Five People You Meet in Heaven
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 778
- Category: Books
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The book by Mitch Albom ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ has made an astonishing influence on me, making me think, which five people will I meet in Heaven after death?
The core idea of the book has been expressed by the author himself in the first chapter, which is ironically called ‘The End’:
‘Sometimes stories meet at the corners, and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.’ (p. 10)
What is meant here is that all lives are interrelated, and even when you don’t notice the fact that you have influenced someone’s life in positive or negative way, this influence is still present, and it often happens that until we die we don’t realize the impact we make on the lives of people, who pass us by. Albom has created his book in a way, that all stories of all five people Eddie meets after his death (these are Blue Man, the Captain, Ruby, Marguerite and Tala) cover one another and echo in each other. The themes and objects of memory are often repeated through the stories, which the five people tell and the lessons they teach Eddie in his afterdeath life.
‘ There are no random acts…we are all connected…you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind…the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed…there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.’ (p. 48)
The main connection and echo of the all five stories is that they have all been influenced by Eddie in this or that way, and all of them prove, that he was still a good hearted person, and it
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happened that his life sometimes was less precious for himself than the lives of other people. The interrelation of the stories is shown through the fact, that even during the war, when his body was aflame, he went into the hut as he saw it moving… Simultaneously, the same interrelation is seen through the following line: the main reason of Eddie’s death was the fact that the car key fell into the wrong place at the exactly necessary moment, the key which belonged to Nicky, who appeared to be a great grandson of Ruby, whom Eddie later meets in heaven and who teaches his a very important lesson: ‘We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade.
And the harms we do, we do to ourselves’ (p. 141). When being alive, Eddie didn’t even suspect the way he influenced people’s lives, and people’s lives influenced his one, people whom he didn’t even know. On the other hand, when being young Eddie has become an indirect reason for the death of the Blue Man whom he also meets in heaven. The Blue Man tell him that ‘the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect’ (p. 48) and this is the central idea of the book. In the same way all other people appear to be connected to Eddie, directly or indirectly.
Despite the fact that Eddie died having no family, after his death he has discovered that there were five people in his life whom he had influenced in a very essential way. The symbolism and the interrelation of Tala’s story and the reason of Eddie’s death is in the following: Eddie saved the girl’s life through his death, which appears a kind of expiation for burning Tala, and Tala admits that Eddie’s life had one main purpose – to keep children safe at the pier.
The events and the stories, which Eddie hears in Heaven and the five people, whom he meets there, make him understand the hidden interrelation of everything in this life, starting from the events during the war, and finishing with the reason of his own death. We often don’t notice, that the several stones which lie at the bottom of the river, are connected by the same running water, which gives them this or that definite form. In the same way the lives of people are interconnected and we must always remember that our actions should be thoroughly considered, as there is always someone next to us who is at risk…
Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Hyperion: New York, 2003.