Hap­pi­er End­ings: A Med­i­ta­tion on Life and Death

  • Review
By – April 8, 2013

In recent years, Dr. Eri­ca Brown’s teach­ings and writ­ings have explod­ed all over the Amer­i­can Jew­ish scene. With this lat­est book, her thought­ful writ­ing will now become more acces­si­ble to the gen­er­al pub­lic. Hap­pi­er End­ings explores how we look at death and dying. The book looks at emo­tion­al respons­es to death as well as the busi­ness” of death. The author open­ly dis­cuss­es how she has dealt with her aver­sion to the sub­ject, shar­ing per­son­al expe­ri­ences from loss of loved ones to her first expe­ri­ence work­ing as part of a Hevra Kadisha (bur­ial soci­ety). She reflects on how oth­ers of var­i­ous cul­tures and reli­gions face death, using anec­dotes, texts, and a wide range of writ­ten sources. In her clos­ing pages, the author sug­gests con­crete mea­sures that every­one should take: liv­ing each moment, dis­cussing our wish­es for end of life care with fam­i­ly, writ­ing eth­i­cal wills and more. As with her oth­er works, Dr. Brown suc­ceeds not only in teach­ing us, but in inspir­ing us toward more mean­ing­ful liv­ing. Appen­dix, notes.

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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