Dying can really put life in perspective. And it’s in those final moments that one looks back to see what’s really important and what they would have liked to differently.
Holly Butcher was 27 when she died from Ewing’s sarcoma – a rare type of cancer.
But before she passed away, she wrote a letter which her family posted – upon her request – after she was gone.
The letter on Facebook has now gone viral with nearly 150,000 shares and more than 213,000 likes.
“It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore,” it opened.
“The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens.”
“That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”
Though Holly was very young when she passed, her letter is poignant – and there is much to learn for everyone, regardless of their age.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
The core message that Holly emphasises, as she faces her own mortality, is that, “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 so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.”
Holly talks about the everyday worries and stresses that people go through; “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 s**** go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go.”
The Gift of Giving
“Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself.”
Holly explains that this was something she wished she did 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.”
Holly says her view of money changed as her health deteriorated, “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.
“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.”
Time is Precious
Holly letter, in her own upbeat way, talks about all the things she wished she had done more of – and advises people to do the same.
“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.”
“Talk 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.”
And the most beautiful gift you can give another person; “tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.”
See Holly’s full letter below:
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