The Five People You Meet In Heaven [Mitch Albom]


Penulis/Author: Mitch Albom (2003)

Penerbit/Publisher: Hyperion

Cetakan/Edition: First paperback, 2003

Kategori/Category: Fiction

ISBN: 1-4013-0858-9 

There is a substance why this novel became an international bestseller. It’s talking about the concept of heaven from a very different perspective. It’s unusual yet making sense and easy to accept. I admit sometimes it’s rather difficult for me to go along with extreme differences, especially when it comes to spirituality. But reading this book not only I learn more that it is necessary to be humble, it also confirms my belief that everyone is around for a good reason. Based on his uncle’s thanksgiving speech, Albom created his concept of heaven and shares that with us through this novel.

Eddie Maintenance, so he was called, worked for Ruby Pier for a very long time. He had intentions to move and work somewhere else, but after one thing or another the last time he knew, he was still working on the amusement park just like his father. Today is Eddie’s 83rd birthday. He does his ride-checks and all, then goes to have some rest at his usual spot. When he almost falls asleep, suddenly things got noisy and hectic. One of the rides has an accident and its cart is tilted at an angle making the people on the ride frantic for anything to hold. Eddie runs there and gives direction to the other staffs. Somehow his last direction isn’t loud enough or maybe it’s not given soon enough. The last thing Eddie remembers, he is holding a pair of small hands in order to save a little girl below the ride. Eddie dies on his 83rd birthday.

When we thought that’s the end of it, the real story emerges, his real ‘journey’ commences. The story shifts back and front between Eddie’s many birthdays and the time after his death. Eddie arrives in heaven. He feels better, he doesn’t feel the usual pain he carries on his back, but this isn’t his heaven. This is the heaven of people that connected to him, to his life on earth. 

“There are five people you meet in heaven”,  the Blue Man suddenly said. “Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at that time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth.” (page 35)

The first person Eddie meets is the Blue Man, a worker at the Ruby Pier who died on a car accident. Eddie didn’t know this person before, but apparently he was indirectly involved on the man’s last moment. The second person is Eddie’s Captain from the army. Eddie learns from his Captain, it was him who shot Eddie’s leg, which wound had left him walking in limb after the war. Eddie is so angry to know this but then the Captain told him something else that Eddie didn’t know. Something about sacrifice. The third one is a stranger. She is Ruby, the reason for the existence of Eddie’s and his father’s work place. She’s there to help Eddie to release his long list of angers and disrespect for his father. Ruby shows Eddie what he doesn’t know about the old man. The fourth one he sees is Marguerite, his wife. “Life has to end, love doesn’t“, that what Marguerite says.

Eddie’s ultimate meeting is a girl, another stranger. Her name is Tala. She shows Eddie how their lives on earth connected. Eddie is responsible for her death, but he makes good for her through his work at Ruby Pier. Tala helps Eddie to let go the angers, the guilts and the sad feeling. He washed her burned body to cleanse her and to cleanse his soul.

This is just novel, but its story will affect you so much that you will start to think about the purpose of your own life, of where you are right now, about your work and the people around you. Life is about thinking of others, about sacrifice, about forgiveness, about loving and about making good things while we still have the chance. Whatever you do, they will affect you and many others. Appreciate your life, my friends, with all the good things you can do.

PS: This novel reminds me of this book.

16 thoughts on “The Five People You Meet In Heaven [Mitch Albom]

  1. Dear friend,
    Your reviews of books are really like oxygen to my intellectual self. What I like most is your variety. Keep it up.
    I was damn busy in checking answerscripts of huge number of students of undergraduate course in English literature. So for a long time I was almost away from the computer terminal itself. Gradually I try to resume my contact with the virtual world. I also resumed my own book review and this time I hope to keep it in track. And I am very very sorry because I could not respond to your comment on my blog in time.

  2. > indres
    similar in a way we are reading about a dead person on his/her afterlife. jadi agak-agak miris dan sedikit depressing karena beyond posisi kita sekarang. kalo di lovely bones, susie ‘melihat’ kehidupan duniawi setelah dia meninggal, how people change and grow up, kalo ini eddie ‘melihat ke belakang’ what was happening in the past and why such thing happened. bytheway lovely bones will be on big screen soon ^_^

    >suman
    hello my friend, it’s definitely been awhile since your last visit. checking scripts must be more fun than reading books hahaha… don’t worry about the timing for responding my comments and all. have fun with work, don’t forget to share what you’ve been reading to other bloggers ok? i would love to see more of your books collection :)

  3. hm, aku dah baca sih buku ini, film nya juga ada tuh, tapi aku belum nonton, sempat “terlihat” ujungnya (kapan gitu lupa deh), adegan waktu Eddie ketemu sama anak perempuan yang luka bakar itu.

    I like the story, so sweet. Eddie gak nyangka ternyata hidupnya bisa mempengaruhi kehidupan orang lain juga, padahal dikiranya dia itu gak berarti kan, gak sukses, gak kaya, malah bisa dibilang gagal, menghabiskan sisa umurnya jadi penjaga pasar malam.

  4. >kobo
    yang lebih gak nyangka lagi baik bagi eddie maupun pembaca “how could eddie end up in heaven?” afterlife kan pilihannya ada dua: hell or heaven. pertemuan dengan anak perempuan dengan luka bakar itu mungkin sebagai penjelasan (buat eddie & pembaca) kenapa eddie dengan kehidupan tidak sukses, tidak kaya, tidak bermaknanya itu malah mendapat anugerah afterlife. he was a good person and he deserves his meetings with the five people. otherwise, people would just think that everyone will go straight to heaven after death. 

    >astrid
    hahaha, itu dia. aku punya “selasa bersama morrie” sejak tahun 2000/01-an (lupa tepatnya pokoknya sebelum ke auckland deh). alasan beli karna sampulnya bagus dan warnanya hijau (eh bener kan ya??). kalo ditanya udah baca? errr… belum. *tersipu malu* so far, buat pajangan doang di jakarta nemenin buku-buku lain yang terlewat untuk dibaca :p

  5. ya nat, setuju… tuh Tuesdays with Morrie bikin air mata mengalir tak terbendung, uhuk uhuk uhuk…

    Aku baca Tuesday with Morrie itu pas lagi jalan tuh ama orang kantor waktu itu mau ke klien di luar kota, jadi aku baca di mobil. Eh, kan pas dibagian akhirnya itu mengharukan banget, jadi aku mulai berkaca-kaca….. dan akhirnya airmata haru pun tak terbendung, mengalir pelan-pelan, eh, pas nyampe, tuh temen-temen pada bingung, kog tiba-tiba wajahku dah agak-agak sembab hihihihihihi

  6. > natnat & kobo
    waks, jadi penasaraaaan! beli lagi aja kali yah, ato pinjem dari perpus? hmm, baru mikir, perpus terdekat dimana ya hahahaha… *keshyaan deh lo re!*

  7. >sherlock
    ya begitu deh hehehe… gatelan klo soal template. mudah-mudahan sih ‘betah’ sama yang ini ;)

    >jordan
    nope. i’ll get it later. right now i have with me: “monsieur ibrahim”, “panda go panda” and “twin sisters”. have you seen them?

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