The number of things that can happen in this amount of time is incalculable. My heart has been broken and saved over and over to the point where I lost count. Time doesn't exist in the first days of war. There is only triage.
When a border town camp rose from the ground in Medyka, Poland following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a collection of people who were looking to save the world came together. We became friends, lovers, the beschert, business partners, and allies in life. This gathering of people - this matching of kindred spirits rushing into tragedy - who would be there to collectively give their souls to the greater good became my reality. You want to be surrounded by the best humanity has to offer. You miss that no longer existing pop-up city of comfort and try to hold on to pieces of it.
But we weren't the first. We weren't the first to go through this washing machine wringer beat down of emotions. We were, however, the first of our generation to be there for the exodus of a European nation. Overwhelming masses of humanity in crisis constantly flowing towards you gives a blow back thrust to the core of your being. You can't recover immediately. It's impossible. You jump right back into the wringer, spin out of control, buy a new Ferrari, or get divorced. It's all happened. You're not rational and you're not going to be.
For those still emotionally spinning - offer yourself compassion. For those who dove back into your work - offer yourself compassion. This is war. This is hell. Extend kindness where you can.
Mary K Leonard