September 23, 2021
A dying teenager left a powerful note for her parents before passing away from cancer almost a decade ago. Her dying message is still impacting the world to date.
Athena Orchard spent the last years of her life battling bone cancer osteosarcoma, which spread to her spine, head, and left shoulder.
Rather than let her condition weigh her down, the thirteen-year-old chose to see the positive side of life and spread happiness to everyone around her.
The teenager did that, and more, before succumbing to her illness on May 28, 2014. Remarkably, she continued to bring joy to her family even after death, leaving three thousand words of love to help them overcome her death and keep them company in her place.
Her father, Dean Orchard, came across the 3000-word note days after her death while cleaning out her bedroom in their home in Leicester, England. Athena penned the hidden note behind her mirror, detailing her deepest thoughts, feelings, and ideas about life.
The note seemed beyond the scope of a 13-year-old girl, proving just how insightful and knowledgeable she was at her young age. Reflecting on the message, Dean said:
"She never mentioned it. But it's the kind of thing she'd do. She was a very spiritual person. She'd go on about stuff that I could never understand. She was so clever."
Part of the heartbreaking note reminded readers to make the most of every day, as each day was special. She also pointed out that tomorrow wasn't promised to anyone, as one could end up with a life-threatening illness any day.
Athena noted that life was only bad for those who made it bad, going on to say that one's happiness depended on them. She described happiness as a direction, not a destination. The teenager's message also included powerful sayings like:
"Never give up on something you can go a day without thinking about [...] Maybe it's not about the happy ending, but about the story."
Further, in the note, she established the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, the purpose of life, and the true meaning of love. Going further, Athena described the kind of person she yearned to be, saying:
"I want to be that girl who makes the bad days better and the one that makes you say my life has changed since I met her."
True to her words, the British girl lived the path throughout her short life, despite battling a terminal illness. Leaving something for her parents and six siblings to keep her memory alive was simply the crown of her insightful deed. Athena's mom, Caroline, explained:
"Just reading her words felt like she was still here with us. She had such an incredible spirit."
The family has since decided to keep the mirror forever as a part of their lost daughter and a reminder of the good life she led.
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