Family and Funerals

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List of Private Autopsy Services in NC

We do NOT offer autopsy services, and there are NO local private autopsy services in Raleigh. However, we are happy to coordinate transportation of the decedent to and from an autopsy facility.  Please do not call us for autopsy services. Please call one of the...

Hindu Funeral Traditions

If you wonder what Hindu funeral traditions are like, they can be different from traditional American funerals, but the core fundamentals remain the same. There is a gathering of family and friends who are grieving. There is a process of letting the deceased go and telling them goodbye with prayers and songs. And there are loved ones who suffer from their loss.

Who Can Be Buried in a National Cemetery?

As a Veteran, you may be concerned about how your family will pay for your funeral someday. Veterans, service members, spouses, and dependents may be eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. Let’s look at whether you may be eligible for Veteran burial in a National Cemetery and what other benefits may be included. 

Buddhist Death Rituals and Funeral Rites

Death rituals and funeral traditions vary as much as different cultures. Buddhism is no different in that there are established protocols unique to this religious tradition just as there are in every other. Let’s take a look at Buddhist Funeral rites and death rituals.

Have You Planned For Medicaid Benefits?

Medicaid can cover the costs of care that your health insurance will not touch. If you start early enough, you can qualify and still have a separate income stream that does not disqualify you from benefits. If you need to qualify now, plan for long-term care by spending down your assets. A funeral preplan is a good way to work toward qualifying for Medicaid.

How to Plan Your Own Funeral

Losing a loved one is hard enough. If the funeral is not already planned, your loved ones must spend countless hours deliberating and coming to an agreement about every detail of your final event. You can go ahead and plan now. Save your family the time and struggle. Consider these questions to make your own plan.

Why Preplan for a Funeral?

We all plan for the big occasions in our lives, like graduations and weddings. When you think about your own funeral, you probably have ideas about how that will look. But if you don’t plan for this last rite of passage, your family and friends may be left confused about how to handle your arrangements. 

How to Write an Obituary

An obituary is a tribute to a life that has passed on. It includes facts about birth and death and other milestones of most lives. However, to really honor a life that is no longer with us, you need to include some of the unique personal kinds of remembrances that made the deceased so different from the billions of others who have lived and died on this terrestrial ball.

What are the Types Of Organ Donation?

When you choose to become an organ, eye, and tissue donor, you choose to give others life when you have already lost your own. It is a beautiful and life-affirming decision for your family and for the person who receives your gift of life. Let’s look at the different types of organ donation and how you can enhance and even save other’s lives by choosing to be an organ donor.

What is Green Burial?

Green burial is a respectful disposition of the dead without undue burden on the living. It allows nature to take care of us like it has for thousands and thousands of years. Learn more about green burial.

How to Pay for a Funeral

Most of us acknowledge the importance of preplanning our own funeral, but still leave the planning undone. Let’s look at why it’s important to plan for how to pay for a funeral.  

What Happens in a Crematory?

Dig deeper into the industry of death with answers to the many questions that most of us are afraid to ask but have always been curious about. Find answers to your questions about what life is like at a funeral home, and what exactly happens in a crematory.

Battling Terminal Cancer

People are so much more than a one-page obituary. Find out what it is like for a family to battle a terminal cancer diagnosis for 9+ years. Rob Morrell is a retired physician from Raleigh North Carolina who has been fighting a terminal cancer diagnosis for almost 10 years. He’s not so sure how much longer he has, so he and his family wanted to be able to share his story.

What Does a Hospital Chaplain Do?

Learn what a hospital chaplain does and how to get into the industry, different ways people can grieve, and stories about being a chaplain.

Battling Brain Cancer

Learn what it is like to lose your son to a glioblastoma and about the impact one child can leave, touching so many lives as he was going through his battle with cancer.

History of Historic Oakwood Cemetery

Listen as the executive director of Historic Oakwood Cemetery, Robin Simonton, in downtown Raleigh NC, shares the history of the cemetery and the 25,000+ people who are buried there.

Parents Face Tragedy of Losing Teenage Daughter

Leah Loeffler was just 17 when she passed away from a car accident. To die so young is a tragedy, but Leah’s parents Dan and Nancy Loeffler have transformed their tragedy into helping others with grief. Learn how they made it through.

How to Give a Eulogy

A eulogy usually contains socially appropriate types of stories that will resonate with the majority of people attending a funeral or memorial service. Most of what goes into a eulogy falls into 4 broad categories. Let’s look at what they are and also at what not to say in a eulogy.

Life and Death of a Pilot

Hear the story of Jonathan Hill, 43, who passed away in 2014. Jonathan was a pilot, son, husband, father of three, and friend. Listen to his wife, mother, three children, and a family friend discuss his life and death and their grief journey.

The Truth About Cremation

Because of its growing popularity, many funeral homes now offer cremation onsite and include many ways to memorialize your loved one. Learn more about what cremation is, how it works, the pros and cons, and why the majority of people are choosing cremation for their remains.

How Do I Cope with a Terminal Diagnosis?

If you’ve been given a terminal diagnosis, you may currently be in shock. However, don’t lose hope. You are still alive in this moment right now and you are still able to give meaning to the time you have left here. Let’s look at some of the important ways to cope with your diagnosis and make the rest of your life meaningful.

What is Respite Care?

Respite Care is a temporary, substitute living arrangement for dependent adults which provides a brief period of relief or rest for their regular caregivers. Often, caregivers need a break, but are unaware of their needs because they are too busy caring for their loved one. Read on to find out what symptoms can evolve from burnout and how to find respite care for your loved one so that you can take a much needed break.

How to Share the Loss of Family With Children

No matter how you choose to share a death with your child, the most important thing is to be there for them in their grief and communicate that however they express their grief, you understand and accept them.

In Memoriam 2020

As the year 2020 comes to an end, we wanted to express both our gratitude and our warm wishes to each of the families we have served. We have created a memorial video to honor those we lost in 2020 and to let you know that we remember. Not every family we work with...

Grieving a Loss During the Holiday Season

If you suffered the loss of a loved one recently, you may feel like you are just going through the motions this year. The hope and joy of the holidays may have been replaced by annoyance, tears, and frustration at all the “happy” people. You may be wondering if your celebratory or happy feelings will ever return. Let’s look at ways to deal with loss while getting through the holiday season this year.

Why Be An Organ Donor?

Deciding to become an organ and tissue donor is a personal choice, but the people who have been involved in this life saving network unequivocally agree that when a life is gone, it is such a gift for them to share what they no longer need so that others can have the hope of a happy healthy life also. Learn more about the process of organ donation.

What is a Green Burial?

Green burial is a conscious choice to conserve natural resources as you choose to use non-toxic and biodegradable materials for the burial and natural ways of embalming. Learn more about the process and how you can incorporate green burial into your plans.

How to Prevent Suicide

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. You can learn the warning signs and how to get help. There are many contributing factors and reasons that cause someone to consider suicide. Learn the warning signs that someone could be contemplating suicide. 

What to Do When a Veteran Dies

One way that you can remember a veteran is by making sure that they receive the honors of the military with a flag-draped casket and a trumpet playing Taps. Your funeral director can help with these types of arrangements. Learn more about what to do when a Veteran dies.

How to Help a Child Grieve Loss

If a child you care for is grieving the loss of someone they cared deeply for, you may be looking for ways to help them grieve. Depending on their developmental age and stage, there are different ways to help. Learn more about grief and find more resources.

How to Help Someone Who Lost a Spouse

When someone you care about is grieving the loss of a spouse, it can seem like there is nothing you can do to help. A time of grieving is normal, but sometimes a person can get stuck in their sadness and have trouble moving forward in life. Learn about how you can help someone move through the stages of grief in a healthy way.

Someone I Love Died. Why Am I So Angry?

Feeling angry is a natural part of grieving when someone you love dies. At Renaissance, we want to be a resource for you and your family as you walk through this time of healing from your loss. Learn more about how to handle the angry feelings of your grief journey.

What are the Warning Signs of Suicide?

Learn about how to prevent suicide by knowing what signs to look for. As funeral home care providers, we here at Renaissance see too often the effects a suicide has on family and loved ones. We want to help prevent the senseless loss of life and hope.

Why Should I Have a Funeral?

We chose this question for our inaugural article because it is the one question most common among us. We could respond academically by talking about archaeological digs, old burial customs and pyramids.  But, this is a singularly human question with its roots solidly...

How to Attend a Live Stream Funeral

Attending a livestream funeral can bring the togetherness that is desperately needed for families struggling with deep sorrow. You may be wondering how it works & what is expected of you. Attending and sharing your sorrow with others is part of your grieving journey. If you have issues involve grief or imminent death, contact your local funeral home as they will be an invaluable resource in your search for answers.

What Food Do I Make for a Grieving Family?

The emptiness and sadness of grieving can reduce a family to not care about the day to day routines such as mealtimes. Helping with meals during this time can make all the difference. At Renaissance, we want to create a safe space for grieving families and present solutions for necessary arrangements when a loved one passes on.

What is a Wake?

In NC, a wake, also called a viewing, is generally a time of social occasion held before a funeral in which the body of the deceased is present. Learn about wakes and how to plan or participate in one. Contact Renaissance to make a plan.

How to Plan a Funeral Reception

What is a Funeral Reception? A funeral reception is a post-funeral gathering where friends and family members can come together to celebrate and remember the life of their loved one. The reception typically follows immediately after the funeral service.  It is...

What to Do When Someone Dies

When someone close to you dies, it can be incredibly difficult. Dealing with your emotions and grief are just part of the difficult process. If you are responsible for taking care of the personal affairs and funeral arrangements, the experience can be overwhelming. When a loved one passes away, there are things that need to be taken care of by the family. Knowing what to do when someone dies is beyond overwhelming for many.

Often families find themselves at a loss of what to do upon a death. We have included the following steps to take in hopes that it makes the difficult time a little less challenging.

Can I Have a Visitation or Viewing Without Embalming?

It is commonly mistaken that for a visitation to take place embalming must be done. Embalming, in a very basic definition, is the act of preserving a body by replacing body fluids with a preserving solution (usually an aldehyde and/or alcohol as a solvent). Many...

Catholic Church and Cremation

Your cremation questions answered Many Catholics have questions about cremation and if the Catholic Church accepts cremation? And once the cremation is done, what does the family do with the cremated remains? Can there still be a mass? We have answered your questions...

Does Medicare Pay For Hospice Treatment? –Alisha K.

In recent years Hospice Care for the dying has become an accepted and appreciated option for the terminally ill.  In fact, in many areas of the country, Hospice is involved in some 60% of deaths. Hospice care can result in significant improvement in a patient’s...

This Could Save the Life of Someone You Love

Some years ago a friend of mine ran ads for his funeral home entitled: “We Can Wait”  The series, which featured roadside billboards, was an effective anti-drunk driving campaign.  We all know death is inevitable.  But, if we can help prolong life by avoiding...

Do Obituaries Have To Be So Boring? –Alan C.

Obituaries do not have to be boring.  Unfortunately, at the time a death occurs it is hard to write a creative obituary.  Thankfully, times are changing and people want to be more creative–more real. We are including 3 examples of the way people are changing this...

Funeral Home or Funeral Parlor?

Up until the 1950′s funerals commonly took place in the living room or parlor of the family home. It still happens on occasion with the last memorable one being Jackie Onassis in 1994. As a 6 yr-old I remember helping my father pack the chairs, kneeler, register...

How Did You End Up in the Funeral Business?

Back in the 1890′s my Grand-uncle John Smolenski arrived from Poland as a toddler. They, as well as many Poles after passing through Ellis Island, settled in Greenpoint in Brooklyn NY. Eventually, there were so many Polish-speaking residents that they needed a...