The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Five People You Meet In the Heaven is a story about a man named Eddie. It traces his life in the world and hereafter. He manages Ruby Pier amusement park just like his father used to. He does not enjoy his work and carry many regrets in his heart. His knee got injured in the World War II and limited his options to try other vocations. At 83 years of age, he is all alone as he has lost all his family. At work, he is adored by his colleagues and young visitors to the park.
The final day
Eddie is responsible for ensuring safe rides for kids at the amusement park. However, an accident befalls one day at the park. A ride’s cart is left hanging in mid flight due to some mechanical failure. It is about to fall on a young girl when Eddie swoops in and tries to save her. The next moment Eddie realizes he is a completely new place.
An escape to paradise
Eddie dies and finds himself in Heaven. He is 8 years old and back at the Ruby Pier. Here, he meets the Blue Man, an old performer from his childhood days at the pier. The Blue man is not congenial with Eddie and blames Eddie of his death. His died in a car accident trying to avoid hitting the onrushing 8 year old Eddie.
Eddie regrets the accident and enquires about the little girl he tried to save but the man has no answers. However, the Blue Man warns Eddie about four more people he will meet before his soul departs into afterlife.
The war and the captain
Next, Eddie finds himself in the middle of World War II. He meets his old commanding officer. ‘Captain’, as Eddie calls him, has been imprisoned by the enemy soldiers. Eddie is able to rescue his Captain and other prisoners.
The Captain then demands that Eddie burns the empty village where he was imprisoned. But in the middle of the fire, Eddie hears a child crying and rushes into a burning tent. But he shot in his knee. Captain feels himself responsible for Eddie’s wound. He later dies in an explosion while escorting injured Eddie to safety. The Captain pleads Eddie to let go of his anger and forgive his own sins and mistakes.
The stranger and the father
Eddie watches his father inside a diner. Eddie’s father cannot hear his son as Eddie does not go inside the diner. Eddie remembers the violence he suffered at father’s hands who was an alcoholic.
Moving on, Eddie meets Ruby – wife of Emile, the founder of Ruby Pier. She talks about the circumstances surrounding the death of Eddie’s father. Eddie always thought it was pneumonia that killed his father after he jumped in to an ocean. However, Eddie does not know that his father was trying to save his friend. He tried to commit suicide as he felt guilty for assaulting Eddie’s mother. Eddie’s father, being a loyal friend, saved his friend. Ruby was in the same hospital room where Eddie’s father died.
After his death, Eddie and wife, Marguerite, looked after Eddie’s mother to. Eddie took his father’s job at the Pier. Eddie had always resented his father because for that and his anger brought him only more agony.
Ruby asks Eddie to let go of his anger and forgive his father, the person he had hated almost all his life.
The love of his life
The next person Eddie meets is a familiar one. It is his wife, Marguerite. They had been in love with each other since their teens.
After his return from the war they went through some tough trials. Apart from moving in with Eddie’s mother they also found out that they could not bear children. Consequently, they decided to adopt, but Eddie gambled away the money that they had saved for the adoption.
They had a fight over it. His wife then met with a terrible car accident. She did recover but her medical bills consumed all their savings. They eventually were able to mend the difference but Marguerite died at the age of 56 and left Eddie all alone.
Marguerite was the fourth person Eddie met. She was his true love and it is that love that kept her alive in Eddie’s heart and soul.
The child who saves Eddie
The last person Eddie meets is the young girl that Eddie saved from fire in the war (WWII). Her name is Tala. Unfortunately, she died that day. Eddie is devastated to learn about her death, but he consoles him.
She asks Eddie to wash her back just like her mother used to do. Eddie obliges. Her scars disappear as Eddie washes her back.
Tala then asks Eddie about the sadness in his life. She is like the child he always wanted with Marguerite. So, Eddie opens up to her and says that he has so many regrets in his life and the biggest is that he never knew the purpose of his life. Tala reminds him that Eddie’s purpose in life was to bring smiles to all the children at amusement park and to keep them safe.
She goes on to reveal that Eddie saved the little girl just before he died. Hence, that was his redemption. She further reveals that it was she who brought him to Heaven.
At last, Eddie is free from all his regrets. The weight of these regrets has been the cause for his sorrowful and plaintive existence in the World.
In the end, he is finds his way back to his beloved Marguerite. In a poetic end, they meet on a Ferris wheel in the sky, to spend an eternal life in Heaven.
The theme of the story is that the mundane, unspectacular things in life are the ones that make all the difference in the end. It also profoundly exposes how regrets can hold back a person’s true happiness.
Furthermore, it highlights how interdependent every person is to another in this World, This connection creates a world that is replete with amazing stories. All these stories are connected even though we write our own individual story separately.
So, it is important to rise above hate for self and others and confront our fears and regrets with forgiveness and spirit of betterment.