Holly Butcher, a 27-year-old from Australia, lost her battle with Ewing’s sarcoma — a rare form of cancer — on January 4. But before she died, Butcher left behind a beautiful letter of advice. Her message, that she asked her parents to post on Facebook after her death, has since been shared more than 113,000 times.
“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,” Butcher began in a Facebook post published on January 3. I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy . . . But the control is out of my hands.”
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Butcher went on to urge people to stop worrying about the “meaningless stresses” in life such as getting caught in traffic, having a “wobbling belly” or a too-short haircut.
“Let all that s–t go,” she wrote. “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.”
Butcher implored readers to be grateful for each day — and spend less time on social media. “Delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling s–t about yourself. Friend or not,” she shared. “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 it is about getting the perfect photo . . . enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture for everyone else.”
She signed off by asking everyone to regularly donate blood. “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,” she wrote. “’Til we meet again.”
Butcher’s family took to her Facebook page later that day to let loved ones know that she had passed away. “After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all,” they wrote. “The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells.”
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