In the early hours of Thursday morning, Holly Butcher quietly passed away surrounded by her loved ones.
The 27-year-old from Grafton in NSW had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer which mostly affects young people.
In the weeks leading up to her death, Holly began to face her own mortality. She grieved for all the milestones she’d never get to experience, the kids she’d never get to have, and the future she’d never get to build with the love of her life.
She also spent hours reflecting on her life so far and thinking about what really matters in the grand scheme of things.
Holly then penned an open letter to all of us, which her family shared on her Facebook page after she died.
If you read one thing this week – make sure it’s this.
“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,” Holly began her letter.
"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."
Holly explained that's the thing about life, it's "fragile, precious and unpredictable". She said each day was a gift and 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," she wrote.
Holly penned the letter not so we would fear death, but so we could start an honest conversation about it and begin to focus on the important things.
"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 after it all, so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullsh*t," she explained.
The 27-year-old wants us to remember people who are facing real problems whenever we encounter a minor inconvenience in our lives.
"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 a**e and your belly is wobbling.