Ok I think that the lions on the beach are kind of like 'heavan' for him. I'm not quite sure thought because I read this last year.
No, at the end of the story the old man is not defeated. He has lived his life and has caught that large fish that he was always dreamed of catching. Even though it ended not as we, or him, would expect it to, he was content. He lived, and he died. And that was the end. He was not defeated but persevered through the end.