Physician, heal thyself. — Luke 4:23
Now, after all this time, many of you have probably gone on with your lives AL (After Lost). I have been thinking about it for over a month now, and I have been able to deal with my loss of Lost. I have been going over the final episode, watching it several times, and I have tried to get my thoughts straight about all six seasons. I have reached a point where I can actually understand, if not be happy with, the way things ended.
In the very last second of Lost, we get to see Dr. Jack Shephard’s (Matthew Fox) eye close, as we saw it open in the very first episode. In essence then the story of the series has been everything that happened between the opening and closing of an eye; in this case, the eye of a man who was like a rock and (get ready for extended metaphor) the island itself, around whom the ocean of the story swirled, with all the other characters being rivers flowing into and sometimes away from Jack.
Jack collapses and dies at the spot where he woke up originally. Right before he dies, he sees the plane flying over head with new Oceanic Six (or Ajira Six, actually): Lapidus, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Claire, and Richard (whose gray hair tells us that he is now mortal). They escape and go on to live their lives and, we suspect they will remember that Jack did indeed save the island before dying, and in doing so he leaves behind Hurley and Ben to take on this somewhat sacred duty.
So for me, this all seems to make sense, but I have been bothered by one thing most of all: what of the “sideways” world and what we saw there all during season six? I am sure many people have different theories about it, and I must admit mine was all wrong: I believed the "sideways" world was the world after the bomb. I came to realize while watching "The End" (the last episode in the series) again and again that the "sideways" world was a wish fulfillment zone, a place where the characters could have things they aspired to achieve: Sawyer and Miles became the good guys (cops), Jack a loving father, Ben a kindly teacher, and Jin and Sun happy new parents. There were also those who did not change their stripes like Kate, Sayid, and Hurley.
In all of those "sideways" portraits we saw shards of a shattered rainbow, a world of wishes that could never be but were played out by each person in some attempt to rectify wrongs, to make adjustments for lost opportunities, to eventually lead them to accept what could not be changed, and thus inspire them to (eventually) make their way to the church for the group meeting that became the last scene of the series.