The Five People You Meet in HeavenbyMitch Albom

~  Excerpts from "The Thrid Lesson"  ~page  149 - 151

Ruby stood and Eddie stood, too. He could not stop thinking about his father's death.

"I hated him," he mumbled.

The old woman nodded.

"He was hell on me as a kid. And he was worse when I got older."

Ruby stepped toward him. "Edward," she said softly. It was the first time she had called him by name.

"Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves."

"Forgive, Edward. Forgive. Do you remember the lightness you felt when you first arrived in heaven?"

Eddie did.

Where is my pain?

"That's because no one is born with anger. And when we die, the soul is freed of it. But now, here, in order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did, and why you no longer need to feel it."

She touched his hand.

"You need to forgive your father".

EDDIE THOUGHT ABOUT the years that followed his father's funeral. How he never achieved anything, how he never went anywhere. For all that time, Eddie had imagined a certain life- a "could have been" life- that would have been his if not for his father's death and his mother's subsequent collapse.

Over the years, he glorified that imaginary life and held his father accountable for all its losses: The loss of freedom, the loss of career, the loss of hope. He never rose above the dirty, tiresome work his father had left behind.

"When he died," Eddie said, "he took part of me with him. I was stuck after that."

Ruby shook her head. "Your father is not the reason you never left the pier."

Eddie looked up. "Then what is?"

She patted her skirt. She adjusted her spectacles. She began to walk away. "There are still two people for you to meet," She said.

Eddie tried to say "Wait," but a cold wind nearly ripped the voice from his throat. Then everything went black.