We tend to constantly put ourselves in a position of lack. We never have enough or we’re always working towards the next thing. We’re constantly saving, or working towards a promotion, or too tired from our responsibilities to go on the trip we’ve always wanted or go a night out with friends. But eventually, we run out of time and realize that none of those things are significant. So what really matters in life? Take it from someone who was just about to start theirs and had to say goodbye too early.
The letter she wrote on her death should be an inspiration to us all, and help us change our perspective.
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Meet Holly Butcher
Holly was just 26 years old, about to start her own life and family, when she got the news that changed everything. The moment she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that primarily affects young people, her whole life plan shattered. Suddenly all her dreams of growing old and starting a family would be nothing but visions she would never live long enough to see.
To receive such devasting news at a young age is to have to completely change your perspective. Holly’s life was shortened and accelerated because she knew her days were numbered. She started to take notice of what truly matters, and some of the things she once paid attention to, now seemed so irrelevant.
Holly Didn’t Want To Leave This World
The most heartbreaking part of Holly’s story is that she had a genuine love for life. There was so much she truly still want to do and experience but didn’t have enough time. Instead, at just 27 years old, she had to come to terms with her mortality as a cancer patient.
Holy didn’t want anyone else to end up on their death bed and feel any sort of regret so she decided to write an open letter to the world so that even if its the last thing she does, she can hopefully shed light on what she quickly learned truly matters in life. If it was up to her, she would take her own advice, she would do anything to live another day, and live it to the fullest: “I love my life. I am happy… I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands….I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts”
Holly’s Last Words
These were Holly’s last words and a true reflection of her mindset on her deathbed. She may be young, but such an experience brings a lot of wisdom and clarity quickly. The mundane things become so insignificant. No longer did it matter what she was wearing, or how her Facebook account looked. All a sudden, every moment mattered, and how she lived it impacted how she would leave her mark.
Holly’s last words are spoken directly from the heart. They are not meant to be easy or reflect what others want to hear. They’re not supposed to scare us of death, but to alert us of the importance of life. They’re not meant to diminish hardships and limitations but to open our eyes to possibilities and opportunities.
Life Is Fragile, So Live Everyday like It’s Your Last
Holly hopes to help those of us who are still lucky enough to be here, to see that there is a big picture, one that expands beyond our day to day, our jobs, our bills, our responsibilities, and our chores. There’s a whole world out there ready to receive us if we let it in before it’s too late: “that’s the thing about life, it is fragile, precious, unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”
Knowing that each moment could be our last may seem overwhelming and cause some of us anxiety from our existential crisis. However, it should drive us forward. Because if we truly believe it, would we keep on living the same? Would we dwell on traffic or spend a whole day in bed? Our decisions would be impacted.
The Day After The Letter, Holly Passed Away At Just 27
The very next day after Holly wrote her public letter, she passed away from cancer. She was surrounded by her family who stood at her deathbed till her very last moment. She was still just 27 years old and had to leave a whole life behind.
Not only is it heartbreaking to imagine how her family must have felt, to lose a member of their own long before their day should ever be due, but it’s even more saddening to think of how much Holly wanted to hold on and continue to live in our world but had her choice taken away. Before it’s too late, find your purpose, and live your life with no regrets
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Read The Letter For Yourself
No matter how much we try to deny we’re all scared of death to some degree. It’s this big unknown that lurks in the distance for all of us but none of us are truly ready for. We don’t know how to prepare for something we don’t understand. We can’t even agree on whether there is an afterlife.
But the point is to not think so much about the future and worry about all the “ifs.” The point is to just be aware that there is an end and to take that with us as motivation to always seek kindness and happiness. If you knew you were to be gone tomorrow, who would you want to tell you loved them? Where would you want to go? Instead of waiting, do these things now!
Breath In On The Bad Days, And Remember that They Will Pass
Have you heard the saying that if won’t matter in 5 years don’t dwell on it for more than five minutes? Unfortunately, life will be full of inconveniences, and it’s okay to let them bother you.
The difference is in letting them take over you or choosing to release them back. The more of the bad you hold onto, the less space you make for the good. You deserve to be happy and to let in as much good as possible. Remember that big picture.
Good Health Is A Blessing
You may be thinking, “well I can’t exactly quit my job and go live my life…I have bills to pay and mouths to feed,” and that’s completely fair. The point is finding a balance. Don’t live your life to work but work to live.
Get enough responsibilities to get by but to make your whole life about fulfilling one chore to the next. You deserve to set boundaries and say no sometimes. You deserve to prioritize your own happiness. We’re each responsible for ourselves.
Illness Is Just A Momentary Setback
Bodies are flawed. They get hurt, they get sick and they get bruised but they also have an incredible ability at healing. Injuries will happen and they will be inconvenient but for as long as you’re still breathing, count your blessing.
You may be limited but the world is so big and full of opportunities that your possibilities within it are still endless.
Give, And You Will Receive
The thing with giving is that it will feel rewarding in itself, even if you don’t get much in return. A new iPhone may temporarily make you happy but the experiences you share with others, and seeing them light up thanks to you will feel priceless and create happiness that lasts.
Time Is Of The Essence
Remember that the underlying theme is that every moment counts. The one you’re using to read this sentence right nowas well as the next. It doesn’t just apply to you, but to everyone around you as well.
Spend On Experiences Not Money
Money is a funny thing that we’ve given a lot of value. At the end of the day it’s just a piece of paper, metal or a virtual number on a screen. We’re the ones that give it meaning. We work hard to earn it but how do we want to spend it? It is better to use to create the experiences that form the memories that shape us than on material things we leave behind anyway.
Live In The Moment
We often fall in the trap of social media. We condition ourselves that our worth depends on how others see us. In reality, we’re the ones that shape our own lives for better or for worse. It doesn’t matter how others see it because they’re not the ones who have to wake up every day and live in it.
Eat The Cake!
We make too many rules for ourselves! Not to eat too many sweets but still indulge every in a while, to work out but not look too muscular, to spend time with friends but not be too clingy. In reality, it all just depends on the person and the situation.
Tell Your Loved Ones You Love Them
Don’t wait till the last second to tell those that matter how you really feel about them. Tell them you love them while you can and don’t just tell them but show them!
Do Something Good
Let the last lesson be that you’re not just living for yourself. Live your life to the fullest but also take into account how much of an impact we all make on one another. The more kindness we all show, the more magic we create, and the more beautiful of a place the whole world becomes.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives