8 Beautiful The Five People You Meet in Heaven Quotes

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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What are the best The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes? What do they say about love, loss, and forgiveness?

In a book about love and life and regret, The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes stand out for a few reasons. They helped the main character, Eddie, release anger from his life so he could find peace. These The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes may inspire you to think about regrets in your own life, and how we are all connected to one another.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven Quotes

Use these The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes to explore the lessons Eddie learns about forgiveness. Eddie spent his life angry, and had many regrets about his life choices, and the tragedies that happened to him. You can read these The 5 People You Meet in Heaven quotes as a way to remember the touching moments of the book, or to explore some of the following themes:

  • Sacrifice
  • Lost love
  • Anger and regret
  • The power of human connection

No matter how you read these The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes, you’ll enjoy the moving story of Eddie’s journey into the afterlife.

“It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”

This story begins at the end, on the day that a man named Eddie dies. Like most endings, Eddie’s death is also a beginning, even though he doesn’t know it. 

Eddie spends his final hour at Ruby Pier amusement park, a place that he has worked for most of his life. He is the maintenance man, so his job is to maintain and fix the park’s many rides, attractions, and games. After so many years, he can detect problems with the rides just by listening to them. He is an old, resilient man. He has the stature and dress of a workingman, which is exactly what he is. 

Just as the passengers are being taken off a dangerous ride, Eddie realizes that there must be something wrong with the cable. He screams for Dom to keep the cart at the top, but it’s too late. He sees the cart hurling toward the ground. Just underneath, the little girl with the pipe cleaner bunny is crying out for her mom.

Without hesitation, Eddie runs toward the girl, ignoring the pain in his injured knee. He jumps toward her and feels her small hands just before the impact and a flash of light. Then, he feels nothing. 

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”

On Eddie’s thirty-third birthday, Eddie’s mom called him to tell him that his father had collapsed and gone to the hospital. He eventually died of pneumonia after coming home drunk and wet from the ocean. Eddie was disappointed in his father’s unheroic death. When Eddie decided to move home to take care of his mother, he blamed his father for all of his disappointment at being stuck in Ruby Pier. 

Ruby tells Eddie that he should learn from this story that holding onto anger is poisonous. You may think anger will act as a weapon toward others, but it only hurts you. She tells Eddie that he needs to forgive his father for all that he blamed him for. 

So Eddie goes back into the diner and makes amends with his father. 

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

When Eddie learns that he accidentally caused the Blue Man’s death, he is scared and defensive. He promises the Blue Man that he had no idea what he had done. He is afraid that he will have to pay for his sin. 

The Blue Man smiles and reassures him that he is only here to learn. He says that all five people that Eddie will come across in heaven have one lesson to teach him: that all lives are connected and nothing is completely random

The Blue Man lifts his hand and suddenly they are standing in the cemetery where he was buried. Eddie looks around at the funeral he attended as a boy, realizing he had no idea the part he played in it. He wonders if there was a funeral for his own death. He asks the Blue Man if he saved the little girl at the pier. The Blue Man doesn’t answer, so Eddie assumes that his death was a waste. The Blue Man hugs him, and says that it was not a waste.

“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.”

*This is one of two The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes from the Captain: it comes after The Captain confesses to wounding Eddie to save his life.

Eddie is overcome. He says that he had no idea about the terrible circumstances of the Captain’s death. He asks the Captain if he’s been waiting for Eddie here, in the place of his death, this whole time. But the Captain counters by saying that Eddie doesn’t understand what time really is.

The Captain tells Eddie that he’s been waiting for him all this time because he has a lesson that Eddie needs to hear. He says that sacrifice is a part of life that we are meant to be proud of. The Captain wants Eddie to understand that he didn’t die for nothing. Because he stepped on that land mine, everyone else in the transport was able to go on living. When Eddie sacrificed his leg, it made him angry and full of regret. But the Captain tells Eddie that he gained something in that moment, too. He just doesn’t know it yet. 

“In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.”

*Ruby’s chapter is long and has many notable The 5 People You Meet in Heaven Quotes, many not featured here.

Ruby asks Eddie if the pier was really as terrible as Eddie always thought. Eddie tries to explain that he was stuck in a life he didn’t choose, a life just like his father’s. Ruby says that Eddie’s father was hard on him, but asks Eddie to consider if he was hard on his father, as well. 

Eddie feels anger growing inside him. His father tried to hit him. His father’s last words to him were “get a job.” He tells Ruby that she didn’t even know his father.

Ruby touches his hand and says, “You need to forgive your father.”

“Time,” the Captain said, “is not what you think.” He sat down next to Eddie. “Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning.”

On the night of their escape from captivity, the Captain was driving the transport with an unconscious Eddie in the back. Smitty and Morton were helping care for his burned and wounded leg. Soon, they arrived at a gate. The Captain hopped out to look for danger on the road ahead. Just as he signaled that the road was clear, a land mine exploded under his foot. The Captain was launched into the air and torn into a hundred pieces.

Eddie is overcome. He says that he had no idea about the terrible circumstances of the Captain’s death. He asks the Captain if he’s been waiting for Eddie here, in the place of his death, this whole time. But the Captain counters by saying that Eddie doesn’t understand what time really is. 

“Life has to end. Love doesn’t.”

Eventually, after many talks and many weddings together, Marguerite and Eddie come back into the small round room. Marguerite sits in front of the mirror. Eddie can see her reflection, but his is still not there. 

Marguerite asks Eddie if he was angry with her when she died and left him alone. He tries to deny it, but has to admit that he was angry to have to lose the woman he loved so young. She takes his hands and tells him that he didn’t lose her—she was always with him. 

Marguerite explains that even though life has to end, that doesn’t mean love has to end. Lost love is still love. She assures Eddie that she could feel his love all this time, all the way in heaven. 

Eddie takes Marguerite in his arms to dance with her. She looks exactly like she did on the day of their wedding, but Eddie asks her to change into the version of herself that she was at the end of her life. To him, she is still just as beautiful. Holding her in his arms, Eddie closes his eyes and says that he doesn’t want to go on with heaven. He wants to stay here with her. 

When he opens his eyes again, she is gone. 

“Each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

*One of the most famous The 5 People You Meet in Heaven quotes about the power of stories and human connection.

Ruby Pier Amusement park opened again three days after Eddie’s death. The story stayed in the newspaper for a week. Freddy’s Free Fall reopened the next year with a new name—Daredevil Drop. Dominguez took over Eddie’s job as the head of maintenance.

Years passed. Each summer, when the days got longer, people returned to Ruby Pier. They stood in lines to ride the rides. 

In heaven, another line was forming: A line of five people in their five chosen heavens. These five people were waiting for a young girl with blonde curls to grow up, to live her life, and eventually to die. The girl Eddie saved. 

One of the people waiting in line to explain to the girl with curls why she lived is an old man named Eddie who she’ll meet in the Stardust Band Shell. Someday, he’ll share with her what he’s learned.

These The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes can provide comfort, or help you consider lessons in the book. Since its release, many The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes have become well-known for their wisdom.

8 Beautiful The Five People You Meet in Heaven Quotes

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Five People You Meet In Heaven summary:

  • Who the Five People Eddie meets in heaven are
  • What each person teaches Eddie about the meaning of his own life
  • Why Eddie finally feels gratitude and closure at the end of his life

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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