HOLMDEL, NJ: How does one cope with the unimaginable...the passing of their child? Unfortunately Denise Wunderler Savino, a Holmdel mom of three children (all who have the first initial V--'Our 3 precious V's'), along with her husband Michael know all too well the agony of having their child pass before them, their lives turned upside down in an instant. Their youngest child Vienna (19 Jan. 2015 -- 12 Nov. 2017), tragically passed unexpectedly from SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) last November.
Denise says, "Every day is very difficult for all of us to go on without our Vienna home with us. Often when one is in pain they turn to music to help comfort them, and my husband Michael and I were searching for songs about child loss. There are not that many and the ones that we found did not fit with how we feel. I started jotting down words back in February, that were completely filling my head for months. Then I put the words aside and didn't look at them for a while. I'm not sure why but recently I texted just the words to Vienna's favorite musician Mr. Ray. I sent no request to do anything with them but just sent him the words. Vienna was first acquainted with Mr. Ray in preschool when he performed for her class and he quickly became her favorite musician. A few days after I sent Ray the words I was leaving a grief session I attended and I noticed a Facebook post where Mr. Ray wrote a beautiful tribute to Vienna and published a song for my baby girl, using my words and creating his own music to sing it to. I could not believe the beautiful upbeat melody he had put together for our baby that really captured her joyful spirit, and I was immediately brought to tears. I called Mr. Ray and when he answered I just said, 'You are amazing!!' We are so grateful that Ray took this upon himself to create a deeply touching, beautiful song from a grieving mom's feelings, whose words can hopefully help other parents know they are not alone in their life-long grief journey, and that someone else truly understands."
TAPinto Holmdel & Colts Neck had a chance to speak to music producer and song writer Ray Andersen (known to many children as Mr. Ray). Andersen comments, "Every child is special but there are those children who have an unforgettable presence and really connect with music. Vienna was one of those children who I will never forget. She was so cute, one of my biggest fans! Her smiling cheeks lit up the room and she was always bopping to the music and so happy. As a dad (Ray has a 13 year old daughter and his girlfriend has a daughter who is 6), it moved me to tears when I recently received the text from Denise with her words she had put together in memory of her daughter Vienna. I knew I wanted to write a melody for Vienna and it couldn't be something solemn because she was/is the opposite of solemn. I wanted to give them my time and hopefully give them a sliver of joy during an unbearable difficult journey. Music can be very therapeutic and can bring certain feelings and memories, sometimes making time stand still. I got to know Vienna's family when they came to my performances over the last couple years. My family and I have been grieving Vienna since we heard the tragic news. I wanted to give Vienna's family a gift that captured the memory of her upbeat happy spirit. I felt like when I went to write the music there was a fluidity and it just poured naturally from me. I felt like Vienna's presence was with me. I'm lucky to have touched her little life through music. Anyone that met her was lucky for that."
Mr. Ray (Ray Andersen) is a Music Producer, who has performed with among other famous artists; Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Meatloaf and Matchbox Twenty. Mr. Ray, a dad himself enjoys entertaining for children of all ages. He also has anti-bullying/respect/kindness campaigns available for schools and camps. One that he performs at many schools is titled, "No Room for Bullies." He has various programs about inclusion and acceptance that communicate creatively how we are all different and special in our own ways. Mr. Ray entertains children in educational settings/assemblies or at private events like birthday parties. To schedule entertainment or anti-bulling/respect/kindness educational programs in your school, or for unique interactive entertainment for a private event you can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit his web site at http://mrray.com
VIDEO: Listen here for Vienna's song lyrics by her mommy Denise and melody by her favorite musician Mr. Ray.
Link to a recent article 'from a mother's heart'; Vienna's mom Denise writes about Vienna and the upcoming SUDC event: