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'Next to Nothing' v 'madeleine'

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'Next to Nothing' v 'madeleine'

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 28.09.17 13:03


Written by Mikki Wells, one of the admin on CMOMM facebook

Mikki Wells
Admin · 6 hrs

Soon I will write a series of posts giving my thoughts on 'madeleine' by Kate McCann, the title of which even my autocorrect keeps wanting to change to a capital M.

I am finding it extremely difficult to read this book, and keep having to re-read passages or even entire chapters. But I am determined to make it to the end, because of its stark contrast to another book I read a few years ago, also about the loss of a child, "Next to Nothing" by Chris Agee.

Chris Agee lost his four year old daughter suddenly in 2001, and he expressed his grief through poetry in the years after. The poetry tends to be sparse and, as you'd expect, powerfully poignant, and his emotions are beautifully conveyed in even the briefest poem (one of which is simply the title: "incommunicable").

Just as a first point of contrast, Kate McCann devotes the entire first chapter of her book, all 11 pages, to her husband, and even calls it "Gerry". The next chapter, thoughtfully entitled "Madeleine", gets just under 11 pages, and is still bursting with self-references (just count the "I"s, "me"s, "we"s and "my"s!), and it mainly focuses on the struggle to conceive her, the fact she wasn't born a boy, how beautiful she was, and her "vocal range".

If anyone who has lost a child is given the precious opportunity to write and publish a book to a potential audience of millions in honour of their lost child, this would (or should) be taken to create the ultimate, impassioned, respectful and touching tribute to the person you miss with all your aching heart. The words don't need to be perfect. You don't have to be a skilled writer. You just feel those feelings and you get them down on paper, with candour, through your tears. You *honour* that person on every page. The person whose absence from your life creates a void more painful and eviscerating than you ever thought possible. The person whose exquisite character and uniqueness fills your memories with such an unendurable combination of bittersweet joy and crippling agony that you can barely function through the grief most days.

Kate McCann actually admits that the main reason (or deciding factor) for writing her book was not so much as a tribute to her missing daughter but predominantly to put across "her account of the truth" and to "ensure we have adequate funding for the long term". So there you have it, and just in case you doubt a parent can be so cold, it's printed in black and white in the foreword of her book.

I will leave you with a small selection of Chris Agee's shortest poetic tributes to his beloved daughter, who would now be 20 years old if she were alive.







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Re: 'Next to Nothing' v 'madeleine'

Post by JRP on 28.09.17 13:36

They did lose Madeleine though, so how did they get over the loss so quickly, and why write a book when it's all me me me and him him him, and why the lower case "m"?

No red flags here though  specs

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Re: 'Next to Nothing' v 'madeleine'

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 28.09.17 13:43

To lose a child suddenly must be one of the most traumatic events a parent can suffer.

To lose a child after a long illness would be horrendous enough, but at least you would know it was coming and could mentally prepare, even if it was done subconsciously.

So, yes, how did they get over their loss so quickly?

Losing a child is no laughing matter, yet most of the time that's all we see from them, even in the early days.

I'm afraid I keep going back to my original thought - that it was pre-planned.
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Re: 'Next to Nothing' v 'madeleine'

Post by JRP on 28.09.17 14:18

I can see where you're coming from, and, if or when it all comes out, I wouldn't be surprised if you're right.
Lucky then that they had the apartment they had, otherwise if they'd have been located on another floor, or not near the road, the whole abduction story wouldn't have the sense of realism it has  big grin

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