Subject: Compare Eddie’s encounters with death during his life and the experience of his own death.
Eddie was an 83 years old man. He worked in Ruby Pier, an amusement park, where he maintained the rides during all his life. He really didn’t like his job. During his life, Eddie saw the death of a lot of person that he knew: his wife, his father, his “war friend”. He was linked to some of this deaths but he didn’t know. It’s only when he died and when he went to Heaven that he learned this fact. His experiences after his death, when he is in Heaven, explain many things about Eddie’s life. That’s what we will see in this analysis.
The death of the Blue Man is a perfect example to illustrate the statement. One day when Eddie was 8, he was playing baseball with friends and suddenly, his ball went on the road. Eddie ran after the ball without looking if there were cars and arrived in front of an automobile. The car just misses him. Eddie took his ball and ran away without thinking at the conductors. A few days after, Eddie had to go to the funeral of a man, he didn’t want to go there and he didn’t know that he had played a role on this death. Page 51: “Eddie had been there, a little boy, fidgeting through the ceremony, with no idea of the role he’d played in it.” After his death, he met the conductor of the car he had run in front of. He didn’t why he is here. The Blue Man explains to Eddie that he killed him. We can see that the Blue Man is here to teach something to Eddie, like the four other people that Eddie will meet in Heaven. Page 49: “You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you.” Thanks to his own death, Eddie learnt something about the death of a man that he was linked without knowing it.
Eddie had many other encounters with the death. One of them was when he lost his wife, Marguerite. He was very sad since his love’s death and suffered a lot because of this death. Page 10: “He used to think a lot about Marguerite. Not so much now. She was like a wound beneath an old bandage, and he had grown more used to the bandage.” During all his life, he never forgot Marguerite. When he was captured by enemies at the war, he even prayed for being with Marguerite. Page 72: “For the first few months of this captivity, Eddies went to sleep with Marguerite’s picture in his helmet propped up in front of him. He wasn’t much for praying, but he prayed just the same, making up the words and keeping count each night, saying, -Lord, I’ll give you these six days if you give me six days with her… I’ll give you these nine days if get nine days with her…-” We can see in this words that Eddie was really in love with Marguerite. We can understand that her death upset him.
During the war, Eddie’s captain was an example for him. The captain always said that they will stay together and that he will never abandon a person who isn’t dead. When they arrived to escape from their captivity, they burnt the village. In the fire Eddie saw something and thought that it was a human. He wanted to save him but in fact, there was nothing. The captain shot Eddie in the leg to save him from the fire. It’s a very important moment in Eddie’s life; nothing will be the same from this day. Page 88: “All Eddie knew was that he’d awaken in a medical unit and his life was never the same. His running was over. His dancing was over. Worse, for some reason, the way he used to feel about things was over, too. He withdrew. Things seemed silly or pointless. War had crawled inside of Eddie, in his leg and in his soul. He learned many things as a soldier. He came home a different man.” At that moment he almost died, he felt ready to die. Losing his leg was almost as losing his life. Page 91: “-My… leggggg! My life! –I took your leg, to save your life!” This wounded leg was a sort of death for Eddy, the end of his dream; this leg had ruined his life. It’s only when he met the captain in heaven that he understood why he did that. Thanks to the captain, Eddie can learn that sacrifice is a part of life and that we wouldn’t regret the sacrifices we have done and he forgave to the captain because he sacrificed his life to save Eddie’s and two other boy’s one.
We can see in this book that many facts are linked together. It was, per example, the case with the story about Nick. He lost his key when he was at Ruby Pier with some friends. We will learn later that these key fell on an attraction, what caused Eddie’s death. And Eddie’s death is itself linked with the small girl who he tries to save. It’s also the case with things that happen during Eddie’s life but he doesn’t know this link. The only way to learn these things is to speak with the five people he meets in Heaven.