1. Athena Orchard, a 12-year-old from New Parks, Leicester, passed away last Wednesday. She lost her battle against bone cancer, which she had only been diagnosed with in December.
2. Her father Dean was going through her things a few days later when he made a shocking discovery. The little girl had scrawled a heartfelt note to her friends and family behind her full-length mirror.
3. Athena’s last message spans the length of the whole back of the mirror, here are excerpts from it:
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.
“Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Happiness is a direction not a destination.
“Thank you for existing. Be happy, be free, believe, forever young.
“You know my name, not my story.
“You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through.
“Love is like glass, looks so lovely, but it’s easy to shatter.
“Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change.
“Every day is special, so make the most of it. You could get a life-ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day.
“Life is only bad if you make it bad.
“If someone loves you then they wouldn’t let you slip away no matter how hard the situation is.
“Remember that life is full of ups and downs, without the downs the ups don’t mean anything.
“I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to.
“Love is not about who you can see spending your future with it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without.
“Life is a game for everyone but love is the only prize.”