The world wasn’t ready to lose 27-year-old Holly Butcher. The vibrant blonde from Grafton, Australia still had so much life left to live. She dreamed of starting a family with her beloved boyfriend, watching her dog grow old and spending more holidays with her loved ones.
Her brother, Dean, and partner, Luke, took to Facebook to confirm the news. “It is with great sadness that we announce Holly’s passing in the early hours of this morning,” they wrote on Jan. 4, 2018.
A couple years prior, Butcher was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that largely affects young people.
“After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all. The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells. As you would expect, Holly prepared a short message for you all, which will be posted above,” wrote her mourning loved ones.
Holly’s message touched so many people that her loved ones decided to post it publicly.
“It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens,” Holly begins.
While the message is long, it is absolutely worth reading every last word.
A bit of life advice from Hol:It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just…
Some of the most powerful takeaway messages include:
1. Stop worrying about the small stuff.
“I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all… Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s OK to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively affect other people’s days.”
2. Appreciate the beauty that surrounds you and the fact you have another day to live, breathe and enjoy your loved ones.
“Look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that — breathe. You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. … I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole.
I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.”
3. You don’t ‘have to,’ you ‘get to.’
“I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise — be grateful you are physically able to”
4. Give more than you take.
“It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; more than I could ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.”
5. Presents aren’t important, not even a little bit. The real gift is having your family around you.
“This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other.
Plus, imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves … strange! … but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. … Anyway, moral of the story — presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas.”
6. Don’t waste your money on materialism. Spend it on experiences you’ll take with you forever.
“…or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.”
7. Live life in real-time, not through the screen on your smartphone.
“Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.”
8. Cuddle your furry pets.
“Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.”
9. Do what makes you happy.
“Travel if it’s your desire, don’t it it’s not…. Do what makes your heart feel happy… don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life. You might want a mediocre life and that is so OK.”
10. Don’t overwork yourself.
“Work to live, don’t live to work.”
11. Always tell the people you love just how much you love them.
“Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.”
12. Last, but certainly not least, donate blood!
“If you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives.
Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year — a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.”
Since Holly’s message was publicly posted, it has accumulated over 144,000 likes and 182,000 shares. So, while her body may have left the physical world, she has left behind a beautiful legacy, touching thousands of people around the world.