The Five People You Meet in Heaven
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Albom never reveals Eddie's father's name. Out of Eddie's immediate family, Eddie's father had the biggest impact on his son's life. He worked in maintenance at Ruby Pier and scoffed at Eddie's aspirations to transcend the family's blue-collar roots. Eddie's father was a drunk and often physically abusive towards his wife and children. At times, he revealed a glimmer of pride and loyalty, but it was rare. Eddie's father died after a drunken jaunt in the ocean, leaving a void in Eddie's mother's life that Eddie had no choice but to fill. Eventually, Eddie took on the same job his father had at Ruby Pier. As a result, Eddie harbors major resentment towards his father. Eddie is finally able to forgive his father after his third meeting in Heaven gives him a new perspective on the old man's death.