by agony of Madeleine
The lives of
Kate and Gerry McCann are moving in ''opposite directions''
because they have developed strikingly different ways of coping
with the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.
living the life of a semi-recluse as she focuses on being a
stay-at-home mother, virtually shutting herself off from the
supportive community around her.
meanwhile, has thrown himself into working full time as a heart
specialist during the week, while running the campaign to find
four-year-old Madeleine in the evenings and at weekends.
fear that the strain they have been under for the last eight
months is putting a substantial burden on their once idyllic
Gerry appears to be as strong as ever but Kate is more fragile
and is becoming increasingly angry and frustrated by the lack of
a major breakthrough.
said: ''Kate is in a much worse frame of mind than Gerry is. She
always looks so haunted. They are totally united in everything
they do in their search to find Madeleine. But they are heading
in opposite directions in their way of handling it.''
shown no desire to go back to her part-time job as a GP and
cannot contemplate her dream of having another child while
Madeleine is still missing.
To occupy her
tormented mind, she devotes her time and energies to caring for
twins Sean and Amelie and has been busy planning a birthday
party for them on February 2. The twins will be three the day
she is split in two by the event Ė genuinely excited and happy
for her twins, while at the same time knowing that for a large
part of that day her mind will in reality be centred on her
absent child Madeleine. Like Christmas, it will be an emotional
milestone, a hurdle to be overcome as well as an event to enjoy.
and emotional agony theyíre going through is unbearable,'' said
another friend. ''We worry thatís itís putting a strain on their
is slowly adjusting to life without his daughter, Kate battles
for a sense of normality and has become almost reclusive,
haunted by visions of Madeleine.
admitted: ''I still have moments of panic. Madeleine is
irreplaceable and I just want her back. Itís not about me, itís
not about Gerry, itís about Madeleine. Every day Iím hoping we
wonít get to the next day without her.''
Kate, 39, goes into Madeleineís pretty pink bedroom and prays
for her. Often she weeps for her cherished daughter. And during
the night she wakes up and senses that Madeleine has come back
Susan Healy revealed: ''Sometimes she sees visions of Madeleine.
Then she realises Madeleine is still missing and Kate is
absolutely devastated, hysterical and bereft.''
to believe Portuguese police claims that Madeleine is dead,
desperately clinging to the hope that one day the family will be
commentator recently said that Kate has been physically
transformed by grief and that her back, shoulders, hands and
mouth are now ''reshaped into the angular manifestation of a
mother-in-law Eileen McCann admitted: ''A piece of Kateís heart
has been torn away and I worry about how she is coping. She
looks so frail and so desperate.
determined to give the twins as normal an upbringing as possible
in the circumstances.''
maintaining a normal face is proving to be increasingly
difficult as a hidden anger swells inside Kate. A family source
said: ''She is angry about all the untrue, hurtful allegations
being made in Portugal. And she is frustrated because the whole
investigation is taking so long. She may come across as weak and
weepy but sheís strong inside.''
Gerry dresses in a smart suit to go to work at Leicesterís
Glenfield Hospital, while casually-clothed Kate makes meals for
the twins, tidies the house and on Wednesdays and Thursdays does
the nursery school run.
mother used to help her with domestic duties and babysitting but
it is understood Kate no longer uses her services.
returning home from Portugal four months ago, the family has had
a constant stream of relatives and friends visiting. They also
help out with cooking and cleaning.
much of her time behind closed doors at her £500,000 detached
house in Rothley, Leics. She spends hours sifting through the
masses of mail that still arrives every day.
donations, from £10 to £100, presents for Madeleine and boxes of
rosary beads and other religious artefacts are sent from around
the world. Devout Catholics Kate and Gerry take great comfort in
praying for Madeleine at the Sacred Heart church, just a
five-minute stroll from their home.
It is one of
the few times Kate is seen in public. She attends mass every
Sunday with her family and often takes the twins to a Tuesday
abandoned the village routine she once shared with Madeleine.
She no longer has her hair styled at Dawn Newcombeís salon,
which she regularly visited with Madeleine. Her mother normally
takes the twins for haircuts when she is staying.
joined her shortly before Christmas, she fought back tears as
she watched the youngsters take turns to sit in the seat
Madeleine used to have.
One of the
stylists said: ''She was almost in tears as she watched them and
my heart went out to her.''
avoids her favourite coffee shop, where an excited Madeleine
once sipped hot chocolate topped with marshmallows.
are both official suspects but vehemently deny any involvement
in their daughterís disappearance.
he will never see Madeleine again, saying: ''I know now,
probably, the chances of getting Madeleine back are slim.''