Lessons From Mitch Albom’s ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’

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When I was in the 8th standard, I was given homework for the summer vacations by my English teacher, wherein I was supposed to read a book and prepare a summary of the same.

Unfortunately, at the time, I wasn’t much of a reader. Hence, I took the easy yet unethical route of copying the first book summary I stumbled upon on the Internet. That book was, ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ written by Mitch Albom (author of the best-selling novel ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’). 

Eleven years later, when we are being reminded of our mortality at every waking minute, I thought it was about time when I right my wrong and read this book about life after death.


The hero of this story is Eddie. He is a war veteran who feels trapped in a monotonous and meaningless life of fixing rides at an amusement park, ‘Ruby Pier’.
Ironically, this story begins with the end when on Eddie’s 83rd birthday, Eddie passes away in a tragic accident while trying to save a little girl.

When he wakes up in the afterlife, heaven isn’t precisely what he had hoped for. He learns that he would meet five people. Each of these five people was in his life for a reason. Reasons which he may not have known at the time. This is what heaven is for,  understanding your life on earth.

Without spoiling the book for you, here are the five most important lessons from ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’, which feel more relevant now than ever before –

The First Lesson

The first-person Eddie meets explains to him that there are no random acts in life. Each and every human is connected and is inseparable from one another. One human life may have to end only so that another one could go on.

Why do people gather when others die? 

Deep down, the human spirit knows that all lives eventually intersect. When death takes someone, it misses someone else. This small distance between being taken and being missed changes lives forever.  

The Second Lesson

Sacrifice is an integral part of life. One shouldn’t regret it. Instead, it’s something to aspire to. It might be a small act of letting go of something you love.

It might be a daughter taking care of her parents, even if it means letting go of her dreams. It might be a soldier taking a bullet for the sake of his nation and band of brothers.

The Third Lesson

Holding anger and resentment is a poison, which eats you from inside. You may think hatred attacks the person who harms you.

But instead, hatred is a curved blade which harms us more than anyone. Especially when the people against whom you hold your grudges are your parents.

Forgive. Your soul doesn’t deserve that burden.

The Fourth Lesson

There are people who face the misfortune of losing their loved ones too soon. It is indeed tragic and a crushing feeling.

However, lost love is love nonetheless. You may not see their smile or spend all those happy moments with them. But when all those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.

Life has to end, but love doesn’t.

The Last Lesson

You may tell yourself time and again that whatever you have done in life is meaningless and insignificant. But all those dull, mundane things may be the reason for someone’s happiness. The reason that someone lives.

Favorite quotes

People often belittle the place where they were born. But heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners.”

“Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.”

“The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.”

“…the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

Written By - Snehil Kesarwani

Edited by - N.Nargis Fathima

Lessons From Mitch Albom’s ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ Lessons From Mitch Albom’s ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ Reviewed by N.Nargis Fathima on April 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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