Happier Endings

A Meditation on Life and Death

Happier Endings

“Extreme empathy with extreme tough-mindedness.” That’s how David Brooks, of The New York Times, describes Erica Brown. In Happier Endings, she 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.

Along the way, she introduces us to 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. 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.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451649239 | 
  • April 2014
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Erica Brown on Finding Humor in Writing a Book on Death

Spiritual teacher, Erica Brown, on her experiences in writing a book about how to tie up loose ends and die better.

Articles About This Book


Posted on Tips on Life & Love

Posted by Kristy Ojala

By Erica Brown Author of Happier Endings There is an art to the consolation note, the sympathy card, the letter marking loss and sadness—even if you cannot share in the sadness because the person who died is an absolute stranger. I find that what...

About the Author

Erica Brown
Photograph by Randy Sager

Erica Brown

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.