Last night, watching the 1938 version of the story, I had an epiphany. The most incredible part being that it seemed so obvious, yet it had never occurred to me. Everybody I talked to today (my wife and six professional adults, including three writers) said they hadn't thought of this before. And so I bring it to you, the esteemed members of MR. Spoiler: Scrooge was supposed to die that night. When the Ghost of Christmas Future showed Scrooge his grave, that was not a foretelling of things to come some day in the future, it was the indication that his time had come to an end, right there, right now and it was only Scrooge's sincere and complete transformation that saved him from dying that night the spirits visited him. I don't know why it took me so long to see it, but Scrooge dies in his bed that night—had it not been for his encounter with the spirits* and his enlightenment. Thoughts? *which were probably a manifestation of him being mostly-dead.