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Happier Endings

A Meditation on Life and Death

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 08, 2013 – Living well seems to be the fixation of every disposition and discipline; there is never a shortage of opinions. Dying well, however, has traditionally fallen to the philosopher. Confronting death head on, Brown (Inspired Jewish Leadership) illustrates a practical stance on approaching the unknown. We all will die, so why avoid the inevitable? But why expedite it as well? Despite America's youth-obsessed and aging-averse culture, significant progress is being made in the field of thanatology (the study of death), and Brown establishes her place among the heavyweights of the field even suggesting an additional stage to Kubler-Ross's five stages of death: inspiration. As the dark matter of life, death affects many aspects of everyday living; the financial, in the booming and discomforting "death industry" and embalming dedicated to preserving remains; the medical, with treatments aimed at delaying the inevitable;; the spiritual, serving the contemplation of the soul; and the ritualistic, with detailed traditions surrounding death and mourning. Fear and death don't present themselves as the most ideal topics for a life-affirming book, but Brown manages to overcome negativity in her effort to create happier endings, for the living and the dying.
Happier Endings
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Published: Apr 02, 2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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