The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
A Book Review by Raynah Sivaraman
This little book, just 200 plus pages, is filled with timeless wisdom and insights into the meaning of life and how we are inter-connected on earth with people we may never meet or know.
The reader soon grasps its basic message that in life, there’s balance – nothing happens randomly, even if it appears so.
Eddie is an eighty-three years old World War II veteran who dies accidentally while trying to save the life of a little girl in an amusement park where he works at maintaining “the rides”. He wakes up in Heaven to first meet the Blue Man, a total stranger whose life was crucially inter-connected with his. Next he meets his Army Captain who makes an astounding revelation dispelling some “facts” that Eddie had believed for many decades of his life. Then, he comes across his Dad who is silent, while a woman called Ruby explains to him why things in life are never what they seem. His wife, Marguerite, highlights a relationship that held fidelity, companionship and comfort for Eddie through distressing times. And, finally, a little Filipina girl, Tala, illustrates that every life eventually comes to a full circle, whether it is brief or long.
A thoughtful reader will pause often while reading this book just to mull on some of the many gems that embellish this book. Gems like “no life is a waste….except when we think we are alone”; and, “when you sacrifice you are not losing, you are just passing it on”; and, “holding anger is a poison, it eats you from within”; and, “every parent damages their child through neglect, violence or silence” and also my favorite, “lost love is never lost…it remains a memory”.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a good book for a discussion with your barkada….it’s a book that will stay with you a long while after you’ve read its last page, and which you will remember when you catch yourself looking up at the skies and asking the question “Why me, God?”