Called “cathartic” by The Wall Street Journal, this wise and affirming book helps you accept and prepare for death through important conversations about what matters most.
As a spiritual teacher and scholar praised by New York Times columnist David Brooks for combining “extreme empathy with extreme tough-mindedness,” Erica Brown has a sense of humor and a gift for storytelling that addresses one of life’s most essential topics. In Happier Endings, she leads us on an emotional journey through essential end-of-life conversations and decisions. The first step toward accepting death, she says, is to be comfortable discussing death—and not just in the abstract. Brown 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.
Brown draws on the wisdom of many different spiritual traditions to provide an enriching perspective on the end of life. In her easygoing style, 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 their dead, and a family whose grandfather’s ethical will is read by his survivors each year. No matter what religion you practice or what your beliefs are, the practical wisdom found here will comfort and guide you through this important time, from financial wills to the last words you share with loved ones.
Brown encourages you to be honest, comfortable, and open as you reflect on how to pack each day with love and meaning. 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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“Brown has what many people are looking for these days….conviction.”