Happier Endings: A Meditation on Life and Death
"Erica Brown is the teacher we all want and the guide we all need. Happier Endings is an elegant portrait of the most powerful part of being human: how we live. From the wisdom of the Bible to the frontier of the Internet, this important book makes the persuasive case that the final years of life are among the most critical -- and the most meaningful. Bravo."
-- Bruce Feiler, bestselling author of Walking the Bible and The Council of Dads
"Erica Brown has a unique voice. A woman of faith, she speaks to everyone searching for God and greater meaning. In Happier Endings, Erica explores our attitudes toward death by helping us identify what it means to be alive. She inspires and she reminds us what is most important before we say goodbye."
-- David Gregory, NBC News
"Erica Brown is wise and brilliant, with a refreshing sense of humor and an enriching perspective on some of life's great challenges. Readers will find comfort and sustenance in her words."
-- Daniel Silva, author of The Fallen Angel
"Brown addresses this painful subject with eloquence, honesty, and clarity; we can reckon with death, she avers, to change the lives we have now, to live fully and sincerely in the present moment, whatever we feel might happen afterward."
-- Library Journal starred review
We are all going to die, but some of us will die better.
In this book we meet 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.
Together we will go through an emotional journey to prepare for and accept death by drawing on the wisdom found in many spiritual traditions. The crucial step, I believe, 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 we love most what matters most to us.