John Fanestil's beautifully written account of people who experience deep spiritual fulfillment and profound peace as they approach the end of life, MRS. HUNTER'S HAPPY DEATH is Tuesdays with Morrie with a historical twist.

From time to time during his work as a pastor, John Fanestil witnessed someone die with remarkable and uplifting grace. There was Nancy, warmly comforting her family and friends as she served them tea and cookies just a few days before her death. And there was Claire, who died singing her favorite hymn and reciting the Lord's Prayer. Fanestil was moved yet puzzled by the spirit of happiness and holiness he observed in these extraordinary people. Contemporary literature on dying, filled with talk of anger, acceptance and forgiveness, provided little to explain it.

What is the secret of people who die contented and fulfilled? What makes it possible for them to attain such spiritual heights as they approach their physical demise? What enables them to make death a completion of life, rather than a tragic end? And what can they teach us about life and death, love and loss, grief and spiritual growth?

John Fanestil found the answers to questions like these in the chance discovery of articles about the ritual of the "happy death" in religious magazines from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. MRS. HUNTER'S HAPPY DEATH blends the captivating historical accounts Fanestil uncovered with stories from his own pastoral experience to reveal ten "lessons on living from people preparing to die."



Mrs. Hunter's Happy Death
John Fanestil
February 2006