Mitch Albom's, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, tells the story about Eddie, a war veteran, who works at an amusement park that will change his life and his perceptions of the meaning of life and death.
It is on Eddie's 83 birthday that his life changes. He comes to Ruby Pier to begin his daily routine of checking the rides and other park maintenance, when something goes wrong. A tragic accident takes Eddie's life as he tries desperately to save a little girl. He feels her hands and takes his last breath and then his life is taken and he wakes up in an afterlife.
When he wakes up he realizes that heaven is not filled with gold and pearly white gates, but far from it. Heaven is a place where he meets people who have changed his life and will explain his life on earth.
The first person Eddie meets is a stranger to him, but he teach Eddie how all lives are connected. No life is a waste and the only time that is wasted is the time we think we are alone.
The second person that Eddie meets is his captain from World War II. He teaches Eddie about sacrifice, which is an inevitable part of life. Sacrifice is not something to be ashamed of, but to aspire to.
The third person Eddie meets in heaven teaches Eddie that holding back anger is a poison and will eat one inside and out. One thinks that hatred is a weapon that is used against the person who harmed them. However, hatred is a curved blade and the harm one does is to their self. The only way to live life is with forgiveness.
The fourth person Eddie meets teaches Eddie that love never ends even when life does. Love is like rain, it nourishes us deep inside ourselves.
The fifth person Eddie meets teaches him to "do unto others as you want them to do unto you." Eddie was placed on the earth for many reasons, but one of the most important was to keep people safe.
1. What are lives greatest lessons?
2. Does each person have a purpose in this world?
3. Is heaven different for everyone?