Antoine Leiris’ wife was killed in the massacre at the Bataclan theatre in Paris on Friday night, where 88 other people were also killed while attending a concert.
“Friday night you stole the life of a being of exception, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred,” says Leiris, in a post on Facebook.
In the incredibly touching and brave post, he writes about his wife: “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, as beautiful as when I fell madly in love with her more than 12 years ago.”
Leiris and his wife have a 17-month-old son.
“We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world,” Leiris said. “If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.”
The Parisian says he refuses to give the killers a feeling of victory by hating them.
“No I won’t make you this gift of hating you …Of course I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of souls free to which you’ll never have access.”
Leiris adds that he refuses to be afraid, either. “You have it coming, but to respond to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are. You want me to be afraid, to look at my fellow citizens suspiciously, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You lose. The player still plays.”
As for the little boy who will never again see his mother: “..we will play like every other day and all his life this little boy will dare to be happy and free. Because No, you won’t have his hatred either.”
Here’s the full translated post:
“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.
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.”
Six attacks, later claimed by terror organisation Isis, across the French capital claimed 129 peoples’ lives on Friday. In response President Francois Hollande has extended the country’s state of emergency and declared “France is at war.”