Like everyone else I’ve been switching the news on every morning hoping to God that this four year old girl has been found. Madeleine is the same age as my daughter. Is there anything that strikes at the heart of society like the story of a missing child?
The loss of a child pierces right through us all. I wonder what happening in early 20th Century Ireland prompted Yeats to write that poem. I think it's a lot more than Irish mythology, personally.
In today’s society we are still holding onto dreams and hopes that Madeleine has been taken by a person desperate to have a child but who is essentially looking after her. Maybe a mother who has lost their own child has taken Madeleine out of deranged grief. Maybe she has been taken by someone who has sold Madeleine to a childless couple. We hope that although stolen she is being cared for at the very least.
Out of those hopes we pray that the person who has taken her might come to their senses and leave her somewhere to be found by the police and be returned to her parents. But of course underneath we all fear the worst, but we don’t even want to say the P or the M words, as if it’s tempting fate. We just can’t go there yet.
The McCanns' attempts to keep the Madeleine “story” on the front page is all they can do to have some measure of control over the situation. The more they do to get the cameras clicking, the more column inches will be devoted to their daughter and the more her image will stay in the public eye. They have been orchestrating press conferences, daily photo opportunities masquerading as walks along the beach and to church.
Yesterday they generated even more press by visiting the Pope. Visiting the Pope, of course won’t directly help find Madeleine ,but it will guarantee that the McCanns stay on the front pages for another day at least.
It is a brave step they are taking in conducting this massive media campaign. Keeping it together whilst watched by the media must be incredibly difficult. Having to face the undoubted questions about their actions on the night Madeleine was taken must be even worse. We have all asked ourselves the question, “Would I have left my three children alone in an apartment?” Some people have been less than kind in their responses.
If the person who has stolen Madeleine ever thought about giving themselves up, the intense media coverage may just be the reason they have decided not to come forward so far. What if this person realises they have made a mistake? What if they are ill and mentally unstable anyway?
What if Madeleine is with a person who has taken Madeleine out of grief, post natal depression, or mental instability?
See the Madeleine McCann site here: