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Coronavirus Pandemic Forces Grieving Families To Be Left Without Proper Goodbye At Funerals

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Losing a big brother is hard but this loss is unbearable and too much for Zulema Ponce to handle.

"My brother passed away because he was in a car accident," Ponce said.

Her family is having to pick and choose who can say goodbye as stricter guidelines are leaving funeral homes no choice but to limit services to ten people or less.

"We're stuck trying to tell the family what they can't do, we're stuck telling the family guidelines we have to follow," said Jose Ayala, with the Stockton Funeral Home.

Loved ones of Francisco Magana, 24, are trying to figure out how they can even begin healing without being physically present at his funeral.

READ: 'Heart-Wrenching Challenge': Funeral Homes Forced To Make Tough Choices Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

"We should all have a right to see my brother one last time," Ponce explained, and later added, "I have a really large family and a lot of my family is really upset right now because they can't come."

Ayala said some families are live-streaming funeral services "where friends and family can view."

Others are choosing to wait by storing their loved one's body, hoping time will bring change to have a proper service following the coronavirus crisis.

"We do have an option if they want to wait to see what how this pandemic turns out," Ayala said.

ALSO: Coronavirus Hygiene Heroes: West Sacramento Company Helps Sanitize Businesses

He says burial grounds are also restricting families, forcing some to stay in their cars and watch services from a distance.

"Families have to remain in their vehicles until the casket is lowered and completely covered by the cemetery grounds crew," Ayala explained.

For families like Ponce's, grieving during this pandemic feels unfair.

"Right now, you just need all your family support and you can't get that. Like how do they expect you to grieve and what not when you are basically by yourself," she said.

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