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‘Each day is a gift’: The moving life lessons a 27-year-old shared before she died

Last Updated Jan 10, 2018 at 5:44 pm EDT


It’s easy to take life for granted. It’s easier still to worry about stuff that, in the long run, is totally insignificant.


That’s the message a young Australian woman named Holly Butcher left to her friends and family on Facebook the day before she died last week of an aggressive form of cancer. She was only 27.

“The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens,” the New South Wales woman wrote in a post that has since gone viral around the world.

“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.”

Butcher had been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that mostly affects young people. She started writing the goodbye letter months earlier when she knew she would soon die.

“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,” she wrote.

“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.

“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.”

Living a healthy life was one of Butcher’s “major passions,” but she warned against fretting over size and said that keeping a healthy mind is just as important as maintaining a healthy body. “That way you might realize just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.”

She also urged readers to start regularly donating blood — blood transfusions helped keep her alive for an extra year, she wrote.

Here are more life lessons Butcher left us with:

– “Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.”

– “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.”

– “Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time.”

– “Use your money on experiences. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.”

– “Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone.”

– “Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises.”

– “Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.”

– “Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?”

– “Eat the cake. Zero guilt.”

-“Say no to things you really don’t want to do.”

-“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.”