Butcher's life advice from her deathbed could change the way you look at life, love and relationships.
What's light without darkness? What's life without mortality? Holly Butcher succumed to Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of usually terminal illness, at the age of just 27. She had time to comprehend the moratlity and make peace with cancer and death. As she prepared to depart a life she'd come to love so dearly, Butcher, who hails from New South Wales, Australia, penned her final thoughts in a Facebook post on why our life is so precious and why we must treasure our loved ones and value our shared experiences as opposed to material wealth. Butcher's note puts into perspective our own lives and our appraoch to everyday, especially during a time like the pandemic that has upended our lives.
"It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. 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. 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," she wrote in her final moments. "That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right. I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands."
Butcher reminded everyone to look at the larger picture. "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," she added. "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 shit 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. 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 penned, urging everyone to value the days we have ahead of us.
"Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being," she shared.
"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. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return," she said. She also reminded everyone that material things didn't matter in the end. "It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. 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. Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them," wrote Butcher.
"This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on," she noted. With the pandemic wrecking havoc on our lives, we could nothing more than spend time with our loved ones.
She had a word of advice what really matters in the end. "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. Get amongst nature," she said. She also urged people to live in the moment. "Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best. Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.
"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. 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. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. ’Til we meet again. Hol. Xoxo," signed off Butcher.