There’s been an unsurprisingly large amount of griping concerning the finale of LOST.  In my next post I’ll explain why I think the episode ended the series nearly perfectly. 
Right now I just want to make a couple of quick observations regarding similarities I noticed between the finale and Thorton Wilder’s classic play, Our Town, likely the most performed play in the history of American theatre. 
In Act 3 of Our Town the character Emily, recently deceased, is allowed to relive a day of her life. In the final season of LOST, the deceased Losties relive their lives as if they had never crashed on the Island.  

Through reliving a day in her life, Emily was able to see and understand how little importance people actually place upon their interactions with their loved ones.  In death Emily has become aware of how precious and fleeting life is. After Emily reliving her 12th birthday, she speaks to the character referred to as the Stage Manager, who serves as the play’s narrator. She asks if whether anyone realizes the preciousness of life while they live it, and he replies, “No. The saints and poets, maybe--they do some." 

At the end of the finale, after the series’ foremost protagonist, Jack, has relived a portion of his life and has come to realize he is in fact dead, he speaks to his father. Jack’s father, the bluntly named Christian Shepherd, explains that the Losties have come together in limbo/purgatory/heaven’s lobby so that they can move on together, because the most important part of their lives was the time they spent together.

While not mirror images, Emily and Jack’s revelations both point to the timeless and oft-ignored truth that the most important part of our short time on Earth is the time we spend with those we love, the things we share (e.g. births, celebrations, work), and the times that we carry each others burdens.
Both Our Town and LOST end with a scene in the afterlife, where the characters sit together, still, and facing the audience. They are characters we have come to understand. People who are both flawed and beautiful. Looking at the them, on stage or on the screen, we are meant to see ourselves.  Looking at them, we remember that everyone dies, and though we are alone, we are alone together; and that hopefully, someday, we will never be alone.

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