John: So, say Bailey jumped off that bridge and died. Say Clarence was there to guide him to heaven. What would heaven be for such a man? It would be validation. And that's what Clarence the Angel gives him, a tour meant to show him how significant he is. Or how significant, at least, he always secretly believed himself to be.
John: And then when he repents of his suicide, what does he get? A timeless eternity in his living room surrounded by his loved ones, with everyone he knows in the world coming through the door to tell him how amazing he is. The second half of It's a Wonderful Life makes much more sense if you assume that George Bailey committed suicide, and the rest is Bailey's heaven.
Chris: Is that more or less depressing than the original meaning?
John: I honestly don't know.
An Occurrence ...
Those of you who read my Wonderful Life series with interest ("both of you," goes the joke, but in this case it's really accurate) might be interested in this alternate reading: