I don’t want to dissect the event. I don’t need to know how they died or how much they suffered.
I don’t want to know about the bodies strewn in the streets.
I don’t want to share photos. I don’t want to read eyewitness accounts of the horror. I don’t want to hear about the screams. I don’t want to picture the blood.
I don’t want to see babies lying in the street.
I don’t want to legitimize the terror they want us to feel.
I don’t want to know the name of the guy in the truck.
I don’t care what he did it for. I don’t want to see his face in the papers. I don’t want to speak his name. I don’t need to know where he came from. I don’t give a sh*t who he was.
I don’t want him to become somebody.
I want him to fade into obscurity. I want him to be forgotten. I want him to be ash. I want murderers to be anonymous. I want to refuse them attention. I want to deny them glory.
I want to discredit them.
I want to invalidate them.
I want to grieve for the lives lost. I want us to remember them—only them. I want to know who they were. I want to celebrate what they left behind. I want to save their dignity. I want to weep for the children and their parents. I want to embrace their loved ones and say I’m so sorry. I want to be in France and never leave.
I want to do everything we can to keep living.
I want the murderers who have nothing to live for to know that we have everything to live for and every reason to live. I want them to know there’s nothing they can do to us that will make us stop believing in living, and loving, and laughing, and drinking, and dancing, and singing, and eating, and playing, and enjoying the sun on our naked skin, and skipping home in the middle of the night, and listening to music, and sitting on a terrace with a glass of wine, and enjoying fireworks with our loved ones, and celebrating our freedom.
I want them to know we are living and loving, unafraid and unstoppable.
That is all they need to know. That is all I need to know.
Author: Meera Innes
Image: The Awkward Yeti (Used with permission)
Editors: Renée Picard; Emily Bartran