Framing the Dialogue

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

“This book is dedicated to Edward Beitchman, my beloved uncle, who gave me my first concept of heaven, Every year, around the Thanksgiving table, he spoke of a night in the hospital when he awoke to see the souls of his departed loved ones sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting for him.  I never forgot that story.  And I never forgot him.

Everyone has an idea of heaven, as do most religions, and they should all be respected.  The version represented here is only a guess, a wish, in some ways, that my uncle, and others like him – people who felt unimportant here on earth – realize, finally, how much they mattered and how they were loved.”

That is the dedication by Mitch Albom in The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  Five people is an intricately woven tale about seemingly unconnected people.  It is a touching tale about our afterlife and the meaning of life. 

My father had a serious health problem in the early nineties.  His aorta blew up like a balloon.  I believe that the only reason that he did not die was that he ran into a series of good luck events. 

The first was that my brother was with him when it happened.  The second was that my brother called 911 quickly.  The third was that he lived close to a major hospital and the first responders got him there quickly.  The fourth was that his aorta did not burst until he was in the hospital, and finally, a vascular team had just finished a surgery and was still at the hospital. 

That’s a lot of luck and he survived.  He recounted part of his experience to us later.  He seemed to remember when his aorta burst and remembered someone sitting on his chest giving him CPR as he was rushed into the operating room.  He described a bright white light like many folks who have had near death experiences.  It is still chilling to think about that. 

I have seen shows that bring clinicians who love to describe near death experiences in purely mechanical terms.  They want to explain all these experiences in solely in terms of physiology.  I guess that if that is all that you are looking for, that is all that you will see. 

I prefer the heavenly view.  If you are one of the few people who haven’t read this yet, you should change that.

Even atheists may enjoy this.  Ok, probably not, but you will.

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