This would have made sense:
The island is the singular source of life on earth and it's location must be closely guarded and protected in order to preserve life on earth. Scientists (like the Others and the Dharma initiative) have been able to locate this source and have done numerous studies, yet the heart of the island is known only to the guardian (Jacob). Evil is also present on the island and is bound to some degree. And there are rules the evil one must follow.
The evil one is growing stronger and the island is in danger so the time is drawing near for a new protector to take over. This is a very important job and one must show oneself worthy of this high calling. Jacob chooses some candidates (the survivors whose names are written in the caves) and he brings them to the island to test them. Like his mother before him, he is unclear on who will rise to the occasion. He chooses people who are flawed and gives them the opportunity for redemption through these tests and trials.
Five seasons of crazy stuff happens that puts the candidates to the test ending in an explosion that only partially sets things straight.
In season 6, we discover the effects of blowing up the swan station. The candidates experience life without a plane crash, only instead of the doomed lives they once had, they have life as it should be. However, these people are not yet completely redeemed. They are also still present on the island, a candidate has not been chosen, and evil is still present and powerful and able to destroy them.
Just when it seems evil will prevail and the earth will be destroyed, a leader finally emerges (Jack), a man who has come full circle and he saves the day. With the help of Desmond, who is able to go down into the well and remove the stone, Jack is able to stop evil for once and for all. It was a two person job (one to remove the stone and one to kill the smoke monster) but there is one job left to do. Jack must turn the light of good back on at the heart of the island and Desmond must reunite the others in the alternate timeline in order to save the world. Jack sacrifices himself and replaces the stone saving the world, securing the island and completely redeeming their lives by ridding them of the threat and danger of the evil one. Desmond succeeds in reuniting them at the church.
There is a final blast of light, the island "disappears" keeping it forever safe, and they are all in the alternate timeline where they are coupled with the one we want them to be with, they are able to parent their children, they are law abiding contributors to society, and they are healed of their diseases. They all meet at the church to destroy the lamppost (or whatever that place was called in the church that helped scientists find the island). They destroy the lamp post so that no one can ever find it and threaten it again.
Okay, maybe my ending isn't perfect but at least it makes some sense and explains some things. I was loving the finale. I got chill bumps every time someone remembered their experience on the island. I got tears in my eyes when the couples found each other and when their bodies were healed. I was totally loving it and though I didn't understand everything that was going on, I felt like I was tracking along with it. And then the last ten minutes I was like, "Huh?" They're all dead? When did they die? Where were they? What is the island? How did scientists find it and what did the Dharma initiative have to do with anything? What was real and what wasn't?
I get that a little bit of mystery is a good thing. I didn't have to have ALL my questions answered, but it had to at least make sense. I didn't need to know what made Desmond special, I didn't have to know what "the box" was or even how/why they tested Sayid in the temple to know if he was good or bad. I love the idea of the ending being satisfying while at the same time giving us things to discuss and speculate on for the years to come. But the ending they gave us made me feel like four of the six last years were completely pointless. You know, all that time spent on The Others, the Dharma films and stations, the experiments, the NUMBERS! I'm going to stop before I blow my top.
Feel free to comment on my idea of a satisfying ending if you wish, or post ideas of you own. And while I still love the show and will certainly buy the DVD's hoping for more answers, I think from now on I'll wait until a new show runs it's course. And if everyone concurs that it was worth their years of loyalty, I'll get the DVD's for all the seasons in the series and take a week's vacation. At least that way I won't have to wait so long for a new season that I can't remember how the last one ended. Love and miss ya LOST...