The most heartrending thing I have ever seen
A child without parents, stumbling on a freezing Ukrainian street
Please don’t look away. You have to see this.
I’m watching cable news, it’s midday, reporters are covering Putin’s war. The camera focuses on a child in the middle distance.
He’s probably three.
It’s cold so someone has dressed him appropriately. His little hat is still on his head. He’s completely clothed, all you can see is his face. His clear blue eyes are wide and staring. Whomever took the footage kneels down -now they’re at eye level with this lost child.
His face is bruised and bloody. A red smear covers one pink cheek, dirt clumps across his forehead, under his neck. You can see his mouth is trembling. He’s stumbling forward towards the camera. But he’s not looking where he’s going. His eyes are hollow, unfocused. He’s putting one foot in front of the other, the way small children do, clumsily, half walk, half stumble. He’s clearly in shock. He’s moving because he has nothing else to do. He’s crying but I can’t see any tears, his face is twisted in sorrow.
There are very few people on the broken road. Two old women, heads tied up with scarves limp ahead, their eyes are cast down. They’re not looking at him, not at all. Around them, everything has been destroyed. There are no buildings, no trees, no signs of civilization, only wreckage. Pieces of burnt out cars, shattered bricks. The camera blurs out broken bodies scattered in the rubble.
No one is with this lost child. Whoever dressed him is not with him. Whoever should have been there to hold his little hands can’t be there; no one would leave a child this young alone. Whoever loved him can’t protect him. Can’t feed him. Can’t take care of him. So he walks alone.
He can’t know where he’s going. He’s too young to understand anything more than mommy and daddy aren’t there. Not anymore. No one is there to tell him it will be all right, to simply care for him. He’s completely and utterly alone. It’s cold. Soon it will be night. What will happen to him? Sweet Jesus, I can’t take this. I… hate that this is us. That this is what we are capable of, this is how low we can go. And this is only the beginning.
For the love of God, what are we doing with our humanity?
Do we even deserve to continue as a species?
My heart fucking breaks.