A Day Before Her Death From Cancer,  This 27-Year-Old Wrote A Final Advice Letter Everyone Should Read

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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

hollie's selfie smiling

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

Hollie and boyfriend smiling

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

Holly and her friend at restaurant

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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 holding drink in airport

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

Holly and her mom stand on grass

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

t’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. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.  That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.  I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.  Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, 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. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.  Let all that shit go.. 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.

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

et all that shit go.. 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.  I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise - Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things ... until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.  I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it.

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

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

Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.  Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.  Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

hollybutcher90 / Facebook

​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

Give, give, give. 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 I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.  It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.

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

Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.  Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.

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

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! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.  Use your money on experiences.. 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.

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

ry 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.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.  Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females 🤔.  Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises.  Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.  Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.

​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!

alk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?  Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.  Work to live, don’t live to work.  Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.  Eat the cake. Zero guilt.  Say no to things you really don’t want to do.  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 okay.

​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

Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.  Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it - in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.  Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind!

​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

Oh and one last thing, 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. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.  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 it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.

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

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives