In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, many heartbreaking stories have come forth. From familes that have been torn to those who are still struggling. The Internet is full posts showing support, victims lashing out or grieving, mourners pouring their heart out, but what sets this post by Antoine Leiris apart is the earnestness with which he says “Vous n’aurez pas ma haine” (You will not have my hatred).
Leiris lost his wife during the Paris attacks on November 13. He has a 17-month-old child, and though he doesn’t seem to be very active on Facebook, on the evening of November 16, he sent out a very strong message through the social media platform. In a post that has been shared over a hundred-thousand times, the Parisienne writes: “On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional human being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred….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…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 free souls to which you’ll never have access.”
People across Facebook have responded to this heart-wrenchingly honest and brave post with equal feeling. Some expressing their solidarity, while others commending him for his courage. Leirsis writes about refusing to give the attackers the satisfaction of evoking hatred in him. He says that his son and he will go with their lives, happy, with the presence of his loving wife in all that do, even if she was taken away from him.
“You will not have my hatred”
On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional human 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.
So, no, I won’t give you the gift of hating you. You have it coming yet but respond to hatred by the anger that would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are. You want that I should be afraid, that I look at my fellow citizens with suspicioun, that I sacrifice my freedom for security. You have lost. Players still play.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as she was at the party this Friday night, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love more than 12 years ago. Of course, I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us everyday and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you’ll never have access.
We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. I do not have more time to devote to you. I must join Melvil who wakes up from his nap. He is 17 months old, he’ll eat his food like all days, then we’ll play like every day, and all his life this little boy will make you the affront to be happy and free. Because No, you won’t have his hatred either.