A HEARTBREAKING letter written by a dying young woman is going viral after she passed away last week.
On the 4th of January Holly Butcher lost her battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects mostly young people, at the age of 27.
Before she died, the Grafton woman penned a letter which she asked her family to post on her Facebook account once she was gone.
The message includes Holly’s moving insights as a 27-year-old woman forced to confront her mortality, despite not having done so many things she’d hoped and planned to do.
“It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young,” she reflected.
“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.
“That’s the thing about life,” she noted. “It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” she said, adding “I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go.”
After spending time reflecting on how she would live her life if she could overcome the disease, Holly decided to share her advice with those who get to keep on living.
In just a few days it’s had almost 8,000 shares and more than 10,000 reactions.
As a reminder to not sweat the small stuff, Holly assured you won’t be worrying about most of the things you complain about now when you’re on your death bed.
“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,” she urged. “I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go.
“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.”
Holly wrote that we should be more mindful with money, and spend it on things that make other people happy rather than more stuff for ourselves.
“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,” she said.
“Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding … take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give or buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.”
Lateness is something that irritates a lot of people, and Holly insightfully summed up why that is — because it shows disrespect for the other person and their time, which is limited.
“Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are s*** 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.”
She also came to the realisation that documenting your life for social media dilutes the power of the moment while you’re actually living it.
“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 … enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.”
Holly’s final point might be the most important. Receiving blood donations allowed her to live for an extra year, and she urged everyone to donate blood regularly.
“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.”