The No One Shall Die Alone group sponsored by St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics commemorated the life of Teresa Sanford, a woman with Down’s Syndrome, at a burial service at the Cottonwood Cemetery.
“Teresa had no local family to provide a headstone or be present at the burial, so our NOSDA Chapter stepped forward to commemorate her life. The Monastery of St. Gertrude provided a cross and Lori Lorentz made a plaque with Teresa’s name, birth and death dates which was placed at her grave site. The plaque also was engraved with the words, “We love you,” said Sr. Corinne Forsman, SMHC Mission Integration Coordinator and NOSDA advisory. “Teresa was frequently a patient at our hospital and used to follow our nurses from room to room as they did their rounds. She was a sweet presence in our facility.”
As a ward of the state, Teresa was a resident of Grangeville Health and Rehab prior to her death. She died on April 15th. The burial service was held the morning of August 10th. Fr. Eamonn and the NOSDA group gathered in prayer, song and storytelling about Teresa’s life and goodness during the graveside service.
“NOSDA members are available to be at a dying person’s bedside when there are not family members or friends. They also can provide respite for the family members of terminally ill people,” said Sr. Corinne. “This was the first time we’ve done something of this nature, but it seemed like the right thing to do and our NOSDA members showed their generosity of spirit by making this a special occasion.”