Every now and then I come across a quote, Youtube clip or snippet from a book that seems to stick in my mind.

Holly Butcher’s last letter is one of these.

Holly died earlier this year at the age of 27 from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, which mostly affects young adults.

After Holly’s passing, upon her instruction, her open letter was shared on Facebook, which captured intimate reflections from her life and the pain experienced when your hopes and dreams are taken away. It went viral globally. Holly’s letter is incredibly moving and inspiring, and if you haven’t yet come across it, make sure you have a read as it serves as a reminder as to how to live life to the fullest.

Lesson 1 – Appreciate your life

We all need to appreciate the life, body and health we have. Holly reminds us that there are plenty of unhealthy people, who would be happy to trade places with us, and that “each day is a gift and not a given right.” She encourages us to not stress the small stuff but make our time here worthy and great.

Lesson 2 – Focus on your happiness and wellbeing

Including your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness. Holly hopes that we try not to waste time and energy meeting other people’s expectations. And reminds us that “if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it – in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable.”

Lesson 3 – Give and love

Holly suggests that rather than spending money on yourself, it is much better to buy a gift for a family member or friend, shout them a coffee or make them dinner. “And tell them you love them when you give it to them.”

She also urges us to give some more in the form of blood. Holly like so many others rely on donations to live longer.

Lesson 4 – Respect other people

And value their time. Holly reminds us that someone else’s time is just as valuable as yours so don’t keep people waiting. And when you are with your loved ones, she encourages us to focus on the moment and not the screen in front of you.

The death of a loved one often makes us rethink our priorities in life. It is a shame that it often takes such an unfortunate event to occur to remind us just how short our lives are.

So rather than waiting, Holly’s advice is to live today as if it is your last.

To find out how you can donate blood and save three lives visit Australian Red Cross Blood Service for more information.