The hunt goes
on for Madeleine McCann
KATE and Gerry
McCann spent the saddest Christmas Day of their lives yesterday,
consoled by the help of specialist grief counsellors.
their hardest to hide their anguish as they took their
two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie to Mass.
As they passed
the heartbreaking milestone of their first Christmas without
her, they vowed they would “never give up hope” in the hunt for
But the two
psychologists who have helped them deal with their tragic loss
were nearby to help them cope with the trauma of spending the
day apart from their daughter.
chose to spend the Christmas holiday with her cousin Anne-Marie
Wright, 43, in Skipton, North Yorks which hosts the HQ of the
Centre for Crisis Psychology.
Alan Pike and
Martin Alderton from the centre flew to Portugal soon after the
youngster vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia
da Luz on May 3. They have played a vital behind-the-scenes role
ever since, both in helping the couple deal with the aftermath
of the crime and the devastation of being made official
Writing on his
blog, cardiologist Gerry McCann, 39, described the “misery” of
their “dreadful situation”.
But he said
the family had been touched by messages of support, cards and
presents from all over the world.
will be a very quiet affair for our family without Madeleine.
“Madeleine should not be spending Christmas away from her loving
who took Madeleine has it in their power to end our suffering
and will be able to appease their conscience that they have done
the right thing – especially at this time of year.”
McCanns joined Anne-Marie Wright and her husband Michael for a
Christmas Day Mass at St Stephen’s Church in Skipton.
looked after twins Sean and Amelie while the McCanns went on an
awareness-raising trip to Morocco.
and Gerry swung Sean between them as his sister skipped along
beside the couple as they left church.
trousers and a beige quilted coat, Kate – still bearing a drawn
and haunted look in her eyes – did her best to make the big day
as normal as possible for the twins.
at the church on the fringe of the Yorkshire Dales said: “The
twins appeared to have been given dolls for Christmas and both
were clutching their toys as they headed to church.
Gerry were doing their best to put on a united display for the
youngsters, but not having Madeleine by their side must have
been tearing them apart.
“The look in
Kate’s eyes said it all – she was a mother who just wants to be
reunited with her daughter for Christmas.
Madeleine back would give the family the most fantastic New Year
after all the heartache of 2007.”
No one from
the trauma centre was available for comment yesterday.
Alan has revealed how he’d helped the couple come to terms with
He said: “The
aim is to help them to understand what is happening to them
physically and emotionally, because it can be debilitating.
them to focus on what needs to be done.”
His boss Keith
Tasker added: “We cannot fix it for them. We know that and they
“There are all
the ‘if onlys’ and ‘what ifs’ — what if we had done that or said
that. We help them to come to terms with those thoughts.’”
In Praia da
Luz, prayers were said for Madeleine at the local church where
Kate and Gerry spent much of their time in the weeks following
their daughter’s disappearance.
Father Haynes Hubbard, who became close friends with the family,
said: “Madeleine is always in our thoughts, in our hearts and in
our prayers, but especially so at Christmas.
“She is not
forgotten here in Praia da Luz.”