The onslaught of compassion and outreach after the deadly series of attacks in Paris (that took 129 lives) has been enormous and heart-wrenching. One of the most beautiful reactions to losing his wife in the worst of the attacks—at the Bataclan Theatre, where the attackers took hostages and had a stand-off with the French police—came from Antoine Leiris, who wrote a piece called You Will Not have My Hatred as an ode to his wife, and a response toISIL.
His words, translated from French are beautifully moving—but ring true and have a deeply important message. "You will not have my hatred. 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. 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."
But, amidst his calm and thoughtful retaliation, he says the kind of thing that'll bring tears to your eyes and make you believe in the power of love, above all else.
"I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when it is a party this Friday night, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years. Of course, I'm devastated with grief, I give you this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves in paradise with free souls, to which you'll never have access."