Services of remembrance are held twice per year for family members and friends of Gundersen Health System patients who have died in the hospital or the hospice program. Gundersen employees who have lost family members, co-workers, or patients are also encouraged to attend. These services are intended for those bereaved by pediatric and adult deaths. Services take place on the second Thursday in September and the second Thursday in March at 3 p.m. in the Rasmus Center (Gundersen La Crosse Campus, Level 1).
With safety as the primary concern, this year's A Walk to Remember honoring babies who have died will be held online.
The annual event also allows parents, family members and others to raise public awareness about perinatal death (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and newborn death).
Resolve Through Sharing sponsored the first remembrance walk during the International Perinatal Bereavement Conference in Chicago in 1986. October was designated as pregnancy and infant loss awareness month in 1988.
A Walk to Remember will be held Oct. 10 via Zoom. There is no cost to participate but registration is required.
The Zoom meeting opens at 9:30 and the program begins at 10 a.m. with a reading of the mayor's proclamation and a story about loss. Participants will engage in a guided reflection and closing ritual before an invitation to walk privately to honor babies who have died.
The remembrance walk is open to all ages. This year's event is sponsored by Gundersen Health System and Resolve Through Sharing.
The Candle Lighting Ceremony is open to parents and family members who have experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy or after birth. The ceremony takes place yearly on the second Monday in December. This year's event will be held at the Mary Crest Auditorium at Mayo Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, 700 West Ave. S., La Crosse, WI 54601. Refreshments are served at 6:30 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m.
The event is co-sponsored by Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare.
Gundersen's Annual Burial and Memorial Service for Early Pregnancy Loss was held on July 16, 2020 at Mormon Coulee Memorial Park in La Crosse. Chaplain Tara Shilts conducted the service. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions on group gatherings, bereaved family members were unable to attend. For this reason, the commemorative event was recorded.
Bereaved families who experienced an early pregnancy loss between May 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020 may contact Gundersen Health System Bereavement Coordinator Ann Tyndall at email@example.com to receive the link to the video recording. This is the only way to access a viewing of the memorial service.
We know that this service can be an important part of healing for bereaved families. For those who were unable to attend, please know that your babies were laid to rest with respect and care.