‘The Five People You Meet In the Heaven’ is a story about the life and afterlife of Eddie. He is amanger at Ruby Pier amusement park and is 83 years old. His father also did the same job eventhough he detested it. He suffers from a knee injury sustained in WWII. But more painful for himthe people he has lost through his life.
But he is adored by his co-workers and the children canthat come to the park.The final dayEddie is careful about the safety of children on the rides at the park but one day somethingunexpected happens. A ride called “Freddy's Free Fall.
” is left dangling in mid air as there is amechanical fault. The cart attached to the ride is about to fall off. Moving in to save a young girlfrom the impact of the falling cart, Eddie comes under it.
His He life comes to its painful end.An escape to paradiseSuddenly, Eddie finds himself in Heaven. He is at Ruby Pier; he is 8 years old and pain free.
Hemeets the Blue Man, who used to perform at the pier during his childhood. The Blue manaccuses Eddie of his death. The Blue Man's car ram into an accident trying to evade theonrushing 8 year old Eddie. Eddie wants to know if the little girl he tried to save lived or not buthe gets no response.
The Blue Man tells Eddie that has to meet four more people before he canlinger into afterlife.The war and the captainNow, Eddie is himself at the scene of WWII and meets the commanding officer of his Worldplatoon. Captain, as Eddie calls him is a captive of the enemy soldiers with four others people.
Eddie is able to plan the Americans' escape.The Captain commands Eddie to burn what is left of the empty village, their place ofimprisonment. In the middle of the fire, Eddie rushes into a burning tent as he fears a child mightbe trapped inside.
But he is hit by a bullet in his knee. It is the captain who is responsible for theshot at Eddie as sacrifice to save his own life. The Captain later dies by a landmine explosionwhile taking Eddie to safety. The Captain sacrifices his own life in return for Eddie’s sacrificeand is at peace with it.
He pleads Eddie to let go of his anger. The stranger and the fatherNow, Eddie sees his father. He is outside of a diner full of people from spheres of life. Eddie'sfather cannot hear his son as he is inside the diner. Eddie remembers the abuse he sufferedfather's hands who was an alcoholic.
The third person Eddie meets is Ruby – wife of Emile, the founder of Ruby Pier and theinspiration behind the name. Ruby talks about the circumstances surrounding the death ofEddie’s father. Eddie always thought it was pneumonia after he jumped into the freezing ocean.However, Eddie's father was trying to save his friend, Mickey Shea. Mickey made a suicidal diveinto the ocean to end his life.
Eddie's father had seen him assaulting Eddie's mother. Eddie'sfather, in spite of all his flaws, was a loyal friend. Ruby was with Emile in the same hospitalroom Eddie’s father died.After his death, Eddie and wife, Marguerite, stayed with Eddie's mother to take care of her.Eddie was given his father's job at Ruby Pier. Eddie always resented his father because it led tohim working at Ruby Pier from which he could not escape.
Eddie’s anger brought him moreagony than his father's abuse. Ruby counsels him to let go of his anger and forgive the person hehad hated for most of his life.The love of his lifeNext, Eddie goes through multiple wedding receptions from various diverse cultures. Finally, hestops at a familiar one. Eddie sees his wife Marguerite, the beautiful bridesmaid. They had meteach other in their teens on Ruby PierAfter Eddie returned from the war they went through some tough trials.
First they had to move inwith Eddie’s mother after the death of his father. Then found out that they could not bearchildren. They decided to adopt, but Eddie gambled away the money that they had saved for theadoption on his 39th birthday. They had a fight over it. His wife drove to the racetrack whereEddie used to gamble but met with a terrible car accident.
Marguerite did recover but hermedical bills consumed all their savings.They eventually were able to mend the difference but Marguerite died when she was 56 due to abrain tumor. Marguerite was the fourth person Eddie met. She taught him about true love thatwas alive even after she died.
The child who saves EddieThe fifth and final person was a young girl named Tala . She was the girl that Eddie saved fromfire in the Philippines (WWII). Unfortunately, she died that day. Eddie devastated to know aboutthe young girl's death, but Tala console him.
She asks Eddie a favor, to wash her back with a smooth stone. Her mother used to do it andEddie obliges. She is like the child he always wanted with Marguerite.Tala asks Eddie about the reasons behind sadness in his life.
Eddie replies that he never found true meaning in his life. Tala tells him that Eddie’s purpose inlife was to keep all the children safe on the rides at Ruby Pier. That was his redemption.She goes to reveal that Eddie was able to save the little girl from the falling ride.
The hands hefelt while doing so were Tala's. She was the one who brought him to Heaven. Tala's burnt scarsdisappear as Eddie washes her back with the smooth stone.At last, Eddie is able to let go of all his regrets. These regrets have been the cause for hissorrowful and plaintive existence in the World.
He is finally rejoins his beloved Marguerite on aFerris wheel in the sky, to spend an eternal life in Heaven.Key Thoughts:The theme of the story is that the simple, unspectacular things make all the difference I our andother people’s lives. It highlights how each person affects the other in this World replete withamazing stories.
All the stories are connected even though we all have our own stories to write.So it is important to rise above hate for self and others and confront our fears and regrets withforgiveness and spirit of betterment.It is simple but profoundly engaging in its ability to showcase how regrets can hold back aperson’s true happiness.