A man shared the story of his grandmother, who, in her late seventies, was very ill. “I was having so much trouble letting her go,” he explained. “I finally got up the courage to say to her, ‘Nana, I don’t think I can let you go.’ I know that sounds selfish, but it’s what I felt.
“ ’My dear one,’ she replied, ‘I am complete, my life has been full and whole. I know you must see me not being full of much life anymore, but I assure you I have brought much life to my journey. We are like a pie: we give a piece to our parents, we give a piece to our loves, we give a piece to our children, and we give a piece to our careers. At the end of life, some people have not saved a piece for themselves – and don’t even know what kind of pie they were. I know what kind of pie I am; this is something we find for ourselves. I can leave this life knowing who I am.“When I heard those words, ‘I know now who I am,’ I could let her go. That did it for me. It sounded so complete. I told her when it was my time to die, I hoped I would be like her and know who I am. She leaned forward, as if to tell me a secret, and said, ‘You don’t have to wait until you are dying to find out what kind of pie you are.’ “
– Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross – Life Lessons