“The Five People You Meet In Heaven”
by Mitch Albom
First of all, thanks to Beryl (http://beryl22.multiply.com) for giving me the opportunity to read this interesting novel full of very insightful ideas about life and most especially death as it is interpreted by the author.
[20mayMMVIII – status: after 2 days, 145 of 196 pages done]
I couldn’t believe I can actually read that fast in just two days. Well for one thing, the plot had a very interesting style to it – the linear events were organized in a way to make us understand the relationships between the past and the present which were pieces to the puzzle of the life of Eddie, the old mechanic from Ruby Pier who died and went to heaven only to be reunited with his past. I won’t tell you the rest of the story since I definitely want you guys to read it.
It kinda grabbed my attention when there was a reference to the Second World War to which Eddie participated in and guess where the setting was… it was in the Philippines back then when the Japanese colonial rule took over the country.
Once I read the entire novel, I will definitely find some words to fit in the question of what idea this story is trying to give us.
But for now, after 146 pages, i see that the book is so mind-blowing because the author’s description of the settings, the moods, even the feelings of the characters themselves grab my imagination which then drove all the way to my senses – the feelings of love and affection, to hatred and negligence, through the good times such as being together with family and friends and through the bad times such as encountering wars and diseases. Those feelings are even associated with fear, anger, madness, mistrust, and sometimes calmness, happiness, humour, empathy and sympathy.
The story taught us about how important life is and how valuable everyone and everything in our lives are that we might be just taking them for granted yet they connect to us. There is relativity in this world even before we were born and even if one have never seen a certain person or face or name in their entire life, everything in this world affects each one of us and we definitely should think about showing gratitude for the existence of things that bring us great opportunities in life, great endeavours and feats, and even in our own daily survival in life.
[21mayMMVIII – completed]
Mitch Albom really put a brilliant ending to this masterpiece. I definitely did not expect it myself. I have to tell everyone that I cried reading the last few pages of the book and I really want all of you to get your hands on the book and be touched as it did for me.
It still shivers me to be freaked out in immersing myself with the image of heaven brought about by Albom in this novel.
To learn that all of our life stories are related in one way or another and that we need to fill in the holes of our pain and suffering through going back to our past is a magnificent thing. Yet it brings me to the idea of mystery which a lot of people hesitate and some are even reluctant to investigate.
As I felt every description interpreted in the novel, I kept in mind the idea of heaven which contributes a lot to this book. Heaven or life after death is interpreted here as a place where the mysteries of your life is clarified. It is where the process of “resting in peace” takes place. And all it took were a few people and one’s own life story for the purpose of heaven to work for Eddie.
“…no one is born of anger. And when we die, the soul is freed of it. But now [after death], here, in order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did, and why you no longer need to feel it.”
— this drew my attention a lot because it’s something that we don’t just have to do once we have already died. It is always important to reflect upon our lives and re-evaluate our feelings from anger to sadness and even our feelings of happiness. As we move on in life, is it really worth it focusing on certain aspects of life and embedding them with specific meanings that in turn reflect towards our emotions? A supermarket where you have worked at for many years (for example) may have been associated with hardships and difficulties in life which breeds a lot of loneliness and anger; but does it really matter once you have quit working there? Some people would vow to themselves never to take a single step in a supermarket ever again once they quit. We forget to reflect on how much we have helped and served other people and how you should consider them as part of your life – as the people who help the company where you’re working at grow a lot and returns back the favour by giving you income.
“Lost love is still love… It takes a different form.”
— Indeed, this is powerful. Love is lost when people break up or when husbands or wives are widowed. And it is even more devastating when someone can never take it back either through loving something else or through doing something to divert one’s own sadness. But no matter what, love still exists because the thing that is lost is those who love you, it’s not love itself. You still appreciate people around you, show them respect, care for them… it’s normal for people to feel that way cause that’s love.