“I will not grant you the gift of my hatred.”
That’s what Antoine Leiris, a Parisian whose wife was killed in the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday, wrote in a powerful Facebook status three days after the tragedy. His wife, 35-year-old hair and makeup artist Helene Muyal-Leiris, was killed in the Bataclan concert hall on Friday, HuffPost France reported Monday. Muyal-Leiris leaves behind her husband and one 17-month-old son, Melvil.
Throughout his post, Leiris addresses an unnamed person or group of people in the second person. On Saturday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, and French President Francois Hollande vowed a “merciless” response.
The post was translated from French, and edited for clarity:
YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATRED
Friday night, you took an exceptional life — the love of my life, the mother of my son — but you will not have my hatred. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.
So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred. You’re asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by this pain, I give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.
We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.
As of Monday afternoon, over 35,000 people on Facebook had shared Leiris’ post and over 100 had commented. Read the full entry in French below: