Finding Meaning and Purpose in Mitch Albom’s, The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Finding Meaning and Purpose in Mitch Albom’s, The Five People You Meet In Heaven

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“The Five People You Meet In Heaven” written by Mitch Albom tells about a man named Eddie and his experiences in life and in heaven. During his journey in heaven he meet five people. He learns how he has impacted the five lives while on earth. Eddie finds that his life did have true meaning and purpose.

Prior to meeting the five people that he meets in heaven, he feels as if his life is worthless and has no meaning. Physically he is not in good shape, “His left knee, wounded in the war, was ruined by arthritis. He used a cane to get around”(2, paragraph 1). He feels stuck at a place with a job that he absolutely hates, “He cursed his father for dying and for trapping him in the very life he’d been trying to escape: a life that, as he heard the old man laughing from the grave, apparently now was good enough for him”(128, paragraph 1). The one and only love of his life has died, “I lost everything. I lost the only woman I ever loved”(173, paragraph 9). The triumphs bring Eddie down and make him feel as if his life did not go as he had planned.

Although Eddie meets five people in heaven that try to help him to understand his life, one of these people stand out above the rest. When Eddie meets Ruby, he has no idea who she is but she tries to help him try to understand and forgive his father for the years of neglect and abuse. “Once Eddie tried to stand next to his father and look at his cards, but the old man put down his cigar and erupted like thunder, smacking Eddie’s face with the back of his hand. “Stop breathing on me,” he said, “Eddie never got that close again”(105, paragraph 2). As Eddie grows older, their nonexistent relationship does not change for the better! Ruby helps Eddie with this struggle by showing him that...

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... mundane things Eddie had done in his life, the accidents he had prevented, the rides he had kept safe, the unnoticed turns he had affected everyday. And while their lips did not move, Eddie heard their voices, more voices than he could have imagined, and a peace came upon him that he had never known before”(193, paragraph 3). Now Eddie knew, He finally knew the meaning and purpose of his life.

Although it takes a long time, Eddie finds everything that he has been looking for to understand and be happy with his life. The Five People You Meet In Heaven shows readers how every life has a plan. The plan might not be realized until death, its possible that life’s experiences will be explained. Once the five people are met and differences are resolved, then comes peace.

Works Cited

Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet In Heaven. New York: Hyperion, 2003.

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