ago. We'll keep your family in our prayers.
    Maria (Geerling) Jansen

  4. Anne, I am so sorry to hear your news and my heart aches for you as it still aches from our loss too. I dont know if you knew but Eric and I went through the same thing a few months ago. We found out we were pregnant on thanksgiving and on Christmas day we found out we lost the baby... The joy we felt on thanksgiving was unbelievable, how great to find out on the day of thansk that we have something to be so thankful for, then on the day to celebrate the birth of Christ, to find out our baby was no longer with us was so hard. Your blog is inspiring and your words beautiful, thank you for sharing, I know that must be hard. Remember I love you and will keep you and Mark in our prayers. Sending lots of love your way always.

  5. We named our baby Noah. Originally I did not want to name the baby but the insight of a 7 year old really is amazing. When my mom told Will that my baby went to heaven he told her that baby Noah was in heaven with the angels. He insisted that the baby's name was Noah and just hearing a seven year old tell my mom all about what Noah is doing in Heaven was such a powerful gift, I felt like he knew so much more than I did at 25! Hence, Noah Zimmer

  6. Anne, I am so sorry, but I truly thank you for sharing this in such a beautiful post. You and Mark are in my prayers.

  7. My Lord, the baby is dead!

    Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

    “Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.

    You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

    I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity. -- Mother M. Angelica

    Read more:

  8. Anne, I am so sorry! You and Mark are in my prayers. God's wisdom is sometimes so mysterious...

    Monica K

  9. Anne, I am so sorry. I hope your hearts will heal, I will pray for you 3.

  10. Anne, you are so beautiful. Love you!

  11. What a cross to carry during Holy Week. I thank God that I know you Anne O'Brien Bazin.

  12. Oh Anne,
    I'm so sorry about your baby. Every miscarriage is a shock, and a chance for deep communion between you and Our Lord...Gosh, i am so awed and amazed that you already 'get this' ...God bless the people that formed you!
    Raphael is the middle name of our Gian, and I run to him everytime I need intercession for a dating or married couple. I KNOW I asked him to bless your dating days a few times! You have done your baby a great service with this he can help his parents grow in their marriage!

    Anyway, The hormones will settle down soon, and the grief will wash over you in waves, and slowly diminish, and our Lady is grateful for your closeness to her right now. She cherishes you for this, Anne.
    We love your straightforwardness and peace in dealing with this sorrow. Your confidence that KNOWS God has a plan for every human being. That prayer from Mother T...was really moving. I thought of all of ours who are waiting for us, too... it made me remember to ask for their prayers and intersession more for their brothers ...who are driving me crazy!
    Wish you were close enough to hug! ( but you'd be squished flat in St. louis from all the hugging...)
    Laurie Coultrip

  13. Your post brought me to tears as I heard the news; what a close experience of the Cross you have had. Hopefully you are slowly beginning to feel the consolation and joy from the Resurrection. My prayers are with you both during this time.