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Like every other “Lost” fan, I enjoy theorizing with my fellow addicts, and a recent conversation proved intriguing enough to blog. This season, I’ve been watching weekly with a group of friends and dissecting different possible interpretations afterward. The following is the theory I heard, which I think is quite original, if not necessarily accurate. (Note: I am not sure if “Lost” message boards have already proposed it–so it might be old news to some fans, even if it was new to me):

One of the most disappointing aspects (or exciting, depending on your tastes, I suppose) of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer’s “vacation” among The Others has been the discovery that The Others seem to have a connection to the mainland. For many “Lost” viewers, this has disspelled the possibility that The Island might be some sort of Purgatory.

But what if that’s not entirely true, and we can’t totally dismiss the idea of The Island as Purgatory? What made me re-visit the idea is a theory about when and why people die on The Island. A friend believes that a character dies whenever his or her central life conflict is resolved–a theory sparked by the very upsetting and unexpected death of Mr. Eko last week (upsetting because so many of us loved him). So here goes: “Lost” deaths so far and the possible reasons:

Boone dies once he resolves his love for sister Shannon–getting past it.

Shannon dies last season, when she moves past her utter self-centeredness by opening up to Sayid, and learning what it means to truly love another person selflessly.

Libby dies after opening up to Hurley and allowing herself the possibility of a new relationship, finally moving past the loss of her husband (whose boat, we found out last season, Libby gave to Desmond–though no one has figured this out yet on The Island).

Ana Lucia dies after she learns not to always go it alone and open up to working together with and accepting the help of others.

Mr. Eko dies after he resolves the enormous guilt he’s carried regarding his brother–he does not need to apologize for his “sins,” but realizes did the best he could with what life threw in his way.

If the above is true, then The Island may indeed be serving as a kind of waiting ground between this life and the next. Of course, all of the above characters die violent and unwanted deaths–none of them go willingly to the grave.

But then, this is just a theory. I’d love to know any thoughts from Idol Chatter readers about whether or not this idea holds up!

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