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Community lines streets to pay final respects to beloved dad: 'You feel the love'

Posted at 9:21 PM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 09:56:13-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- One of the most difficult challenges of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic is mourning the death of a loved one. A Dinwiddie family held funeral services Sunday for 33-year-old Alex Clay.

Clay was a beloved husband, son and father who died Monday from complications of a rare blood disorder. Because of social distancing orders, only a few people were permitted to attend his service.

His family still wanted Clay's eight and four-year-old children to see the support from friends and family, so they organized friends, family, and community members to line the streets of the procession with signs paying respect to Clay.

"They thought this would be a nice way to show Alex's children how much their daddy was love in the community," Adriana Amato said.

The 28-mile procession began at Morris Funeral Home in Dinwiddie and continued to Concord Methodist Church in Sussex County.

"I hope that it brings them some kind of peace knowing that people are wanting to show their love," Bud Vanmeter said. "And let them know that we are there for them."

Family called Sunday's show of support and love an act no social distancing restriction could ever stop.

"It's hard not to give hugs and be close to the people you love and show your affection. It's hard," Amato said. "But the turnout is amazing. You feel the love, even though you can't embrace the hugs. You feel it."