Five Things I've learned about life and death since I was diagnosed with cancer at 23 by Sophie Trew.

By Sophie Trew   who was diagnosed with blood cancer at 23 and now runs the first cancer awareness and holistic health festival

By Sophie Trew
who was diagnosed with blood cancer at 23 and now runs the first cancer awareness and holistic health festival

  1. The Ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos is the time we all live in day to day, time on the clock, chronological. Kairos is time outside of time, time in moments. People we love can have their chronos lives cut painfully short, yet they can live a lifetime and more in kairos. It’s the precious kairos moments we remember when we think of them - the special meal, the conversation, the final adventure. I wish you all a lifetime in kairos that makes you forget the chronos.
    **N.B. Sadly, dates, bosses and many other daily humans don’t find living off kairos time quite so cute!

  2. Coming close to death can awaken us to life. It can make us face the truth of our lives and how we’re living, peeling away the bullshit to become more real. Knowing we’re going to die can help us discover what matters most, enriching our present moments when we realise they’re finite. There’s a presence in death that means we can’t not be in the now when it’s near for someone we love.  

  3. The way I live has changed since I faced my fear of death. It is the only guarantee and equality in all of our life contracts. How we relate to death matters - we can learn so much from other cultures. The way other cultures celebrate life and honour their dead - Day of the Dead in Mexico, for example.   

  4.  When it comes to illness outcomes there are no winners or losers. People do not ‘lose their battle’ or ‘fight’. Those who die didn’t fight less hard than others. The battle language does a great injustice to the many little wins you can have each day you live with cancer. It can be hard to understand why some people die and others don’t, why some people suffer so much. It takes us to the edge of where our minds can go.  

  5. Our lives are a constant flux of death and rebirth. Impermanence is the only constant. Just as we breathe in life, we breathe out death. Apparently every seven years, we’re a different person entirely! Our challenges can come when we try to hold on - to relationships, identities, heavy emotions. Our cells are constantly dying, unless, of course, you're a clam...and maybe a lobster? Don’t quote me on that!

Sophie Trew

About Sophie Trew
Sophie is a reforming human doing more interested in being. Since her cancer experience in 2014 she's been in a space where life sits on the brink of death. She works as a confidence coach supporting people to feel empowered beyond a diagnosis and giving her talk 'Tequila to Spirulina'. Wanting to leave the cancer space brighter than she found it, she started
Trew Fields Festival - the first cancer awareness and holistic health festival. It's a magical weekend of inspiration, education and fun. One day Sophie plans to train as a death doula and combine this with facilitating breathwork circles. You can follow Sophie on Instagram and stay up to date with the Trew Fields Festival here.

Trew Fields Festival 2019 will take place from 5 - 7th July 2019 in Dunsfold, Surrey. You can explore the lineup and book tickets
here.