To forgive means to pardon or release someone at blame for their mistake or wrongdoing. Forgiveness is a major theme in Mitch Albom’s novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven, as the protagonist, Eddie, discovers how important forgiving others, as well as himself really is. Eddie also realizes he must ask of forgiveness from others as he meets his five people in heaven. When one does not forgive, grudges, resentment and hate build up towards those who they hold accountable; grudges are a perfect waste of happiness. When one can grant forgiveness, it not only frees the person at blame, but also the person who is forgiving.
Throughout his life, significantly in his childhood, Eddie and his father have a troubled relationship.
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.
His father’s neglect, violent actions and his silence towards Eddie, put a great deal of separation between them. The emotional damage that Eddie suffers from affects him constantly until he reaches his third person in heaven. “All parents damage their children. This was their life together. Neglect. Violence. Silence.” When Eddie meets his third person in heaven, Ruby, she explains to him that even though his father mistreated him, he has to let go.
‘Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the other person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.’
Eddie then realizes in this moment, that it is time to let go of his resentment and forgive his father, also in doing this Eddie frees himself of the negative grudge he has harboured all his life.
Once in heaven, Eddie discovers things he never could have known on earth. The very first person Eddie meets in heaven is Joseph Corvelzchik or the “Blue...