A wise and affirming meditation on living fully and preparing for death, written by a highly regarded spiritual teacher. One of the few certainties in life is that at some point, everyone must leave it. Yet the pragmatic decisions that can bring comfort, aid, and reassurance both to those facing death and those left behind are often sidelined due to fear and denial. Praised by New York Timescolumnist David Brooks for combining "extreme empathy with extreme tough-mindedness," Erica Brown is a leading religious scholar and counselor. In Happier Endings, she leads readers on an emotional journey toward preparation for and acceptance of death, drawing on the wisdom found in many faiths and spiritual traditions. The first step, Brown writes, is to be comfortable discussing death. This kind of honesty allows for important conversations, from financial wills to "ethical wills"guides you can leave to your family about the values you deem important. Along the way, Brown introduces a number of remarkable people who help others prepare for death: from Cheryl, a woman who prepares bodies for funerals in a small Jewish community in Oklahoma; to the spry mother who encouraged her daughters to sprinkle her ashes on her favorite mountain during a ski trip; to the man whose heirs have been reading his ethical will every year for generations. As more Americans consider hospice and palliative care, this is both a timely and timeless guide brimming with insight and compassion.