The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Eddie is stunned to see Marguerite in heaven, and insists that it can’t be her. He falls onto her shoulder, crying for the first time since he got to heaven. The novel then flashes back to Eddie and Marguerite’s wedding. At a rented Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve, they had a modest ceremony with foldable chairs and an accordion player. They walked home together afterward, holding hands. The narrator explains that with Marguerite, Eddie found a “deep but quiet love.” After Marguerite died, he found nothing else to give shape to his life. In heaven, Eddie walks with Marguerite, as the two revel in every detail of each other’s presence. She tells him she chose a heaven full of weddings because she loves the moment when a man and woman say their vows, when they believe so deeply in the power of their love.
Eddie and Marguerite’s wedding is very humble, yet every detail of the event is significant because those details create memories full of life and meaning. However ordinary, their wedding is important because it is theirs. Their intent isn’t to impress anyone, but to celebrate their togetherness—as evidenced by the scene of them walking home, holding hands. While Eddie’s life encompasses many relationships and roles, Marguerite’s choice to stay in a heaven of weddings makes it seem like her central defining role is as a wife.
Themes
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Marguerite tells Eddie that she also met five people in heaven, and learned things, and that she has waited for him ever since then. She tells Eddie that she remembers everything that happened when they were together, but that she now knows why it all happened. Finally, she tells him that she knows he loves her, and Eddie feels a sense of “melting warmth.” He begins to tell Marguerite all about the accident at Ruby Pier that caused his death. Eddie talks and talks, eager to tell her everything. Suddenly, he is overwhelmed by the reality that he is in heaven, with Marguerite. His emotions bursting, he tells Marguerite, “I missed you so much.”
With Marguerite, Eddie doesn’t need to give or seek forgiveness, as she indicates from the beginning that she has already resolved any difficulties between them through her own five encounters in heaven. As with Ruby and Eddie’s mother, forgiveness is the default female virtue for Marguerite. Just as it did on earth, in heaven Marguerite’s presence makes Eddie feel more alive. His words to Marguerite show that she is the person he has most been hoping to find.
Themes
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon