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Sanford Health Foundation:

Sanford Health Garden of Peace

Related services:

Infant bereavement

"What we remember lives on."

Sanford Health offers a place of solitude for those tiny babies lost either before or after birth. This final resting place, named Garden of Peace, is located on a beautiful bluff at the southwest corner of Fairview Cemetery and is landscaped to provide a final resting place for these tender, tiny souls.

Granite benches, donated in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Sanford Health Foundation and One Club, are provided for visiting family members. The Angel of Hope statue, inspired by Evans' story, "The Christmas Box," has been added to this place of solitude and reflection for all those who grieve the loss of a child.

You can help bring peace and restoration to those families who are grieving the loss of a child by contributing to this Garden of Peace. We hope you will consider a gift today.

The Christmas Box

Written by Richard Paul Evans, "The Christmas Box" is a story of a woman who mourns the loss of her child.

Evans, who wrote the fictional tale as a Christmas present for his then young daughters, began the project writing about an entirely different subject - a father who worked too much. While writing the original version, however, Evans would be interrupted by an image in his mind's eye, a vision of a young mother grieving at the base of a granite angel. It had nothing to do with his story and yet, it appeared and reappeared relentlessly. What did it mean?

Then, while sitting at his kitchen table writing lines, Evans said he felt a spiritual presence and instinctively knew that it was his little sister Sue, who had been stillborn when he was just a toddler. His little sister was carrying a message to him. His story would be about a young mother who was often seen weeping at the foot of a granite angel grieving the death of her tiny baby, unwilling and unable to "forget" the precious life that had offered so much promise but ended so suddenly and too soon.

"The Christmas Box" was passed along to family members and friends over and over again, and, in 1995, was published professionally. It has been purchased by nearly three million families, many of whom had lost a baby too soon.

Though Evans' book was meant only to reflect his love for his daughters and offer respite and reconciliation to his mother, many related to the tender story. The angel monument depicted in the story actually existed in a Salt Lake City cemetery. Hundreds of readers journeyed to the historic city in search of this place of comfort and healing. In time, nearly 100 "Angels of Hope" have been lovingly placed in parks and cemeteries throughout the country. Each includes the word "hope" inscribed on the right wing of the childlike angel.

Recommended links

The Compassionate Friends
Supporting family after a child dies

National Share Office
Pregnancy and infant loss support

Remembering Our Babies
The official site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Map to the Garden of Peace

Google map
Click here for map and driving directions provided by Google™ Maps.


Each year, Sanford Health hosts two remembrance services; one Oct. 15 which is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and the other is a Christmas Remembrance Service held Dec. 6 each year. Both services are dedicated to all babies who died before or shortly after birth, or children of any age who have died. Those whose lives have been touched by one of these little ones are encouraged to attend.

Remembrance Service
Oct. 15
Garden of Peace in Fairview Cemetery*
2929 E. Century Ave., Bismarck

*In case of inclement weather, the service will be held in the chapel at Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck.

Christmas Remembrance Service
Dec. 6
7:00 p.m.
Sanford Seventh & Rosser Clinic
414 N. Seventh St., Bismarck

Click here to register for the service.

For more information, call Sanford Health’s pastoral care office at (701) 323-6086.

Contact information

Chaplain Burnie Kunz
Pastoral care services
(701) 323-6086
Toll-free: (800) 932-8758