Holly Butcher: 27-Year-Old Woman Dies of Cancer, Teaches Us How to Live by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

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10 months ago
Holly Butcher: 27-Year-Old Woman Dies of Cancer, Teaches Us How to Live

Shortly after Holly Butcher died from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, her family released a letter she penned about life and love and the lessons she’s learned. The letter offers the inspiring perspective of a young Australian woman forced to “realise and accept [her] mortality at 26 years young.” Butcher remarks, “That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”

Butcher’s letter is a gift to us all, as she has left us with advice for how to live. She wants us “to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and … do what [we] can to make [our] time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.” Here are just some of the words of wisdom from Holly’s letter:

  • Appreciate your good health and functioning body – even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is … Don’t obsess over it.
  • 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.
  • Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things … just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s OK to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect [sic] other people’s days.
  • 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 shit at being on time. 
  • Use your money on experiences. 
  • Cuddle your dog. 
  • Talk to your friends. Put down your phone.
  • Work to live, don’t live to work.
  • Eat the cake. Zero guilt.
  • Say no to things you really don’t want to do.
  • 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 ... You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable.
  • Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity … start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. 

At the time of this publication, Holly’s letter has been shared on Facebook over 138,000 times. Read Holly Butcher's full letter.

This 30Seconds tip is dedicated to the memory of Holly Butcher and to everyone fighting cancer today.

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Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
This is so beautiful and so moving. "It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself ... Use your money on experiences ... Work to live, don’t live to work ... Eat the cake. Zero guilt. Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have. Start regularly donating blood." My favorites. She was a wonderful soul. Thank you for sharing her words and spirit, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! xoxo
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Those are some of my favorites too, Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds . How special for Holly’s family and friends to know that so many people have been touched and inspired by her words.
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Katie Sloan
So much wisdom and insight at a young age. Life is so very short especially now that I’m 44. Our days are numbered so I am trying to embrace the good and let the small stuff go. Great tribute!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Me too, Katie Sloan .Thanks. I am so inspired by Holly’s words.
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
I love Holly's letter so much. I hope I can remember her words throughout the year and beyond. Some of my favorites (it's hard to choose- (I love them all!):

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things … just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s OK to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect [sic] other people’s days.
Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself.
Use your money on experiences.
Talk to your friends. Put down your phone.
Work to live, don’t live to work.
Eat the cake. Zero guilt.
Say no to things you really don’t want to do.
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 ... You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable.

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