Emotional letter penned by 27-year-old woman on her deathbed goes viral

Claudine Varela
Jan 17, 2019
05:56 A.M.
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A 27-year-old woman from Australia has passed away but her memory lives on in a letter she left behind that has now gone viral.


Holly Butcher knew her days were numbered so she penned a letter which she asked her family to post on Facebook after her death. In her lengthy message, she encourages everyone to live life to the fullest, be grateful for every day, and not to obsess over the trivial things. 


It is a sad thing to realize at 27 that life is short. This was Holly’s first sentiment in her letter. Facing her mortality at such a young age made her see things clearly, something she wanted others to know too – that the little things don’t matter when you’re at your death bed. And what really matters is staying healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally.

“I’m 27 now. And I don’t want to go,” Holly admitted but she’s resigned to the fact that her life is out of her control. Instead, she uses her remaining time to share her life’s advice coming from a woman whose time on earth is numbered.


One important advice she gives is for people to stop worrying about things that won’t even matter when it’s time to leave the world.

“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 bullshit.”

Instead, she encourages people to be grateful for the beauty life has to offer and the chance to marvel at it. 

“Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it.”


“Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that - breathe.”


As she watches her frail body deteriorate, Holly says there is nothing she wishes more than to have more time. 

“It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and 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.”


This is why she hopes others would be more careful about how they choose to live their lives. She suggests spending more time with the people you love, spending on experiences rather than money and material things.

“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.”

“Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.”


“Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.”


“Give, give, give,” Holly insists, saying true happiness is gained more from doing things for others than oneself. Holly is grateful for the many kind people she met in her journey and wished she could have been more giving when she still had a lot of time. 

Finally, Holly encouraged people to “do a good deed for humanity” such as regularly donating blood. 

“I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.”

Holly died on January 4, 2018. She suffered from a rare form of cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma. As she wished, her parents posted her letter addressed to “all Holly’s friends” immediately after announcing her death.  Read Holly's letter in full below.


A person’s dying wish is a powerful thing. More often than not, people fulfill that wish in memory of the life the person led. One teacher from Georgia, Tammy Waddell, made a dying wish for her students to bring backpacks filled with school supplies at her funeral in lieu of flowers. She wanted those backpacks to be donated to Project Connect. 

On the day of her funeral, backpacks lined the church aisle along with the students who donated them. The line went so long it extended outside the church. And because the story of her funeral went viral, many from other countries as far as Great Britain offered to send school supplies in her honor. 


Meanwhile, a 16-year-old boy who was dying of cancer decided to wish for something selfless on his deathbed. Using his entitled wish from the Make A Wish Foundation, he asked for a phone call with Texas Governor Gregg Abbott. During the phone call that was videotaped, the boy, Jeremiah Thomas, requested that the mayor pass a bill to end abortion. Jeremiah had been a staunch advocate against abortion and it was his dying wish that the act be prohibited at least in Texas. He received the good news from Abbott that indeed, abortion was going to be banned from Texas by law. Jeremiah may have left this world, but he left a great impact on Texas that will resound for generations.