Death Letter Project North Carolina

In 2019, Oakwood Cemetery, a place of unique significance, meaning and value to Raleigh, Wake County and the citizens of North Carolina celebrates its 150th anniversary of service to this area.

As a way to commemorate the over 25,000 souls who rest in that sacred space, we are undertaking this project in hopes of inspiring our community to think about, reflect on and talk about death, and, in turn, life in a different way.

North Carolina residents from all walks of life, in a variety of professions, and from diverse backgrounds were asked to handwrite a letter about death incorporating these topics:

What is death?

A personal encounter with death

Something learned from that encounter

A way that encounter changed the way they look at life

What happens when we die?

Periodically throughout the anniversary year, a letter will be released. The life experience of each respondent brings their unique voice and perspective to the project and contributes to a global discussion of one thing we all have in common. To each of them, we are eternally grateful.

Read a letter from a:

Death Letter Project - NC received the 2019 KIP Award from the International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association as outstanding example of personalization of services or products in the death care profession.

Historic Oakwood Cemetery 701 Oakwood Ave. Raleigh, NC

Photography by Historic Oakwood Cemetery's Photographer-in-Residence, Michael Palko

The name of this project is being used with permission from the creator of The Death Letter Project, Tina FiveAsh, begun in 2017.


Michael Palko