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Grief & Bereavement

Contact Us

Bereavement Coordinator: (608) 775-3620

Hospice: (608) 775-8435

At Gundersen Health System, we believe grief and bereavement support is part of good healthcare. While grieving, your thoughts and behaviors are most likely different than what you normally experience and it is natural for you to question how you are feeling. We want to be a resource to you. That is why we have a listing of local community support groups, resources and commemorative events designed to help you express grief in your own way and own time.


Gundersen Telephone Nurse Advisor: Health Education and Referrals

Grief Education and Support Group: Gundersen Health System

  • Location: Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center-La Crosse Campus, 1900 South Ave.
  • Phone: Pastoral Care at (608) 775-3620
  • Free, six-week sessions held at various times throughout year to provide the opportunity for members to share feelings and be with others who have had a death in the family. Grief Education offers education on the grieving process and readjustment to life after death has occurred.

Healing Through Grief: Bereavement Support Group

  • Location: 700 West Avenue South 2rd floor, St. Francis bldg., La Crosse
  • Phone: (608) 785-0940 Ext. 22218
  • Free and confidential group sessions including an educational topic and a time to share with others also experiencing grief. One-on-one, free and confidential support is available from a chaplain with grief training.

Great Rivers 2-1-1

  • Offers information and referrals for local grief support groups and counselors.
  • Free and confidential, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Phone 2-1-1.

Coffee Club

  • Location: Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, 200 West Avenue, La Crosse, WI
  • Phone: (608) 782-1252
  • Meeting provides a time for individuals to share experiences and support each other.

Compassionate Friends Coulee Region Chapter: Supporting Family after Child Loss

  • Locations:
    • La Crosse Chapter- North Presbyterian Church, 1327 Salem Rd, La Crosse, WI
    • Hillsboro Chapter- St. Joseph’s Community Outreach Center, 826 Prairie Ave., Hillsboro, WI
  • Phone:
  • This chapter provides grief support for individuals, family or friends who have suffered the death of a child.

Individual Counseling

Compassion Fatigue

Commemorative events

Hospital Memorial Service: A memorial service is held in the Overholt Auditorium on the second Thursday of every other month at 3 p.m. The service is open to all, particularly family and friends of Gundersen Health System patients who died. Gunderen staff members who are affected by the death of their patients are also encouraged to attend. For more information contact Spiritual Care at (608) 775-3620.

A Walk to Remember: October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. A Walk to Remember is a way for parents and family members to honor and celebrate their baby who died, and promote public awareness about perinatal death. This year's Walk will take place each year on the second Saturday in October, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Southside Neighborhood Center, 1300 6th St. South, La Crosse. The event includes a brief program and activities for parents and children. Hot beverages and muffins will be provided. This is a free event and anyone who has been touched by the death of a baby is welcome to attend.

Candle Lighting Ceremony: The Candle Lighting Ceremony is open to parents and family members who have experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth. The ceremony is the first Monday in December at the Mary Crest Auditorium at Mayo Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, La Crosse. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. with the program beginning at 7. Families may bring an ornament to add to the Christmas tree in memory of their baby.

Co-sponsored by Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare.

Graveside Memorial Service for Early Pregnancy Loss (closed to the public): An annual private memorial and burial service held for parents and families of babies who died through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or other early pregnancy loss, takes place the third Thursday of May at 10:30 a.m. at Mormon Coulee Memorial Cemetery, La Crosse. Not everyone recognizes the death of an unborn baby as the loss of a life. However, this farewell ritual can help validate the grief that parents and families experience, which facilitates healing. The burial includes babies who died the previous year.

Sponsored by Gundersen Health System in collaboration with the Mormon Coulee Cemetery Association. Learn more.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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