“I won’t give you the gift of hating you” – Antoine Leiris’ powerful tribute to his wife, who died in the Bataclan during the #ParisAttacks bbc.in/1NbYE0q
Posted by BBC News on Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Antoine Leiris lost his wife Helene in the attack on the Bataclan in Paris. He wrote a tribute to her on Facebook that’s been shared thousands of times since. The video above was made by the BBC, so Leiris could put a voice to his beautiful words. Here they are:
“On Friday night, you stole away 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’re dead souls. 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.
Therefore I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it, but responding to it with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that made you what you are. You want me to be afraid, to cast a mistrusting eye on my fellow citizens, to sacrifice my freedom for security?
I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as she was when she left on Friday, as beautiful as when I fell madly in love with her more than 12 years ago. Of course I’m devastated with grief, I will give you that tiny victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will join us every day and that we will find ourselves in the paradise of souls free to which you’ll never have access.
We are two, my son and I, but we are more powerful than all the world’s armies. In any case, I have no more time to waste on you. I need to get back to Melvil who is waking up from his afternoon nap. He’s just 17 months old. He’ll eat his snack like every day, then we’ll play like every day and every day of his life, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.
Because you don’t have his hatred either.”
— Antoine Leiris