Happier Endings: A Meditation on Life and Death

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 2, 2013 - Health & Fitness - 352 pages
2 Reviews
We are all going to die, but some of us will die better.

As a spiritual teacher based in the Washington, D.C., area, Erica Brown has attracted a strong following among those looking for practical wisdom based on the world’s most revered and treasured religious texts. Here she shares stories and ref lections on one of life’s most essential topics: how we pack each day with love and meaning precisely because we will not live forever. Erica helps us confront our fears about death—for ourselves and our loved ones—and demonstrates how the last days of life can be among the most inspiring if we learn to leave a legacy of words and values, to forgive and apologize, and to make important decisions about our last hours.

Praised by New York Times columnist David Brooks for combining “extreme empathy with extreme tough-mindedness,” Erica Brown is a leading religious scholar with a sense of humor and a gift for storytelling. In Happier Endings, she meets people of all faiths who deal with death in enlightening ways, including a mother who arranged for her children to sprinkle her ashes on a favorite ski slope, an ex-nun who prepares people to die, a group of women who ritually wash the dead, and a family whose grandfather’s Ethical will is read by his survivors each year.

Brown leads readers on an emotional journey to prepare for and accept death, drawing on the wisdom found in many spiritual traditions. The crucial step, Brown writes, is becoming comfortable discussing death—and not just in the abstract. This kind of honesty allows for important conversations, from financial wills to last words that reinforce to those you love most what matters most to you.

After reading Happier Endings, you will have a greater understanding of what a good death can be and what a life well lived looks like.
 

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User Review  - Jenn.S - LibraryThing

Companionate without glossing over a difficult subject for many. Touching and at times humorous, while providing the necessary tools we all need to deal with this part of life; death. While God is ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
1
Chapter
19
Chapter
49
Chapter Three
77
Chapter Four
117
Chapter Five
149
Chapter
177
closing words
211
Chapter Eight
241
Chapter Nine
261
Chapter
289
Epilogue
319
Acknowledgments
329
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About the author (2013)

Dr. Erica Brown is an educator and the author of ten books, mostly on the themes of spirituality and leadership. She lives with her husband, four children and two dogs just outside of Washington, DC.

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