The Five People You Meet in Heaven


Mitch Albom

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven: Chapter 36 (Epilogue) Summary & Analysis

After Eddie’s death, Ruby Pier stays closed for a week before re-opening. The ride that killed Eddie, Freddie’s Free Fall, was closed for a season until it reopened with a new name—becoming a “badge of courage” for teenagers. Dominguez was given Eddie’s job, and eventually put Eddie’s things away into a trunk in the maintenance shop. Nicky, the boy whose car key had, unbeknownst to him, caused the accident, came back often the park—which, it turns out, was named for his great-grandmother, Ruby. In heaven, Eddie waits at the Stardust Band Shell for a little girl, “Amy or Annie,” to live out her life and to one day come meet him and four other people. His lesson for her would be “that each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.” ­­­
Life on earth continues, while also constantly transforming, as new young people come to the same places as their predecessors, giving those places new associations. Eddie’s life was full of even more unexpected connections, such as his death being caused by Ruby’s great-grandson. Further, by taking up Eddie’s post at Ruby Pier after being the one to organize his affairs—just as Eddie did after his father’s death—Dominguez came to represent a son-like figure to Eddie. The chain of connection between people and between birth and death continues, as Eddie waits in heaven for the little girl whose name he still can’t remember. In the final lines Albom again emphasizes the central point of his novel—that all human lives are connected, and there is often a positive meaning even in seemingly random or negative events.
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