(NEW YORK) — A 27-year-old Australian woman who lost her battle with a rare form of cancer had asked her family to share the last letter she wrote on her deathbed.
Holly Butcher’s last words soon went viral on Facebook after being posted on January 3, one day before she passed away, with more than 131,000 people sharing it on the social network.
Butcher, who resided in Grafton in New South Wales, Australia, began her lengthy note by saying that she planned to write “a bit of life advice.”
“It’s a strange thing to realize and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore,” she started. “The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; until the unexpected happens.”
Continuing, she wrote, “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 then encouraged her family and friends to stop whining “about ridiculous things.”
“Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it,” she suggested. “It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.”
Butcher also advised that people don’t “obsess” over their bodies and what they eat.
“I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go,” she wrote. “It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole.”
After advising her family and friends to use their money “on experiences” instead of presents, Butcher closed her letter by encouraging them to give back.
“Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood,” she wrote. “It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives.”
Butcher then closed by writing: “‘Til we meet again.”
Butcher’s older brother Dean Butcher said he’s proud that his sister’s message has resonated with so many around the world.
“I would say Holly’s words have made our family immensely proud,” he told ABC News.
“In her final weeks,” Dean Butcher, 30, continued, “I sat at Holly’s bedside and asked her if she had any big picture dreams that she wanted me to work towards on her behalf. She happily replied, ‘No. I was going to live a simple life. I didn’t have big plans, I just wanted to live happily.’”
Dean Butcher added that “it is therefore incredibly ironic that a woman content with life’s simplicities … has had such a huge impact.”
“She left us with a powerful message that has resonated with people from all walks of life and from countries across the world. That will always be her legacy,” her older brother noted.
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