An Australian woman who died at the age of 27 last week after battling cancer left a heartbreaking last note to the world on her Facebook page — a post that has since gone viral.
In the bittersweet note, which was posted by Holly Butcher’s family hours after she died, Butcher delivered some hard truths about life, as well as some advice for her readers.
“It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young,” Butcher wrote in her post. “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.”
Butcher died in the early hours of Jan. 4, according to a Facebook post written by her family, after reportedly battling a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.
In her viral post, Butcher implored those reading to take a hold of their lives — to concentrate on feeling healthy, to appreciate every day, and to care less about material things.
“That’s the thing about life; it is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” Butcher wrote.
She advised not to concentrate on physical features that make most people feel down on themselves: “I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go.”
Butcher also told readers that instead of complaining about things like exercising and going to work, they should be “grateful” that they are physically able to do both those things.
“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,” she wrote.
She also emphasized that readers should give more to the people they love, instead of spending money on material things for themselves.
“It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end. . . when you’re dying,” she wrote. “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.”
Overall, Butcher said that people should stop worrying so much and instead concentrate on the better parts of life.
“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,” she wrote.
The post has captured the world’s attention: As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had nearly 114,000 shares, more than 158,000 reactions, and 25,000 comments.
Worth reading . . . at least twice https://t.co/fc7PMF3Us7— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) January 10, 2018
This is so beautiful.— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 7, 2018
Before losing a battle with cancer, 27 year old Holly Butcher penned this open letter about life. Wonderful reminder of what is really important and true. https://t.co/ggTvTsJins
In loving memory of Holly Butcher, a young fan with an exceptional spirit whose time on this earth was all too shorthttps://t.co/J1AqAMuvz9— Yusuf / Cat Stevens (@YusufCatStevens) January 8, 2018
Wow. This really hit me. Before losing her battle with cancer at 27 years old, Holly Butcher, wrote this beautiful piece that puts life in true perspective. Worth your time to read it. https://t.co/8zOVVRVP1J— Michelle McMahon (@Meesh_McMahon) January 9, 2018
Before losing her battle with cancer, 27 year old Holly Butcher penned this beautiful -and heartbreaking- open letter about life.— Lotte Leicht (@LotteLeicht1) January 7, 2018
A wonderful and important reminder of what truly matters. https://t.co/4NII4A5ytn
Butcher’s reported longtime boyfriend, Luke Ashley-Cooper, posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday that as a last request, she wished that those attending her funeral wear colorful clothing instead of the traditional black.
“As you know, Holly always knew how she wanted things to be done,” Ashley-Cooper wrote. “One thing she was particularly passionate about was celebrating her life and not mourning it.”