the five people you meet in heaven

I last read a Mitch Albom book years ago when I lived with a room mate. She bought the book,  ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ which I read in about 48 hours on the single sofa in our living room. The book was phenomenal and I was astounded by Albom’s ability to stir the spirit into an awakening of sorts. And to realise that lessons learned from the older generations are the lessons we should keep close to our hearts. A concept that’s powerful in Africa but has been neglected by the young urbanites in Nairobi who wouldn’t care less for spending time with the older folk drawing from their long-winded stories.

Thereafter my room mate’s potential boyfriend borrowed the book and didn’t return it when the potential relationship refused to take off. I remember how I sent him text demanding that he return her stuff including the book and that she wasn’t a charity house for books. What was with the drama lakini?! And why was I acting as her agent?! Good ol’ days ; )

All the above isn’t the point really. I have been hoping to read all of Mitch Albom’s titles since and just recently bought his book ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’. A sory about Eddie, a lonely war veteran who dies in a tragic accident trying to save a girl. Eddie goes to heaven and meets five people who attempt to explain his life to him and make him understand why things happened the way they did, allowing him to finally realise that he really did serve a bigger purpose than he realised. This is Albom’s wish of what heaven holds for people who always feel insignificant here on earth; that one day they will have a chance to understand what role they played in other people’s lives.

Eddie learns that:

1. ‘no life is wasted and the only time we waste is  the time we spend thinking that we are alone’

2. ‘sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else’

3. ‘no one is born with anger and when you die, your soul is freed from it. But right now, right here, you need to forgive

4. ‘lost love is still love. It takes a different form. Memory becomes your partner. Life ends but love doesn’t.

5. ‘there is a significant reason for every person’s existence. Life is entertwined’

The book is simply written with the lessons outlined at the end of each chapter. I did feel like I wanted more out of it by the time I was done (and I was done fast) but I’m glad that it made me take a moment to pause and think of those things that I probably wouldn’t have thought about.

Whatever your concept of heaven, whether religious or not, you’ll find at least one lesson that’s relevant from the five people Eddie met in heaven.

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