All-States Cremation: Heartbreaking moment elderly man picks up wife’s ashes through his car window wearing gloves and a mask as COVID-19 pandemic upends the way Americans farewell loved ones

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  • Jim Harris was photographed collecting the ashes of his late wife, Judy, through the window of his car Friday
  • New social distancing guidelines have upended the way Americans grieve and say goodbye to their loved ones
  • One funeral parlor director recently told Vox that grieving is now harder than ever as 'the physical closeness of coming together' has been suspended 

An elderly man has received his late wife's ashes through the window of his car, after social distancing rules enforced amid the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from entering the office of the local crematorium. 

Jim Harris was pictured pulling up outside the All-States Crematorium in Westminster, Colorado Friday to retrieve the remains of his beloved wife, Judy. 

Employee Meridee Kennedy was was seen somberly making her way out to the parking lot to greet the elderly Harris, who wound down the window of his Subaru. 

The pair greeted each other wearings masks and gloves, and Harris looked emotional as he was handed his wife's urn. 

After signing some paperwork, a photographer captured a heartbreaking image that showed the new widower delicately clutching the wooden box as he looked down with tears in his eyes. 

New social distancing guidelines have upended the way Americans grieve and say goodbye to their loved ones - as crematoriums and funeral parlors restrict access and burials and wakes are now held online.

All-States Crematorium is now delivering ashes to families in the parking lot, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines that means members of the public must stand six foot away from one another. 

Colorado, like almost all states across the country, is under a stay-at-home order and large gatherings are prohibited.  

A recent report in Vox quoted one director of a funeral home who  claimed that saying goodbye to loved ones is now harder than ever due to new rules around distancing.  

'The elements of grief that are needed and most appreciated is the closeness of families coming together — the hugs, the kisses, holding each other. That is not happening right now, simply because families need to maintain the 6-foot distance,' they stated.

A Texas rabbi told the publication: 'The normal healing process has been disrupted'.

However, places such as All-States Crematorium have promised to 'find creative solutions' to honor those who have passed away - both from coronavirus and other ailments. 

'As many of our community members are beginning to limit their time in public spaces, we are here to help every family make arrangements from wherever they feel safest and most comfortable,' the company says on its website. 

'We are prepared to help you make arrangements via video call or over the phone, or meet at a location of your choice. We will make any adjustments necessary to accommodate you and your family — today and always.'


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