Monday, December 31, 2007


I've just finished reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (Little, Brown & Time Warner Paperbacks 25 September 2003) - a Christmas present (thanks Karen).

Here's part of the current (December 2007) Wikipedia article on it:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a novel by Mitch Albom, published in 2003. A television movie of the same name was broadcast by ABC in 2004, starring Jon Voight as the main character, Eddie.

Introduction and Death

Eddie is walking around Ruby Pier, where he works as a maintenance man, and meets a little girl. He makes her a bunny out of pipe cleaners, as he does for other kids at the Pier. Later, Freddy's Free Fall (a ride) breaks down, and the little girl is under it. Eddie dives under the ride to try and save her, but he dies.

First Person in Heaven

The first man Eddie meets in Heaven is the "Blue Man." Eddie was the cause of this man's death. At a young age, a baseball was thrown, and passed in front of the Blue Man's car. When Eddie, as a child, went to get the ball, he was almost hit by the Blue Man driving the car. The Blue Man was incredibly nervous for minutes afterwards and finally hits a truck, the damage of which causes a fatal heart attack.

Second Person in Heaven

The second lesson takes place within the Philippine jungle. The second person Eddie meets is his old captain from the war. The captain teaches Eddie the lesson of sacrifice, where when we sacrifice something we gain something too. The Captain sacrificed Eddie's leg, he shot it. That is why he has the limp. He was trying to save Eddie from walking in a fire. When they tried to get Eddie to a medical unit, the Captain went to go check out to see if the path was safe, and blew up from a mine. In the case of Eddie, he was shot in the leg which caused irreparable damage and crippled him for the rest of his life. However, consequentially, he was given the chance to continue with his life.

"You didn't get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices..."

Third Person in Heaven

After The Captain is gone, everything around him changes again, and now he is in a snow mountain. He starts to walk until he arrives at a restaurant where he sees his father. The writer describes the relationship Eddie had with his father since his childhood until Eddie’s father's death. Eddie meets a lady named Ruby. She is the wife of the owner of the Ruby Pier.That is where the "ruby" in Ruby Pier comes from. She is the third person he meets in heaven and she tells him the truth about his father. He died fighting a disease. Eddie's Mother blamed herself for not calling the doctor in time, but Eddie knew it was his drunken father's fault. With this, she speaks about loyalty the human beings must have with people who have been considerable with them. She teaches him the third lesson: Forgiveness. Eddie must forgive his father and does not feel more rage and resentment towards him.

"Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hatred is the weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.

Fourth Person in Heaven

The fourth person Eddie meets in heaven is his wife: Marguerite. She has chosen a wedding place to stay in heaven. Eddie meets her being young as she was when they got married. She teaches him the fourth lesson: Love does not have an end. When people die, love takes a different form, that’s all. To be left out in the dark.

"Lost love is still love, Eddie. It takes a different form, that's all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory, memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it. Life has to end," she said. "Love doesn't."

Fifth Person in Heaven

The fifth person Eddie meets in heaven is a small Philippine girl whose name is Tala (means 'star' in Tagalog). Tala is described as being approximately five or six years old with a cinnamon complexion and hair the color of dark plum. Eddie meets Tala in an idyllic stream location where other young children are playing in a stream. It is thought that this nook of heaven is for the children whose memories are so small that an idea of bliss hasn't had the chance to form in their imaginations yet. Tala teaches Eddie that everyone has a purpose to life that not only affects their own lives but unknowingly touches the lives of others. Tala was the person that brought Eddie to heaven, but also died in the shed that Eddie lit afire, proving that Eddie really did see something in the shed. She also tells him that he saved the girl from the falling amusement park ride.

"I was sad because I didn't do anything with my life. I was nothing. I accomplished nothing. I felt like I wasn't supposed to be there." Tala plucked the pipe cleaner dog from the water. "Supposed to be there," She said. "Where? At Ruby pier?" She nodded. "Fixing rides? That was my existence?" He blew a deep breath. "Why?" She tilted her head as if it were obvious. "Children," She said. "You keep them safe. You make good for me."


The only comment I'd make, as a Christian, is that this book portrays a creative approach to heaven's being a 'catch-up' with all the people with whom we've interacted during this life. It will be an interesting... I was nearly going to say... time!

Rowland Croucher

No comments:


Here's a Blog of articles and reviews.
For more, visit our website (with its 20,000 articles: so get comfortable!)


Rowland Croucher


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Melbourne, Australia
Husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, pastor, teacher, writer, used-to-be-academic... See here for more: