Grieving widower Antoine Leiris lost his wife and the mother of his baby, Helene Muyal-Leiris, in the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan theatre in Paris. He took to Facebook to pour out his grief in a moving letter to the terrorists, saying “I will not give you the gift of hating you.”
The post has been shared thousands of times and went even more crazily viral when he read it aloud in a video for BBC News, translated into English.
In his letter, Leiris said he’s devastated by Helene’s death. He described her to NBC News as “the most fiery brunette in the world, with huge eyes and kindness.”
He said that his grief is the only “little victory” the terrorists who killed so many in Paris will have, because he refuses to give them his 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,” Leiris continued.
Leiris didn’t expect his Facebook post to attract so much attention.
“I didn’t know it would touch so much people, and so deeply,” Leiris said. He continued, “I was really touched by the messages I received. Really, deeply … I never imagined that I can be so moved by these messages.”
Sigh. The only problem with this is that nothing moves these animals who commit these horrific acts of terror. However, by putting his own grief out there so eloquently, Leiris unselfishly comforts us all. And he understands that.
Leiris said he initially posted the letter to Facebook to serve as a reminder to himself not to succumb to anger, but now he realizes “the words belong to everybody — everybody owns it, they’re not mine. Read it for you, for your kids.” (NBC News)