After visiting Ukraine, Romania and Slovakia, first lady Jill Biden writes about the inescapable pain of the Ukrainian mothers she met with -- and why Vladimir Putin must end this brutal, senseless war now.
You cannot go into a war zone and not come away unchanged. You don't have to see the sorrow with your eyes because you can feel it with your heart.
The thing about grief is that it veils one's face. It's like a haze has descended. The tears of the mothers stay permanently on the edges of their eyes, as if they can barely contain their sadness. They grasp their children's hands or touch their hair as if they can't bear to lose the physical connection. They wear brave faces, but their emotion is portrayed in the slope of their shoulders, the nervousness in their bodies.
Something is missing -- laughter, a common language among women.
The Ukrainian mothers at the Romanian and Slovak schools I visited told me about the horrors of the bombs that fell night after night as they sought to find refuge during their journey westward. Many had to live days without food and sunlight, harbored in basements underground........