Your twenties are for self-discovery. They are the years to learn about yourself – what you like and dislike, who you want to spend your time with, and carving out the future you want for yourself. When you’re young you think you’ll live forever and that you have nothing but time. No one can imagine facing such harrowing experiences as death so early on in life.
Holly Butcher was forced to confront her situation young when she was diagnosed with bone cancer at just 26 years old. She was a beautiful young woman with an appetite for life and experiences. She loved to travel and spend quality time with her friends and family. She loved life and appreciated every moment she had. Her life was tragically cut short, leaving her family and friends totally devastated.
Before she passed away she left some wisdom behind for her close circle and for the world at large. She gave knowledge so powerful and beautiful that anyone can take with them on any journey they choose to go on. Her family turned to social media to spread her message in hopes of touching and affecting anyone who could use the kind words as they continue with their lives.
Meet Holly Butcher
Holly Butcher was from Grafton, New South Wales in Australia. When the world heard about her, she was just 27 years old. As a young Australian woman, Holly Butcher thought that she had her whole life ahead of her and couldn’t wait to experience as many adventures as possible. However, her life was about to be turned upside down when she was 26 years old. Her diagnosis and what came next would touch the heart and soul of so many people around the world.
Full of life
Over the last few years, Holly’s Facebook feed was filled with pictures of her adventures around the world. It was clear to see that this young woman was full of life and had plenty to give. From adventures in Thailand through to pulling funny faces at friend’s weddings, Holly Butcher was enjoying her twenties as much as she could. After all, they say it’s the best time of your life. That was all about to change, however.
A dark diagnosis
When Holly was just 26, she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. When you’re a young person, you don’t ever imagine that you’ll be diagnosed with cancer – despite it being one of the biggest killers in the world. Holly Butcher’s life was to be totally turned upside down, through no fault of her own. It was then she knew that she had to do something that would ensure she was never forgotten.
The type of cancer Holly had was Ewing’s sarcoma, which is far more common in young people but is still extremely rare. This small, malignant tumor is found in the bone or soft tissue, such as the pelvis, collar bone or the ribs. Due to hiding in bones and soft tissue, it can be difficult to diagnose Ewing’s sarcoma, and it’s usually too late by the time it’s found. The condition can cause bone pain, fever, and swelling in the area. While some can recover from this form of cancer, it’s not always possible.
For Holly Butcher, Ewing’s sarcoma would eventually take her life. On January 4, 2018, her brother Dean and boyfriend Luke posted a very sad message on her Facebook. In the early hours of that morning, Holly had passed away. They explained that it was “finally time for her to say goodbye to us all” and that it was short and peaceful for the young woman. They explained that she looked “serene” when they kissed her forehead to say her goodbyes.
A short message
The rest of Dean and Luke’s Facebook update explained that Holly had prepared a short message for her friends and family. According to the boys, this was something to be expected of Holly, and they promised to post it shortly after. Considering the two must have been heartbroken, it’s incredible that they did what they could to carry out the last wishes for their much-loved sister and girlfriend. However, no one knew quite how far Holly’s message would reach.
Shared far and wide
The message from Holly Butcher was posted on her Facebook account on the same day of her passing – January 4, 2018. As of today, it has 237,000 reactions and nearly 161,000 shares. It seems as though what was going to be just a bit of advice for her loved ones, reached further than anyone could have imagined. The comments are filled with love, support, and thanks for Holly’s life advice. Along with many saying that her message moved them to tears.
Life advice from Hol
Holly Butcher starts off her message, which she has called “A bit of life advice from Hol” with a short intro as to why she spent her time typing out her thoughts and feelings. She explained that at 27, she loves her life and doesn’t want to go. However, she explains that her note before she dies is not something written: “so that death is feared.” She says that while death is a “taboo topic” there are things she feels as though she has to say before she goes.
One of her first messages and a key one throughout is to stop worrying! In fact, it was one of the reasons she wrote her message in the first place. She says she wanted people to “stop worrying so much” about all of the small and meaningless stresses in their lives. Her motivation for writing this life advice was to help people stop worrying, and when you read through, you’ll certainly see what she means.
Get over minor issues
Holly Butcher asks us to consider the time we spend whining over minor issues and “ridiculous things.” She asks people to be grateful that their issue is only minor and thing about those who are “really facing a problem.” She tells people to acknowledge the minor issue, be grateful that it’s only a small thing, and then move on with your day. Don’t let those small things bring you down or have a negative impact on other people’s days.
Lucky to breathe
One of her most beautiful pieces of advice is to get outside and take a deep breath of fresh “Aussie” air. The fact she’s telling people to do this just goes to show she never expected her message to go global! She tells her loved ones to appreciate the blue sky and the green trees – “It is so beautiful” she explains. She goes on to remind people how lucky they are to do something so simple – just to breathe. Count your blessings every time you take a breath.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
When it’s your “time to go” as Holly puts it, do you think that you’ll be worried about cellulite or getting stuck in traffic? Definitely not. This inspirational young woman explains that all of the things we get caught up in are so insignificant; a lack of sleep because of your kids, your hairdresser cutting your hair too short, or a chip in your nails. All of these things don’t matter, especially not when you have to come face to face with your mortality.
Enjoy your body
Do you complain about the things your body can or cannot do? Perhaps you find exercise too hard or hate getting up and going to work. Holly says you should be grateful that you can do those things, as you don’t realize how much you’ll miss them when you can’t do them anymore. She tells the world to appreciate their good health and their functioning body, “even if it isn’t your ideal size.” Holly says to move your body and fill it with good food, but don’t obsess over it. Just enjoy it!
If you’re the kind of person to whine over a cold or make a big drama over a sprained ankle, then perhaps you need to take Holly’s advice. She explains that we should all whine less about the things that don’t matter. Of course, some things are painful and will make you feel sad or down – however, if it’s not life threatening then you really need to whine less about them. Holly’s orders!
At the same time as whining less, we should also all give more. Holly explains that giving to others will give you more happiness than doing things for yourself. Woefully, she says that she wishes she had done this more, especially as she was given so much support and love from people during her last days. If you can give more, then do. It doesn’t have to be something material; it can just be in the form of advice – like the advice Holly has given to the world.
Treat your friends
One of the things Holly Butcher found strange in her last days is having money. She says, “It’s weird having money to spend at the end.” Of course, there are very few material things that you’ll want to buy during your last days. Instead, treat your friends. It doesn’t have to be during your dying days or spending a fortune on them. Take them for coffee, buy them that dress they love – just treat them and you’ll feel an outpouring of love.
Value others’ time
It seems as though Holly Butcher was a big fan of timekeeping, as one of her life lessons is all about being on time. She explains that if you’re no good at being on time, you shouldn’t keep other people waiting. Get up earlier and appreciate other people’s time. Your friends want to spend time with you, not sit by themselves “waiting on a mate.” She explains that being on time will gain you respect, too.
Experiences over material things
If you blow your wages on new clothes every month, Holly Butcher has some advice for you. Put more value in experiences than on material things. You don’t have to spend money on having some of the best experiences the world has to offer. Plus, as she said previously, it will be weird having money to spend at the end. Use what you have to go out and see the world, as those are the kind of experiences that will stay with you forever – clothes won’t!
Finally, one of the most important pieces of advice that Holly Butcher shares with the world is to start regularly donating blood. She explains that the blood donations she received helped keep her alive for another year and that one donation can save a whopping three lives. If you take one piece of Holly’s advice, it should be this. Even if you’re afraid of needles, go and donate blood. You never know who you could be saving.
Follow Holly’s advice
Holly Butcher gave so much more to the world than she probably ever considered. Her advice has been shared across the globe by hundreds of thousands of people. If you want to live your best life, follow this young woman’s advice. Whether it’s to “Eat the cake” without feeling guilty about it or “Do what makes your heart feel happy,” this life advice can help you really make the most out of your time on earth.