A year ago

It was a year ago that I sat staring at my computer screen at 4 AM watching Russian tanks rolling into Ukraine.

Needless to say, this has been one of the most difficult years of my life. There’s survivor’s guilt as I go on with my life from the calm and safety of Amsterdam, where Tetiana and I had moved to from Kyiv just three months before. There’s frustration at how little I can really do to help.

It’s hard to comprehend everything that’s happened. I think of the hundreds of thousands of people in Mariupol that led normal lives on February 23rd, but there’s no real way to comprehend that many of them are forever gone from this world.

I can’t imagine the fear and anxiety that my friends go through each day during airstrikes, power outages, and the looming threat of occupation.

The heroism and dedication of friends that have volunteered to serve, whether on the front or in humanitarian relief is something I that I can only admire from afar.

Alas, this pain won’t soon heal. While my life has gone on outwardly, there’s a part of me that will always grieve.