When 27-year-old Holly Butcher posted a letter entitled “note before I die” on Facebook on January 3, she inspired the online community. On January 4, the 27-year-old woman passed away from Ewing’s sarcoma, a very rare form of bone cancer, but her words continue to ring true to friends, family, and countless others who have been moved by her powerful letter.
In her “bit of life advice from Hol,” the Australian woman recounts those moments and stresses of life we’ve all experienced — showing up late for a meeting with friends, had a plain awful morning commute, or simply slept terribly. But as she can attest, when we reach the end of our journey, those moments are not what we remember. “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,” she writes. “Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go,” she continues. “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.” “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.”
Her lessons, sweet and to-the-point, show us really what life is about. While you can read the full letter on her Facebook here — here are a few of her most poignant reminders to make the most out of the time we have: 1. Treasure your body:
“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.” 2. Travel, enjoy the world, and spend your money wisely:
“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.” 3. Be kind:
“Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.”
We could all use these reminders to make the most out of the time we have. Our hearts go out to Holly and her family.