This Truly Is Amazing Grace

Hélène Muyal-Leiris

If there ever could be a modern definition for Amazing Grace, here it is.

In the aftermath of the Paris massacres on Nov. 13, a young man whose wife was among the 129 killed by terrorists posted a profound message on Facebook. The words of Antoine Leiris convey a message that all of us would do well to emulate.

This is what he had to say to the killers of his beautiful young wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris. Others have titled it: “I Will Not Give You The Gift of Hate”.

You won’t have my hate.

On Friday night you took the life of someone exceptional, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but I will not hate you. I do not know who you are and I do not want to know. You are dead inside. If the God for whom you blindly kill really made us in his image, then each bullet in my wife’s body is a wound to his heart.”

So I will not give you the gift of hate. Even though it is what you were hoping for, responding to hatred with anger would be to fall to the same ignorance that made you the people that you are. You want me to be scared, to distrust my fellow citizens, and to sacrifice my liberty for security. I will play on.”

She was as beautiful (in death) as she was when she left on Friday night, as beautiful as when I fell forever in love with her more than 12 years ago.

Of course I am devastated by grief, I will concede you that small victory, but that will not last long. I know that she will watch over us always and that, one-day, we will meet again in that paradise of free souls where you will never be admitted.

Now it’s just the two of us, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. In fact, I do not have any more time to waste on you, I need to go and get Melvil, who is waking up from his nap. He is only 17 months old, he will eat his afternoon tea as always and then we will go and play as always, and this little boy’s entire life will be an affront to you by being happy and free. For he will not hate you either.


Credit: Excerpt from an article in The New York Times on Nov. 17.

6 thoughts on “This Truly Is Amazing Grace

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