MOTIVATE ME is a sporadic feature here in Talk Supe which features things that inspires and motivates me to be positive, creative, and spiritual. #feelgoodfeels
The Five People You Meet in Heaven | Mitch Albom
September 23, 2003 | Hyperion | Amazon
So I'm Catholic, and in my world it's Holy Week. It starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter. For a week we basically reflect on the Passion of Christ and how it applies to our existence. Years of Bible study, religious education, and hardcore Catholic practices, drilled the observation of Holy Week to my being. So for a week I feed the soul, so to speak hence today's feature.
A little background. Like some of you, I got introduced to Mr. Albom through Morrie. I read Tuesdays With Morrie a few months before my mom died. I remember reading it on the train on my way to work as I cry and wipe my snotty nose discreetly because the story is too close to home. Watching someone die slowly and engage in a battle that is exclusive to them is a very difficult position to be in. Do I cheer my mother on as she fight the disease valiantly? Do I sympathize with her, moan and groan at the tragedy that befell us? Or do I muster a brave face, go on about my day in semi-denial, and somewhat reassure her that miracles can happen and worst case scenario, she can go follow the Light because I'll be okay? I did the latter and though it was hard, MAlbom encouraged me to feel, cry, grieve, and sort of rejoice at the beauty of life in the face of Death. Hence MAlbom's work became special in my reading world because of the sentimentality I attached to his writing.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven was adapted by the Hallmark channel years ago. I didn't watch it because the book is so short (less than 200 pages), straightforward, and simply written, reading it will be faster than watching the mini-series. Also, compared to Tuesdays with Morrie, this novel is purely fiction while still taking that spirituality theme MAlbom is known for.
Eddie didn't touch me as much as Morrie did in terms of his personal story. I did like the "lessons" he got from the people he met in Heaven. It's not a big revelation of life's mystery, it was more of a reminder in that these are things we already know, but take for granted because man in general just loves to complicate things. What I love most about The Five People You Meet in Heaven is the simplicity of the writing even a 7yo can appreciate Eddie's story to a certain extent. Also the juxtaposition of Eddie working in an amusement park, a place that represents light and love; and in private Eddie's lonely, tired, resentful, and alone is a powerful comparison IMO. Ultimately, Eddie's lesson was he dwelled too much on the trials and tragedies in life, and was remiss in acknowledging his victories. After all, life's more about moments than long standing events.
As this week marks the end of Lenten Season, I recommend you give The Five People You Meet in Heaven a try if you're in a spiritual and meditative mood. This book will definitely put you on a reflective mood and maybe it'll make you feel more grateful, hopeful, and positive especially if you're in a rut.