Holly Butcher never thought she'd have to begin thinking about her mortality at just 26 years old, but due to a devastating cancer diagnosis, she was faced with just that. On the night of Jan. 3, Holly penned a "note before I die," full of small nuggets of life advice, before passing away surrounded by friends and family the following morning at just 27 years old. Following the news of her passing on her Facebook page, which is now set up as a remembrance page, her partner, Luke, posted her message, which is now going viral posthumously.
Holly opens her note addressing the inevitability of mortality, noting that it's "just one of those things you ignore" because it doesn't feel like a reality.
"The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens," she wrote. "I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and gray — 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."
Although Holly notes that she didn't pen this "'note before I die' so that death is feared," she does want death to stop being treated as a "taboo" topic that no one talks about until it's too late, because in the end, all of our fates are the same. In writing down her feelings about her impending death, Holly shared a few tidbits she felt were important for others to see so that they may spend their remaining time in a worthy way, "minus the bullsh*t":
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 sh*t go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. 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. . .
Delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling sh*t about yourself. Friend or not. Be ruthless for your own well-being. . .
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. . .
Value other people's time. Don't keep them waiting because you are sh*t 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 sh*t. . .
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.
Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colors the sun makes as it rises.
Listen to music . . . really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.
Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.
Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?
Travel if it's your desire, don't if it's not.
Work to live, don't live to work.
Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.
Eat the cake. Zero guilt.
Say no to things you really don't want to do.
Don't feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life . . . you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay.
Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.
Also, remember 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. You don't know how much time you've got on this earth so don't waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn't be more true.
As she closed her message, Holly asked for one more thing — a good deed for humanity: for everyone to 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 it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life."
As Holly said, we've all been urged to "live life to the fullest" and to "live every day as if it's your last" before, but rarely do we ever follow through with these sentiments. And though it's morbid to think about, maybe Holly's onto something: accepting our mortality, and the fact that once we leave we can't change how we lived can give us all the kick up the ass we all need to live these beautiful lives more aware of the fact that we only get one of them.
Read Holly's full post ahead.