Friday, September 17, 2010

The gift of Elan Vie

Jalene and I conceived our beautiful son with intention and the purity of our love and sacredness of our marriage. We have been filled with light, passion. vigor, health, creativity and abundance as we basked in the pure joy and adventure of becoming parents. While we want nothing more than to celebrate his life, we also need to inform you that our newborn son Elan Vie Salus passed away moments after his birth on Tuesday night, September 14, 2010. 

We were conscious and made educated choices in pregnancy and birth and ensured Jalene and the baby’s safety while living to our values and following our hearts. We are filled with gratitude and love for the empowering birthing process that we created surrounded by amazing competence and determination. After a strong, graceful, courageous and beautiful birthing time in our home we made the choice to move to a hospital, where the doctor supported our wishes to continue as natural a birth as possible. When progress slowed, we all made the choice to deliver the baby via ceasarian birth. Elan’s vitals were strong throughout the whole process, including just prior to the delivery; however as soon as he was lifted from the womb he appeared unresponsive. The hospital team made every effort to revive Elan after he was separated from Jalene, but he died shortly after.
The reasons for this tragedy are not yet clear.

Jalene and I want everyone to know how much love we have felt  - for ourselves and for Elan – throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and Elan's short life. Though he passed quickly, perhaps he was so pure and filled with love that he did not need anything more in this world. Our young baby has shared a pure love no matter how brief his life. He didn’t need anything else –  he is complete.

The gift that our little boy gave us will be ever present. We have held him in our arms since day one of conception. While our pain is tremendous, we have felt love from Elan and from all of you. We know that all of you out there are thinking the most pure thoughts of love in honor of Elan. This is Elan’s gift to you, that you may know the full bounty of love and compassion that you feel for us in this loss, soak it in and never lose its purity. It is raw and painful, but it’s beauty is never ending. Our Elan, our son, our nephew, our grandson, our little sweet angel is shining on all of you in this moment and he wants you to take this gift with you and let it fill you and remind you of all the beauty and abundance of life.

Jalene expressed that she now knows what it is fully like to live in both the light and the dark. To give birth to life and have it taken away in the same moment. She and I want to give you the sweet thoughts we have of Elan and remember that he was so loved, so filled and so fulfilled. We believe he received a lifetime of pure love, that he did not need to accomplish anything in the physical world that we live in.

We would like to share with you why we chose the name Elan Vie so that you can truly know who he was and what he brings to all of us. Elan is Hebrew for tree, Vie is French for life. Thus we have our tree of life. Elan de Vie is a French expression for passion for life, life force, vigorous passion. So you see Elan brings the gift of living each moment to the fullest. This little tree grew so quickly and spread his limbs to allow us all to bask in the light when we need and he stands tall to provide us shade and comfort when the heat and hurt is too much. To see Elan’s sweet face and to feel the sweetness of his soul as we held him was a gift. The power of his sweet light is now his continued gift. He is forever an angel to our family.

May you bask in the purity of the love that you feel right in this moment.

Please leave your thoughts and prayers for Elan, and our family. The Salus/Nardella family will soon have a small intimate ceremony to honor the sacred journey that Elan has taken us all on. Jalene and I know that many of you would like to be there, that you want to embrace us and nourish us so that we may feel your love. In the days to come, there will be a time for you to provide physical comfort and for us to feel your embrace. We will need it. Right now we ask that you leave your thoughts here with permission that they may be used during this ceremony that celebrates the love that was created, the inspiration of life, and the true knowing of what it is to live in both the light and the dark.

This page is an open invitation for anyone that needs to begin this healing journey with us.

With love and gratitude,
RJ and Jalene


  1. Dear Jalene and RJ,

    What a beautiful tribute to a true blessing. How you managed to write so eloquently in the midst of such pain, I cannot fathom; but from your words, I understand that you are also basking in an enveloping love. I am friends with James and Jena, and had seen pictures of their expecting siblings. I rejoiced with them then, and grieve with all of you now. I will most certainly keep your whole family in my prayers and ask God that he continues to provide so many who are offering comfort to you in this time. Thank you for sharing what you did; I trust that it will touch many lives.

    Much love,

  2. This is such a beautiful way to honor Elan, and it brought tears to my eyes to read.

    I love you all very much.

    Anything more I could write seems insufficient.

    Thank you for sharing Elan's story, life & love with us.

    Love Cousin Caroline

  3. Jalene and RJ,
    I am a childhood friend of James, and I wanted to leave a little love and light on your page...
    May you be filled with loving kindness
    May you be well
    May you be peaceful and at ease
    May you be happy.

    I'm sending the same to sweet Elan. Take good care of each other.

    Jenna Wray Dworkin

  4. What a beautiful tribute! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Thinking about you all today and sending lots of love your way.

    Cousin Katie

  5. RJ and Jalene,
    My thoughts haven't left you since I learned of Elan's birth and passing. I've wrestled to understand the gravity of such a loss. I know that I can't. Today, I stopped with the thought that it's love that will lift you. That love is at the core of this. Then I found these words left by you. Thank you for so clearly showing me what my heart was trying to tell me. With all the love that I have...Christine

  6. This tragedy has me speechless. The only thing I can think to say is that I love you all so much. You have consumed my thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you for sharing Elan's story with us.
    I'm sending you all my love.

    Cousin Indah

  7. Jalene and RJ -
    We are filled with sadness to hear this news! We will be praying for you both, Jalene, RJ and your families as you gather together to mourn and attempt to make sense out this tragedy. We pray that all of you will cling to God during this time, who truly is the only one to carry us in our sadness, hold us when we can't stand, and reveal how he uses tragedy over time into part of His story for our lives. This is about the only way I know of to make sense of deep sadness like this.

    Lauren and Berry Brooks (Ken's sister)

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  9. RJ and Jalene,

    Thank you for sharing Elan Vie Salus with us and for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us as well. At Scripps, we see ourselves as family and we share our joy and sadness together. Today, we feel sadness with the loss of Elan and we want to extend our love and support to you at this difficult time. The Tree of Life is used in many hospitals across the country and you can find a tree in the lobby of many hospitals. Throughout the ages, trees have stood as a symbol of life - the life of someone special, such as a friend or loved one. From this day forward, I will never look at a Tree of Life without thinking of Elan Vie Salus.
    Chris Van Gorder

  10. Dearest Jalene and RJ, You are in our hearts and thoughts. You have been so generous in sharing your love with us all. Your son Elan-Vie is perfect and he chose you two to be his Mom and Daddy. Please know that we are here, loving and respecting you as you travel into an unknown land of bright light and terrible darkness. We will not be able to comprehend what to do or say, forgive us for this ignorance and know we hold you in our arms and hearts with love. Nothing else is of any importance.

  11. Rj, Jalene, Danielle, and Naomi,
    We are all so sad about your terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with you. I know how difficult it is to think of others,and to compose such a beautiful blog to share your thoughts and feelings with others when you are consumed with grief and am appreciative of your concern and love for all your friends and relatives. Take care of each other and know that we all love you very much.

  12. RJ and Jalene-
    I have no words to express my sadness for your loss. Know that we are sending out our loving and comforting intentions to you both, and our gratitude for the love and light Elan was able to bring to you.
    Lovingly-Min and Max

  13. Jalene and RJ,
    My heart goes out to you and your entire family. What a beatiful tribute to your precious Elan. Hold onto your love for him always! You're in my prayers.

  14. Dearest Jalene and RJ,

    I felt such heaviness and devastation for you in my heart as I read the news and these words. I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. I can hardly begin to imagine what you are going through. I have such a deep honoring for the beauty and strength you have seen in the loss already.

    I want to share some words from a dear friend of mine when I lost my Grandma Sara that may offer some solace.

    "Grief is a strange thing, coming as it does in blasts of sorrow that feel like they'll just about bury you and then lifting like mist on a sunny day. And there in front of you is ordinary life. My father's death can hit me, seventeen years later, as if it's just happened.  Sometimes I almost can't breathe with the depth of sadness, and then it's gone again, and life continues with its joys and pleasures and irritations.  It's like the atrocities in the world that we humane educators expose ourselves to.  How can we live our lives peacefully and joyfully when lurking in the recesses of our minds is awareness about factory farms or child slavery? We can because we are blessed with this urge to live and laugh and forget, at least for a time; to be provincial and narrow so that we can live at all.”

    I love you very much and will be planting a tree in Elan Vie's honor.


  15. RJ and Jalene,

    You are im my thoughts and prayers and I cannot begin to share how your words about Elan Vie penetrated my heart. I want to say more, but I am at a loss for words.

    --Kevin LaChapelle

  16. Dear RJ and Jalene -
    What a beautiful tribute to Elan! Words cannot express our sorrow that we did not get to know him and that he was taken from us all so quickly. At Bobe's funeral, the Rabbi said that it is a great honor and a sign of G-D's blessing to be taken between the time of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur; I like to think that G-D chose Elan for a great honor.
    All our love and our prayers are with you!
    Carol, Mark, Joshua and Daniel

  17. Jalene and RJ

    My heart is with you. Baby Elan is an angel among angels. A pure and beautiful soul.

    I love you,

  18. My heart is aching and tears are running down my face, and at the same time I am stunned and humbled by your strength and eloquence in the face of this tragedy. It is very difficult for me to make sense of things like this, and there is never the right thing to say, but one person I know said that when a child dies, that means that God needed him more than we did. I doubt that provides any comfort to you but Baby Elan must be one very special angel. My heart, prayers and hugs go out to you. Robyn Webb

  19. Much love, comfort and blessings to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Cousin Michael

  20. Jalene and RJ,

    Words do not seem enough to tell you how very sad I am for the loss of your son. Please know that I am sending all my thoughts, prayers and love to you always.

    Thank you for sharing the story of Elan with us. His life has touched all of ours.

    Much love, Cousin Valerie

  21. Dear Jalene and RJ,
    Thank you for sharing your hearts in the beautiful words and photo for precious Elan Vie. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. Below is a poem that may be of some comfort.
    With love,
    Gabriella, John, Chelsea and Sean

    The Rose Beyond the Wall
    A rose once grew where all could see,
    sheltered beside a garden wall,
    And as the days passed swiftly by,
    it spread its branches straight and tall...
    One day, a beam of light shone through
    a crevice that had opened wide -
    The rose bent gently toward its warmth
    then passed beyond to the other side...
    Now, you who deeply feel its loss,
    be comforted - the rose blooms there -
    Its beauty even greater now,
    nurtured by God's own loving care.

  22. RJ and Jalene,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. My deepest sympathies to you and your entire family during this difficult time. What a precious little soul your Elan Vie is and thank you for sharing him with us.
    Warmest Regards, Trish Daly

  23. RJ and Jalene:
    Your beautiful words celebrating Elan and his short life leave no heart untouched. And your ability to articulate these emotions and reflections so lovingly and movingly is a testament to your courage and strength in this time of overwhelming pain and sadness. Know that we love you and will cherish you and the memory of Elan in our hearts.
    Auntie M. and Uncle Perry

  24. There are times in life that only faith, hope and love is what sees you through. You are so fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family that love you dearly. Your faith and hope abound. Elan joined our family in love, and will live in it forever.You are all in my heart, and I am sending you love on the wings of your angel.
    Cousin Heather

  25. Dear RJ and Jalene,
    Your words were so beautiful and moving and no doubt represented what a sweet little soul your Elan was...and will continue to be in all of our hearts. Our deepest sympathies and most loving thoughts are with you.

    Jonathan, Claudia, Nathaniel and Zachary

  26. Dear Jalene and RJ,
    Your baby was a very special soul and that's why he chose you to be his mother, because you are a very special woman with a pure and loving heart. You will carry his love with you always.
    We love you, and you both are in our thoughts.

    Aunt Donna and Uncle Mike

  27. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. Your words are such a wonderful expression of the life of your sweet baby Elan. No one can understand why something like this happens. Much love to you.

  28. RJ & J-
    We just heard. Our hearts break for you guys- I can't begin to imagine the pain and loss you are going through at this time.

    I am touched by your eloquence and ability to comfort those around you- I pray that you find comfort in each other and in your tears, and prayers. I wish we were closer to give a big hugs for my big brother... know that even though we are in different countries, you are always close in our hearts.

    Jalene, you are such an inspiration in your positive outlook and love of life. Elan-Vie is a perfect name for a child that the two of you created. He is love, and life; and may you feel that angel watching over you always.

    God bless-
    Jen & Matt

  29. Dear sweet family of Elan Vie. Although my heart is breaking for all of you, I feel the incredible power of the love your precious son and grandson has bestowed upon all of us. I grieve with you in this loss, but at the same time, I celebrate that such a beautiful love source was brought into our world at a time when it was needed so badly. Elan may not be with us in body, but his spirit and purity will be with us for always. His sweet soul is at total peace...of that, I am so very sure.
    Love and peace to all of you...Lynn

  30. RJ and Jay, and the entire Nardella-Salus family...I am so deeply sorry that Elan was taken from you so quickly. He is truly your angel, and I have felt the warmth of his love shine through me ever since I received the call. You amaze me with your strength and outlook on life and spirit. Jalene is a part of me and I sincerely grieve even though I am so far away. I love you and will always be here for you.
    Love, Becky

  31. RJ and Jalene-
    we love you so very much and surround you with hugs and positive thoughts and energy during this sad time. We are here for you!

    Love, Jess, Paul and Ossie

  32. I love you RJ and Jalene and you are in my heart.

  33. Posted on behalf of the Colaco family:

    Dear RJ & Jalene

    Words fail us. We share in your incomprehensible loss.

    We send you our continuing love and affection.

    Francis/Marie Henriette/Antoine

  34. Querida RJ and Jalene,
    My heart aches tremendously for you. I cannot stop crying. We are so very sad with you and trying to make sense of your tragic loss. Thank you for sharing your precious Elan Vie with us. Baby Elan Vie has touched us all so deeply. He will forever be the tree of life. There is no deeper sadness than saying goodbye. May your tears and your strength and the comfort of family and friends start your journey of grieving and healing. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with you. We love you very much.
    Un abrazo fuerte,
    Katy and Ethan

  35. Jalene and RJ

    We have lit a candle and shared a prayer for your beautiful, baby boy.
    Remember that a little love goes a long way.
    Remember that a lot...goes forever.
    Elan Vie Salus was loved a lot and will be loved forever.
    Please accept our deepest sympathy.
    Melonie Ensign

  36. RJ & Jalene

    Thanks for sharing with us all, the beautiful tribute to Elan. I am overwhelmed!!
    Such inspiring words!! Our hearts are filled with sadness. I am speechless, and at such a loss for words to hear about this tragedy. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel for your loss. I am praying that your faith will help you through this very difficult time and that you will find the strength to get you through your grief and sadness. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    “Remember that your loss is shared
    By many friends who care
    And that you're in our
    thoughts and hearts
    And in our every prayer.”

    Many Blessings,
    Lew & Shannon
    (Allie & Jim’s neighbors)

  37. To Elan Vie's Mother and Father:
    Knowing the weight of your heart, I offer my prayers for a peaceful mind in receiving the profound gift that is your son, Elan Vie. Even perfection has both darkness and light. On this spiritual path, I walk beside you.

  38. RJ & Jalene,
    Your Elan crossed this great divide because he had to meet you, to be a part of you no matter what. What a journey!

  39. Jalene and RJ
    Words cannot even begin to describe our feelings as we heard the news of your sweet Elan passing. Dan and I can truly relate to the deep sorrow you must be feeling at this time. Our hearts ache for you, and from the bottom of our hearts, we are truly sorry for your loss. Our message to you is one of hope. You created a miracle and for nine months you took care of a true angel whose purpose is to give you hope, love, and light. As we will never know why such a beautiful soul was taken from this earth, I can tell you from experience that he was here for a higher purpose. You will soon know and feel the magnitude of his life. Our son Evan was here to give Kane strength and to merge both souls into one. We don’t feel he is gone, we feel the enormity of his presence every day. He gives us joy, hope, and he reminds us of the importance of love and faith. Your little angel is now standing right beside you, loving you, protecting you, and giving you life and hope. He will fill your soul with happiness and that is a gift that will only be yours. He will bring you closer, and he will give you peace. We are here for you always. We normally send our Evan white balloons to play with on his birthday. We will send some to him to share with your precious Elan. We Love You!
    Dan and Pam

  40. Dear Jalene & RJ,

    Your shared "gift of life, light and life" has been a miracle of hope & empathy for so many. Your angel, aptly named "Elan Vie" shall have a greater impact on so many's hope, dreams & spiritual understanding of the "goal of our soul's collective mission: NIRVANA!" We grieve for your shared loss of this precious expression of your merged LOVE. . .and we celebrate this tiny inspiration for us to know that God IS Love! May God envelope you in his mighty arms, and rock you in the gentle silence of pure Love, Hope & Compassion.

    God Bless you & your loving families,

    Denise Daley Balocco
    May there be abundant peace from heaven, Yehe shlama rabba min shmayya יְהֵא שְׁלָמָה רבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא,

  41. My dear cousin Jalene and cousin in law ( I guess that's how to say it) Rj, your words and story and what is tremendous courage and understanding are a true inspiration. As tears stream down my face I understand what you say about your son, Elan showing us what true love is. Love is the most powerful force in the universe and I hope you both and all involved feel all the love sent from family and friends. If you 2 use the love you have for each other to get you through this YOU WILL get through this. I love you both and I love you Elan!!! Thank you Elan for reminding me of what pure love is and thank you Jalene and RJ for allowing us all to be apart of that. Love and Aloha, your cousin David Jr.

  42. RJ & Jalene,

    My heart goes out to you both. I do not have the words to express how I feel at this time as this news touches the core of my soul. I wish you both the best and am looking forward to meeting when the time is right. Please let me know if there is anything I can do no matter how seemingly large or small.

    Be strong my friends.

  43. Dear Jalene, RJ and Elan Vie,
    Your love and purity of spirit are inspiring. You are truly amazing, and I am so happy that all of you are in my life. Thank you for the gift that each of you is to all of us. Truly in the darkest place you have found light. Thank you for showing us that.
    With deep love and respect,
    your cousin, Kelly

  44. Dear RJ & Jalene,

    All our love, thoughts, and prayers are with you and your family. We know that we cannot begin to understand the pain and sorrow that you feel right now, but we need you to know that we will always here for you. Elan Vie is a very special angel that will forever shine on all of us. We've celebrated and loved Elan with you since conception and will continue to do so forever. Your amazing strength and courage are inspiring to all of us. We love you so much.

    Neal, Kristine & Ty

  45. I have not stopped thinking of you two and beautiful Elan Vie. The depths of sadness are beyond words. Elan Vie will forever be in our hearts and the deepest part of our souls. We are thinking of you and praying for you. Words simply cannot convey how deeply we hurt for you, and how much we hope to send you strength to carry on.
    With much love and hope,
    Tami Hennick

  46. Dear RJ and Jalene,

    We stand together with you with heavy hearts and send you support, love and prayers.

    Dina, Dug and Deedee

  47. RJ and Jalene,
    Our hearts are breaking at the news of this tragic loss. We are most sad at the thought that little Elan Vie won't have the opportunity to experience, as parents, two of the most amazing and loving people we have ever met. We know that baby Elan felt your powerful love from the moment of conception and that you will feel his love and gratitude for the rest of your lives. Thank you for sharing your beautiful son with us and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. With love, Karen and Bob

  48. Jalene & RJ
    Allie & Jim

    There is noting in this moment but to feel the joy and heart ache that little Elan Vie's passage through this plane brings. The community of loving people he touches and connects is vast. And for a moment our hearts, voices, our joy and sorrow, unite in a common spirt surrounding you with love, holding you near. In this moment the precious gift of life becomes clear and enduring, eternal and scared. With love and light, Jenny/Phyllis

  49. Dear RJ and Jalene,
    The very short life and memory of Elan Vie has so touched my heart. The picture of Elan is beautiful, and very revealing of the love in your family. Elan's sweet little face is so prevalent of peace and goodness. In honor and memory of this dear sweet angel I have had a tree planted in his name in the children's forest in Israel to be a living tribute to the celebration and memory of his life.
    Many blessing to all of you and thank you for sharing the picture of dear sweet Elan.

    with love, Nicolett

  50. Jalene and RJ, Elan's loss has touched us all. I was blessed to see Jalene grow from a teen friend of my daughter into a strong and powerful woman. You have always held a special place in my heart and I'm proud to know you. RJ, I haven't met you, yet, but Jalene's love for you is enough for me to know. I'm truly impressed that at this time, you work to heal others and accept healing energy from them. That shows the strength that you have. With the love of your family and friends you will keep Elan with you as you move on in your journey together. You still have a long, challenging and wondrous road to travel. Bless you.
    Mike Chambers

  51. Jalene & RJ,

    There are no words to express my deepest sympathy for your loss. Thank you for sharing the beautiful tribute and Elan's gift of love. I know that your faith, family, and friends will help guide you through this healing journey.

    Your love and loss have truly touched us all.

    Joyce, Jeff, & Audrey

  52. Dear Jalene, RJ, Allie, Jim and family,

    Your eloquent words are heart warming and I am sure that baby Elan is basking in the love that he has been showered with since his conception.
    I am so very sorry for your loss and will continue to hold you in the light and love that so visibly surrounds you every moment.

    Donna Stafford

  53. Dear RJ and Jalene,

    We love you so much. Elan Vie chose you two to be his parents because of Your light and love. We will forever remember his light, love and preciousness. Your love for each other and Elan is never ending. We are praying for you. We will always be here for you.


    Gary and Emily

  54. Dear Jalene and RJ,

    You both are deeply in my heart and prayers during this time.
    There is no explanation for something like this and yet I am awed by your perspective and strength.

    I am loving you and will continue doing so as long as you need.

    In deep love,


  55. Jalene, RJ, Nardellas' & Salus' Family,

    Though he touched this earth briefly, it is so profound and obvious how Elan's birth has touched so many of us. The courage and strength you put forth to share him with us in this manner is inspiring. This angel, Elan Vie Salus, will be held within mine & Bob's heart for a lifetime. May strength, courage, peace and understanding continue to encircle you as you journey onward and forward.

    With much love,
    Bob & Elaine

  56. Jalene and RJ,

    Your love for this child was apparent and contagious from day one. You are an inspiration both as a couple and as parents. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your son, and your families during this very difficult time. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to Elan Vie and letting us all share a little piece of his life and love. Please know and feel all of the love and prayers that are being sent your way.

    Kaley and Adam
    (Farm House Café)

  57. RJ and Jalene,
    Your thoughts are inspiring. What a gift you give those of us lucky enough to know you. We are praying for you, and wishing you strength, love, and the passion to continue to see the world as a miraculous mystery. Baby Elan has touched many lives. Thank you for sharing your love with Elan, and with us. We are here to support you in whatever way you need.

    Brenda F.

  58. Though he passed quickly, perhaps he was so pure and filled with love that he did not need anything more in this world. Our young baby has shared a pure love no matter how brief his life. He didn’t need anything else – he is complete.

    RJ&Jay, I love you both so much. So much. so much....

  59. RJ and Jalene,
    Antoine Saint-Exupery said that "It is only with the heart that one can truly see, the essential is invisible to the eyes." I know that you have changed by opening your hearts to little Elan. Although he is no longer physically here, he lives on through the way that his short life has impacted you.
    Sending love your way,

  60. Jalene and RJ, Allie and Jim,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you struggle to understand the unknowable. I have always been impressed with the love and life-affirming strength of your family . . . somehow that will carry you through this time of sorrow.
    Allie and Jim, some of your Wilmington friends had a little ceremony honoring Elan Vie's brief but significant life, and to send some love and healing light your way.
    RJ and Jalene, your eloquence and concern for others says so much about the kind of parents you would have been to Elan. God sent this little angel to the right people. May His light bring you out of the darkness.

    Linda T.

  61. Dear RJ and Jalene,
    What a beautiful tribute to your precious son, Elan. You don't know me... I am a friend of Stephanie's. 18 months ago, my husband and I said good bye to our precious daughter, Ella. It was the happiest, saddest day of our lives. It seems like you have a lot of people who love you and Elan. But, please let me know if I can support you in anyway. Know I am thinking of all three of you often. I am sending you light and love. xo Elan xo

  62. Jalene and RJ,

    To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, what matters truly is not the length of life but the depth of life.

    Little Elan Vie lived very deeply from the moment of conception, and that truth was revealed to us in the peace, light and passion with which you live your life as a couple and prepared as a family and again in the grace and courage in your words of tribute.

    Since hearing the news last week, I have been overcome with unspeakable sadness. Your words in this memorial blog made me both cry and smile. I then recalled Elan's great grandmother Lillian and the song from the Benedictine Monks that were important to her at the sunset of her life: "All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you."

    I can say in Faith that Elan loves you and your families and forever will.

    Though we were not able to share as much earth-bound time as all of us would have wanted, Elan Vie was truly Heaven-sent and will always live in our hearts.

    We will continue to hold you in our prayers.

    (Cousin) Kim and Tony

  63. RJ and Jalene,
    The loss of a child is the most trying thing we will ever face in our lifetime. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your precious son, Elan. I too lost my son,Eli, 3 months and 3 days ago. I am here if you need to talk, cry, scream and yell. Just know that Elan is not alone, he has many angel friends to keep him company and he is watching over you and will be waiting to meet you in Heaven.

  64. I am so sorry for the loss of your little Elan. You don't know me either, I am a friend of Bree a few comments above. I wanted to comment here and let you know that you are not alone. My daughter Morgan passed away 2 years ago right after birth and I never found out why she died. Even people who have never met you or your precious baby boy are devistated for you right now. My heart aches for you. If you ever need to talk, please email me at

  65. I've been thinking of you guys constantly over the last few days as you go through this difficult tragedy. I hope that the time that you're spending with family this weekend has been nurturing for your as you work through this. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

  66. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful and poetic post. AS a mother without her child (lost my son during my pregnancy) I know the pain you feel. My prayers are with you.

  67. Coming to you through Bree. I lost a son 13 months ago and can say the pain and love can grow stronger and deeper with time. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and wishing you some comfort.

  68. Dear Jalene and RJ,
    Your beautifully written words have expressed the pure love, goodness and joy you have for Elan. I am so very sorry for your loss and will hold you up in my prayers. May our Lord God comfort you and give you strength during this time.
    God Bless you both,
    Pam D...Anna's mom

  69. Elan,
    You have impacted us all profoundly. You, no doubt,received more love in your short life than some people experience in a lifetime. I lament your passing for many reasons, admittedly all selfish. I wanted to watch your parents continue to frolic in the role of parents as they have since your conception. I have learned so much from them about love, marriage and having grace in all areas of life. Even in loosing you they show me how to accept your calling despite their own intense desires for a lifetime with you.

    I have no idea how to support your beautiful parents through loosing a being as light and pure as you. I can support their physical selves with nourishment and be there for them in any capacity they ask, but still there is a valley where the mountain of your future stood. So Elan, I ask you to join all of us who love your parents to continually fill the void with love so that one day we can stand together and think on you with no regrets and no pain, but only love.

    You are deeply missed and truly loved.


  70. This is such a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss. You will in my thoughts and prayers as you learn to navigate without your precious Elan. I lost my daughter 11 months ago shortly after birth.
    Bless your both ((HUGS)).

  71. Your words are so rich and completely infused with the love and purity you describe so tenderly. I wanted to share a quote with you, (as you have shared so many helpful quotes with us) that brought some comfort to a loved one regarding a recent loss. It seems to mirror some of your own thoughts/feelings and I hope you may find some corner of peace within these words during this very difficult time:
    "Hope is an orientation of the spirit,
    an orientation of the heart.
    It is NOT the conviction that something will turn out well, but the CERTAINTY that something
    MAKES SENSE regardless of how it turns out."
    -Vaclav Havel, poet

    My thoughts are with you and yours,

  72. RJ & Jalene, We have just heard of your loss. Our thought are with you and your family. My mom passed away when I was 15 and I remember my Grandfather say "No parent should ever have to go thru this" (No matter the age-It would never be easy).~Mona

    "A Child of Mine"

    I will lend you, for a little time,
    A child of mine, He said.
    For you to love the while he lives,
    And mourn for when he's dead.
    It may be six or seven years,
    Or twenty-two or three.
    But will you, till I call him back,
    Take care of him for Me?
    He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
    And should his stay be brief.
    You'll have his lovely memories,
    As solace for your grief.
    I cannot promise he will stay,
    Since all from earth return.
    But there are lessons taught down there,
    I want this child to learn.
    I've looked the wide world over,
    In search for teachers true.
    And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
    I have selected you.
    Now will you give him all your love,
    Nor think the labour vain.
    Nor hate me when I come
    To take him home again?
    I fancied that I heard them say,
    'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!'
    For all the joys Thy child shall bring,
    The risk of grief we'll run.
    We'll shelter him with tenderness,
    We'll love him while we may,
    And for the happiness we've known,
    Forever grateful stay.
    But should the angels call for him,
    Much sooner than we've planned.
    We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
    And try to understand.

  73. What a beautiful tribute to your sweet baby boy Elan. Bree sent me over. We lost our daughter 9 months ago she was stillborn and I know it's totally different. I wanted you to know that I believe Elan knows how much you love him and knows how special he is to you. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

  74. RJ and Jalene,

    I am also coming to you through the bereaved parents community. I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words to take away or ease your sorrow, but know there is a great community of bereaved parents that are standing by your side right now. Much love to you and sweet Elan...

    Rachel McConathy

  75. Jalene & RJ,
    I know that the love you've had for Elan Vie will be forever with you. Words cannot ease your pain, but please know that my heart goes out to you and how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your son.
    Hugs, Karen Cohen

  76. RJ & Jalene,

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you both. I will remember forever the sad but beautiful story of Angel Elan Vie, watching over his mommy and daddy and showering them in his sweet light.

    You are in my prayers.

  77. Jalene and RJ--thinking of you and baby Elan often and sending our thoughts and prayers of support. Elan was so fortunate to have you as his parents to love, honor and guide him. Please know we are here to provide anything your need.

    Barbara P. and the PMO Team

  78. Jalene and RJ,
    There are no words to express the depth of our sympathy for the loss of your dear baby boy, Elan Vie. We have shed many tears since hearing this news. Your blog is such a beautiful tribute to Elan- I truly feel blessed to have been able to be in the presence of the three of you in our class, to have bumped bellies with Jalene and to continue to feel the pure love of Elan Vie. You inspire those around you even during a time of great sorrow. Please know that you are in our hearts and our prayers as we allow Elan's love and light to flow through us. He has touched us deeply.
    Sending you love,
    Amanda, Brian and Sophie Sexton

  79. rj and jalene,

    since i heard about the loss of elan vie, i have been trying to find the right words to say to you, but have realized there are no "right" words at a time like this. i can only tell you that i love you both and am sending so much positive energy your way. your beautiful words touched all of us....i'm so happy that you have been able to see the amazing, pure love you shared with elan, albeit much too briefly. please know that we are all here for you...

    love, cindy

  80. Dearest RJ and Jalene,

    We wanted to express our deepest condolences to both of you and your families for your tragic loss. We have both been in a state of shock since finding out about your loss and cannot imagine what each of you are feeling during this difficult time. You all have and continue to remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. Please remember that you are not alone and we are all here for you; anytime day or night. We were deeply moved by the eloquence, composure, and compassion that you displayed through your beautiful heartfelt words above. To be able to comfort those around you while experiencing such intense grief yourselves is a true testament to who you both are. We are honored to have you both as our friends and are truly sorry for your loss. May Elan's light continue to shine through the never ending love that you both possess and the love that we all have for you. We wanted you to know we will be paying a special tribute to Elan Vie at Lucy's service this weekend.

    All our love,

    David & Lisa

  81. Today, Uncle Frank and I will send some balloons to your sweet son. we know he is being tenderly cared for by those we love who have gone before us. Love to his Mommy and Daddy.

  82. Dear Jaylene and RJ,

    Please know that you, your families and all the friends and loved ones who surround you both near and far, have been and continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. The beauty and grace that I've known and seen in Jaylene throughout the years and during our brief visit earlier this year is something that I always treasure... Jay-you glowed and you always will. I am honored to know you both and I feel blessed to have seen, read about, and felt the presence of your beautiful Elan Vie. I hope that the words shared by everyone on this wonderful tribute page gives you strength and understanding of the love everyone has for you and your baby boy. Please know that while I grieve with and for you from afar, I also celebrate your lives and the life and love of your dear, sweet baby.

    All my love, Jen

  83. R, J,

    I wish I could be there to hug and cry with you and comfort you. You should know that you are two uniquely loving, generous and kind people, and I have no doubt your son knew and knows how lucky he was to have parents like you. We are here for you in whatever way you need. Your Vermont family send you all the love we have.
    David, Tara, Lila

  84. RJ and Jalene,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. I have been thinking about you a lot this past week, and I am so sorry for your loss. Stay strong, and please know that you have a loving family and group of friends that is here for you...

    Much love, Chris Bramley

  85. Here through Bree-just wanting to stop in and send my love. I am so very sorry for your loss-this grief is so very long and hard and I am just so very sorry that you are on it. I know that nothing I can say will making it better-but there is an amazing community of bereaved parents out there and we are ready to support you.
    Take care of you and lean on others.

  86. I stand devastated and heartbroken with you and all who love and cherish you. In my own way, I came to love your baby boy and I am grieving with you that he made such a brief stop in this space. I am in awe of the strength of your love - that you could write such beautiful words in the wake of this loss touched me through to my soul. Elan and you have inspired me to see the beauty in the world, to honor life everywhere, and to pay attention. Thank you for this gift. I am sending you love, prayers and thoughts of peace. Love, Whittney

  87. The Village surrounds you and we drop to our knees in grief to honor your loss and the gift of Elan Vie's sweet moment here with you.

    Your wisdom is stunning and you have honored us by sharing your deepest hearts voice.

    So much love to you Jalene, Rj and Elan Vie ~

    Jean & Chuck

  88. The pure love of which you speak radiates from your family portrait. I honor Elan Vie's birthstory for all its beauty and sorrow.

    A friend who lost her infant son once shared this poem in his memory. Re-reading it today, the second half especially reminded me of your family.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    i carry your heart with me, by ee cummings
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
    my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
    i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing, my darling)
    i fear
    no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
    no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  89. Remember the Mystery
    A beautiful heart warming experience sure to sooth the soul and remind us all that love is how we got here.

  90. May peace, strength, hope, and love lift you through this time of utter confusion. I send loving energy your way.
    Love, Oceanna Gage (co-worker of RJ's)

  91. I am so sorry to hear this news. Glad to know you've found such strength.

    -distant friend of James Nardella

  92. Jalene, RJ, Allie and Jim -- I am in awe of the way, amid such unfathomable sorrow, you have been able to find the joy that Elan’s life brought to you and to thank him for that. Each time I light a candle, I will continue to think of the light that your family brings to the world and of little Elan forever out there shining down on you.

  93. Dear RJ and Jalene,

    Sending you love and light during this difficult time. Thinking of you often and having just grieved a loss, I know that there is light after the darkness. Looking forward to hugging you both and honoring Elan's perfect life with you soon. Much love to you and your family.
    Anne & Jeremy

  94. Dearest Jalene and RJ
    I cannot even begin to imagine just how you are getting through each day, each moment - but I have faith that you are both so connected and have such strong family ties that as difficult as this is to go through now - you will become even more connected to each other and continue to celebrate Elan Vie's short life. As someone at the other end it is always sad to see the nicest people who take extra care of themselves in preparation for the family additions often times face the biggest challenges. I know you that you need your privacy and time but if there is anything ...
    With all my love and a big hug!


  95. Dear Jalene and RJ,
    My name is Wesley Cartwright from Kansas City, Missouri. Without intruding, I only want to send you a quick note to tell you how far your message of love has reached. I am moved and inspired by your openness to your faith and your ability to receive the lessons your son Elan was sent to teach you. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to reach for understanding after experiencing tragedy such as this. I think your outlook on life and love is so healthy and creative and vigorous. Your marriage, your love for each other and for your son is truly unique. May you continue to hold each other close, hold each other up. Please accept my deepest sympathies to you and all your family. I pray that you both continue to grow this beautiful love and peace and healing and faithfulness you've learned. Elan did a great job.

  96. I am sending you my love. I am moved by your grace and strength. Jalene, you are a powerful woman and wonderful mother. From the early weeks in your pregnancy, you glowed with love and joy. Elan grew in that envelope of love. He was loved so perfectly by you both.
    I carry you all in my heart.
    With love,
    Danielle Deluca Mendoza

  97. My heart is breaking for you, I hardly have words to express what I am feeling for you both. You are such amazing and beautiful people.

    I love you and am thinking about you all the time.

    with my love, Robyn

  98. Jalene and RJ,

    Thank your for creating this page and sharing Elan Vie with us. You are amazing couple and all who know you witnessed your loving care from conception to birth, an amazing beautiful love.


  99. Oh R and J, how we are living and breathing differently since we have heard the news. We are so right next to you in spirit. As so many times during each day, I want to reach out to both of you to comfort and ease any pain that I possibly can. We wish we could take it all away. You both are such an inspiration and Elan is our angel that will guide and live with us forever. We will never be the same because Elan has touched us in so many ways. You made a beautiful baby and will remain that way forever in image and spirit. We love you more than words can express. We are following your lead in this journey toward understanding, questioning and accepting. In love, in spirit, in friendship and in honor, you inspire all of us. Stacy, Eric, Ry and El

  100. Dear RJ and Jalene -

    Please accept my condolences for your loss. This is a beautiful and touching tribute to Elan Vie and my thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time and always.


  101. Dear Jalene and RJ,

    There are not enough words in the English language to express my condolences and sorrow for your loss. Elan Vie was a beautiful child and was blessed to be carried and cared for by such a caring, courageous mother. Thank you for creating this wonderful tribute so that the rest of us could share in Elan's short, but momentous life. I am thinking of you and feel so lucky to have met you both.


  102. Jay and RJ -

    I just heard news of Elan's passing. I have been disconnected for some time, this was such hard news to come back to. I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am for the loss that has come into your family. Your strength and courage however in telling Elan's story is astounding. Your words have been an inspiration and helped me to understand how one can manage grief with grace and humility. Scott and I are currently in Nepal and will be traveling out to the spiritual heart of the country, the Himalayan mountains, soon. From these peaks I will whisper Elan's name and say quiet prayers for his little soul. It is clear that with such an outpouring of love and support, and with such tender parents who guided him so lovingly from the start, he has found peace.

    My love to you both and to your family.

    Jessica & Scott Lyon

  103. To the Salus Family
    Ricardo and I are deeply touched by your tragedy. Thank you for sharing your brave story about Elan. Your family will be blessed in ways you cannot imagine in the years to come.
    We hope that we will continue to get to know our AMAZING neighbors . . .
    Marin (and Ricardo) Xavier

  104. 1 Corinthians 13:13
    Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (NLT)

    I was searching the Web for the meanings of my name Elan. I also searched the web for the combination meanings of Elan & Lisette my wife. Then I found your link and read everything. Having the same name as your son and after reading your story, I could only imagine what took place. What I do now for certain are that you have defined the true meaning of my name is such a way that no other website has. I am deeply touched by your story as being a father of two and husband to my wife Lisette and witnessing the birth and pain she endured to bring life into this world. The fact that you named your son Elan Vie has such significant meaning. The fact that you both are filled with so much Love and joy despite of what took place is truly the purest of love that I have seen. The fact that life itself is never ending for such a pure soul as Elan Vie. Like you stated that he was already filled with so much Love and therefore he did not need to prove anymore in this world. The beautiful thought of being reunited with him is beyond my understanding. But what I do know is that, your beautiful son Elan Vie, will forever live in eternity and will continue to look down upon us and show us all the true meaning of Love and Life. Such a precious gift, but yet so fragile and for unknown reasons life at birth is taken away when we least expect it. The meaning of Elan Vie, tree of life, and so many other meanings that cultures throughout having defined such a Wondrous and Beautiful name. You both did well in selecting such a noble and honorable name. Being that my name is also Elan, I whole heartedly want to tell you all that my thoughts, prayers and Love will forever be with you. You have opened my eyes in so many ways and allowed my heart to be touched in such a way, that from this day forward, I will Live for my baby brother Elan Vie, and staying committed to sharing the huge love I have in my heart with Everyone. Your son has set the standard for me to follow and live for. I pray that he gives you peace and comfort in knowing that soon you will be reunited with your son in heaven and all will be well. Because Love never fails to endure all things, with that Elan Vie left our world but his Love will forever last and the hearts you have touched has already been so meaningful for so many of us that lives have already been changed for the good.
    God Bless you guys, and thank you so much for sharing, if there is anything I can do please let me know.
    I will keep you in prayer and my Love for your son is deep and forever will be. Again I say thank you for sharing. Please call me if I could do anything to help, 818-220-1523
    Elan S. Martinez