Three-year-old Shaista (with her family) was in the hospital. She was was the sole survivor of the ICU attack Photograph: Aurelie Baumel/MSF
Back home now in Australia, I sip a cappuccino in a caf overlooking the ocean. I hear a plane above but dont bother to look up there is no need I know it is just a standard commercial plane and I am safe. How easy it is to adjust to the luxury of peace. My eyes tear up as the raw grief I feel tugs at my heart. And the patients. Oh, the patients. So many bright young lives ripped viciously from this world. But its so much more than that; its the grief of the families of those lost on 3 October; its the grief of all the Kunduz people who have suffered so many losses over their long history of conflict; its the loss of the four years of hard work by both the national and international staff to make the hospital what it was.
Every day the hospital is a burnt-out shell is a day that could have seen dozens of lives saved and hundreds of patients treated. What will the survivors and future injured patients of Kunduz do? Who will save the lives of all the people needing complex trauma care? Who will put their crumpled bodies back together? I can only force my mind to move on before I fall too far into that bottomless dark pit of loss.