it is not uncommon for wrongful death claims and cases to take several years to completion. These are often complex and challenging cases and as such the damages can be tremendous.
disclaimer: I am only licensed to practice law in California. I know nothing about the laws of your state. None of the information provided above should be taken as legal advice or a substitution for speaking to an attorney. These are comments that should help you address the issue with your own attorney.
I gather from your question that you are represented by a lawyer in North Carolina. The fact that you post this question reflects a problem. You should have been informed and kept up to date by your lawyer concerning the progress of the litigation and the nature of and timing of events that need to be concluded to bring the matter to a successful conclusion. If you have been given reasons but you don't believe what you have been told, then you have developed a distrust of your lawyer. In either case you clearly have to air your concerns with your lawyer and reestablish a trusting relationship. you should call your lawyer and schedule an appointment or a telephone conference to begin this process. Though four years is a long time there may be good reasons why it has taken so long.
I am a NC attorney, and the majority of my cases are nursing home cases. In a nutshell, they take a long time. You have to gather medical records, get licensing information, obtain experts and then file suit. Frequently, it takes longer than a year to investigate and prepare the case for filing suit. After you file suit, the corporations running these homes do not like to settle. I will typically fight these cases for two years before settlement or a verdict.