RIP Yasmin Selena Butt

The internet is now so intricately linked in our lives that we can’t imagine life without it. I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for the internet. I wouldn’t have connected with other writers (and readers). Love or hate Facebook, you can talk to people all over the world with a common interest. Without it, I might never have connected with Yasmin. I came to consider her a genuine friend despite that we never met in person. It is my only regret that we never met especially as I promised her a cream tea of she ever came to Cornwall again!

Photo by S Heinzel

This charming and delightful woman passed away at the weekend after battling lung cancer for two years; she was 45. Yasmin founded a book group of which I was an admin for two years. I stepped down in the spring and explained to Yasmin my personal reasons for doing so. I was going through some personal stuff and did not need the stress of trying to keep some fragile internet egos under control. She was understanding and we kept in touch for updates.

Yasmin was always concerned with other people. Despite having advanced lung cancer, she kept asking for updates on how things were going for me in what was a difficult winter and spring. When I told her that I wouldn’t be ready to return as an admin for quite a long time, she went to great pains to tell me that she really wasn’t trying to pressure me to return soon or ever. Despite her health, she was so concerned that I would think badly of her and believe she had ulterior motives. Such was her empathy for others that even in the advanced stages of cancer, she put others feelings first.

Few of us would ever face the limited time we have left on the planet with a smile, but Yasmin did that. She lived life to the full before her diagnosis and continued to do so afterwards. In future years, those of us who knew as words on the screen and a profile photo as I did, or those who were fortunate enough to know her in person, I’m sure will remember that enduring smile. I can only imagine the grief and pain people who knew her in real life are going through right now.

A Plug

Yasmin was an author. She self-published just one book although she always (like most of us) intended to write more. I am appealing to you, my readers, to please consider purchasing and reading her book Gunshot Glitter as her legacy. Also like many of us, it’s difficult to get our worked noticed in a sea of millions of other self-published writers. Yet with this sole release, she was shortlisted by The Guardian as a reader-recommended novel – an incredible achievement for a self-published writer and even more spectacular because it was her first publication.

Your name is Celine Silver. But no one has called you that in eight years.

You’re a classically trained musician and an Honours graduate.

You come from a nice, middle-class family.

You kill people for money.

And no one knows you anymore.

Fate throws the man you abandoned right back into your path – the man who knew you before you got blood on your hands, before you changed your name.

And he’s demanding answers.

But is there a way back to the path of normal?

What price do you have to pay when you realise you no longer want to be monster? And who are the real monsters and victims anyway?

And what about the incinerated boy who will never quite go away…

Please click the image to go to the Amazon page to buy her book.

6 responses to “RIP Yasmin Selena Butt”

  1. Thank you for writing this. Yasmin and I actually met on the bookshop cafe. We got chatting and everything changed for me from there, she changed my life. Yasmin really was one of a kind. I was very extremely lucky to have her in my life. When people say love of their lives, I really mean it. She was everything to me. Yasmin was a person that was a force of nature, nothing could stop her. I remember days where she pulled me by the hand through crowds to get as fast as she could to our next destination. I didn’t appreciate this at the time, I admit. I found it daunting the prospect of getting on 10 different buses and rushing from one place to the next but she always found amazing places. Yasmin has left a massive empty space in the world for me, it will never be the same again. I would like to say thank you again and its lovely to see how she impacted on so many peoples lives in such positive ways, she was always encouraging people to follow their dreams.

    • Steven, you are most welcome. I’m sad we never met. She told me many times she hoped to visit Cornwall again some day. I know she was fond of the southwest.

      I know it’s common to say cancer patients (whether they survive or not) are “brave” or “inspirational” but what struck me most was how after her diagnosis of her cancer being terminal, her concern for other people. When I stepped down as admin last February, I left the group for a while to concentrate on my own mental health. Yasmin was more than brilliant about it and despite being so severely ill, kept checking in for progress.

      Sadly, I can’t be at her birthday event as it’s such a long way from the capital these days.

  2. I was privileged enough to be invited to the celebration at Yeading library on Saturday where Yasmin was remembered. I had never met her – I am simply another self-published writer who was asked to come and contribute something to be day. After Saturday, however, I feel I know a little of Yasmin – her energy, her spirit, her uniqueness were evident from what her friends and family shared about her.
    My profound sympathies for the loss of such a vibrant and so very young person with so many reasons to go on living.

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