My dears, while the Fairelands were sizzling with events this past week, I was kept busy by RL… yet I do not complain. Yes, I did miss most of the parties and the crazy chats and the shopping and, especially, those long picture taking evenings… but I never was away from you, not really, not for an hour.
Some of you might remember I teach at med school IRL, and this week’s topic is one of the most difficult ever in the curriculum: how to communicate with terminally ill patients. My “kids” have already had their obligatory morgue experience, yet this obligation of theirs, that they must deliver some really bad news to their patients in the future, weighs them down… and, well, ever since my rendezvous with Big C, well… my perspective on life and death has also changed a wee bit.
Yes, my relationship with my students is different now, but it has not weakened. On the contrary.
You were there, with me, in the classrooms and lecture halls this week. I was supposed to talk about terminal illnesses and the dying process… yet, somehow, I found I was happily babbling along about you, Faire Folk. How you relay. What being connected means, what strength this virtual-yet-very-very-real network of human relationships offers us, caregivers, survivors, and sufferers. There was silence in the classrooms and lecture halls while I was sharing my personal experience with these young people who – biologically speaking – could be my children, who already carry some unimaginably great weight upon their shoulders and who, sometimes, are nothing more than frightened babies left alone in the dark woods.
I expect to meet you all next year, here. Same time, same place. Don’t be late. I’ll still be kicking cancer in the arse, but my students will be a fresh batch, smart doctors-to-be who sometimes are oh-so-very afraid of the dark. They’ll need you, and so shall I … don’t be late, then. I count on you, Faire Folk. Each and every of you. Meet you soon… and thank you for giving me, and my fellow sufferers, a more-than-real sanctuary in the Fairelands.