Did you see the Facebook post by Frenchman Antoine Leiris after his wife Helene was killed in the attack on the Bataclan nightclub in Paris? What extraordinary strength, love and valor. Some media outlets shortened his post to omit that his wife’s spirit visited him just before he wrote this. Here is the full version –
“You will not have my hatred. Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son. But you won’t have my hatred. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are lost souls. If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, then every bullet you put in the body of my wife is a wound in his heart.
“So no. I don’t make you the gift of hating you. You obviously sought it, but responding to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be afraid and look at my fellow citizens with suspicion, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You lost.
“I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as she was when she left on Friday evening to go to the club. Just as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years ago.
“Of course I’m devastated with grief. I will give you this small victory. But it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day now and that we will find each other again in a paradise of free souls, which you’ll never enter. We are just two people, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. I have no more time for you, I must join Melvil who is waking from his nap. He is just 17 months old. He’ll eat his snack as usual, then we’ll play as usual; and every day this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom. Because you won’t have his hatred either.” – Antoine Leiris