In my opinion at the end of The Giver Jonas died. At the end of the book he saw a sled and a village with music. I think the sled was his "pathway to heaven" and the village was his old community. The last sentence of the book, "But perhaps it was only an echo", is talking about music. I think when it says an echo it means that the music was coming from his community and not to where he was going.I also believe that he died at the end because he saw all of the things from memories the Giver had given him and they say that before you die your life flashes before you.
In one interview Lois Lowry was asked by a student "My teachers argue over the ending of The Giver! How does it really end?" and Lois Lowry responded saying "It ends with Jonas and Gabriel going downhill in a sled toward a house with welcoming lights. Ho ho ho. Aren’t I a mean author, not to be more specific? I like it when you argue. It makes you think." So by this response the author doesn't want you to know exactly what happened and rather think for yourself. I honestly do not like it when an author leaves a book hanging like that because then there isn't a definite answer.
In another interview Lois Lowry said "Many kids want a more specific ending to The Giver. Some write, or ask me when they see me, to spell it out exactly. And I don't do that. And the reason is because The Giver is many things to many different people. People bring to it their own complicated sense of beliefs and hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. So I don't want to put my own feelings into it, my own beliefs, and ruin that for people who create their own endings in their minds. 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. "
From this response Lois Lowry says that she wants people to believe whatever they want to believe. She does say that she doesn't want it to be a sad ending but people make it out to be, like I do. Even though she says that she doesn't like it when people make it out to be like that, I still hold my ground in saying that Jonas did die at the end. From these interviews I see that I never will know what actually happened because nothing ever did actually happen. She wanted people to believe what they wanted to believe and no set answer, so I still believe in the morbid ending that Jonas died at the end and was on his way to heaven.