The husband of a woman killed in the Bataclan Concert Hall Attack on Friday wrote an emotional tribute to his wife, which he posted to Facebook. The man promised to honor his wife’s legacy by refusing to hate her killers and raising their son to be “happy and free.”
Helene Muyal-Leiris was among the 89 killed in the Bataclan concert hall, leaving behind her husband Antoine Leiris and the couple’s 17-month-old son Melvil. Antoine and Helene met twelve years ago, and Antoine called Helene the “love of his life” in his emotional Facebook tribute to her.
In his powerful letter, Antoine Leiris paid tribute to his wife and communicated his great sorrow, but refused to hate his wife’s killers.
“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,” said Leiris in his passionate and powerful message.
Leiris’s full message was only four paragraphs long, but perfectly captured the resilient spirit of a man who refuses to give into fear and hate. The message, translated into English, reads:
“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.”
Featured image via Flickr