Updated: Mar 27, 2022
Body bags. Unloading body bags from a van to stock for yet another trip inside war-torn Ukraine.
Perhaps to my surprise I find myself developing what feel like coping mechanisms even for this situation. As we were unloading boxes labelled “body bag” from the supply van, in preparation for the next trip into Ukraine, I turned to my volunteer colleagues Ewa and Pia and asked them, “What are body bags?”
I knew. I knew what body bags were. And still, for a few seconds my brain pretended not to speak English. My brain gave itself the false comfort of believing momentarily that a country invaded by an aggressive neighbor might not be short of coffins.
I was hauling bags in which soon would be buried people killed for being on the frontline, or just as likely for fighting on the line of fire defending and protecting our free Europe.
Ewa and Pia told me what body bags were and what they were for. I remembered. I knew. Of course, I knew what body bags were.
I was jolted again. This is real.
I’m only hauling body bags. My colleagues will carry them across the border and deliver them deep inside Ukraine. Someone I’ll never meet will bury their loved ones in them. This war is really happening. It is real. Or as Marcin, one of the volunteer leaders here, would say it, this shit is real.
Everyone at his own level is involved in supporting Ukraine on this side of the border. I guess, this is what resistance must have been during the second world war, apart from the fact that Poland is not being occupied. Not yet. But here, the fear of Poland being the next victim of Putin is real. One of many example is, walking in to a pharmacy looking for first aid kits, made us realise, once more, that this chain of solidarity is incredible. Pharmacies were calling each other to help us find this small essential. They are running out.
Poland is running out of safety and medical equipment to send across the border. Consider that we visited all the pharmacies around the city centre and we bought all that was left: 7 kits.
We have the duty to organise our own little resistance, to help Ukraine and its people. You can help helping sourcing supplies and organise shipping to foundations like Fundacja Zmieniamy Życie. Fighting can also be done out of the trenches, and hopefully, sooner rather than later, we will not need to carry body bags anymore.
If you can’t come here, your donation would help the effort. You can send your contribution here.