In an interview, a student asks that by writing a "sequel" other than his brief appearance in Gathering Blue, called Messenger, doesn't it ruin the ambiguity of the ending? She responded by saying "It will, for some readers. But it didn't for me, because it allowed me to tell MY version of “what happened.” Actually, the new book, Messenger, will very likely leave readers thinking about what might happen next as well. A good book always does that, I think: leaves you satisfied on one hand... answers a lot of questions... but also starts you asking new ones." Lowry says that she likes when you argue about the ending because it really makes you think.
In another interview Lois Lowry was asked "Do you think that love for the book made you feel a certain sense of responsibility? A need to give readers an ending?" Lowry answered by saying, "I suppose I did. Not consciously. When you ask the question, I realize I must have. Mostly I felt I wanted to tie things up, to make people feel satisfied with the ending. I know that, nonetheless, there will be some readers who will still ask, "Yes, but what about Gabe?" I think you can assume that he'll be OK."
In the last interview I read, Lois Lowry states, "I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I'm always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think that the boy and the baby just die. I don't think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending."
I think that Jonas and Gabe made it to Elsewhere, and that Jonas was able to move past the fact that he left his one and only true friend, the giver, and his so called "family" behind for somewhere he didn't even know how to get to. Even though it seems at the end that Jonas sees the last memory that his has, the memory with the grandparents and the Christmas tree, I believe he is actually living the memory. The end of The Giver was arguable, but I strongly believe that Jonas lives.