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N.O. Community struggles to honor lives lost during coronavirus pandemic

"It takes away from everything because we want to send our loved ones off the right way," said the wife of the late DJ Black N Mild.

NEW ORLEANS — Second-line repasts are tradition in New Orleans, but with preventative measures in place, families are forced to find another way to mourn a loved one.

As the city fights this coronavirus, just about everything has changed and that includes funerals. 

With CDC guidelines limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, funeral homes are forced to change the way they operate. In the meantime, families have to change the way they mourn.

Popular New Orleans Bounce DJ Black N Mild, whose given name was Oliver Stokes Jr., passed away from complications of the coronavirus two weeks ago. 

He was only 44-years-old.

RELATED: NOPD issues arrest warrant for large funeral gathering

His wife, Cassandra Stokes, is holding a visitation for her husband later this week, but will have to hold a full memorial service at a later time, when it's safe for large groups to gather again. 

"It takes away from everything because we want to send our loved ones off the right way," she said. "But unfortunately, with the circumstances, you just can't do it right now and risk other peoples' health... it's difficult." 

SEE: DJ Black N Mild, killed by COVID-19, remembered as fun loving bounce music trailblazer

The pandemic has also been hard on funeral homes.

Most are very busy right now, helping families plan to honor their lost loved ones -- including those who died from the coronavirus.

"Contact the funeral service professional that you trust to take care of you and your family, let the professionals help you and guide you along this path, because there’s too many things that are unknown about it,” a member of the Boyd Family Funeral Home.

If you recently lost someone and haven't begun the planning process, the Boyd Funeral Home has a checklist of what you should be doing right now.

They also add that people looking to postpone funerals should try and hold a small ceremony and plan for a larger one down the road.

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