Alan Pike warned us that we would lose some good friends as a result of our tragedy. On the plus side, new people would come into our lives, and we might unexpectedly grow closer to friends who had previously been more peripheral.
He was 100 per cent right. Some relationships have drifted for reasons which haven’t always been apparent. As upsetting and surprising as this has been, we’ve learned to accept that it’s not unusual in such circumstances, and there is every chance these friendships might be rekindled in the future.
From the start it was difficult to talk to anyone who hadn’t been intimately involved with what happened. It felt as if they didn’t really understand or, in some cases, simply had no concept of what our life was like now
Cynics will argue that we ‘courted’ the media (God, how I detest that expression).
If by this they mean that we enlisted their help to spread the word that our daughter had been stolen and we were desperate to find her, then we hold our hands up.
Every decision we have made in the last four years, and every encounter with the press, has been undertaken in Madeleine’s interests, not in ours. What would these critics have done if it was their child? Hidden away and hoped for the best?
What would you do?