Not for the first time in her life, Sharon Osbourne is facing angry backlash for outspoken comments she made on her US chat show, The Talk. She branded the parents of Madeleine McCann “insane” for leaving their three-year-old alone in a hotel room on the night she went missing.
“They left their baby in the room sleeping, sleeping while they had dinner in the restaurant,” Sharon said. “While they were in the resort their baby was taken. And it’s like ‘Oh but we can see everything that is going on and it’s like, insane’”.
A family friend says Sharon’s comments hurt the McCanns; “It’s very disappointing when someone with such a high profile makes this sort of ignorant, ill-informed comment.”
No one wants the McCanns to hurt or suffer any more than they already have – but isn’t the tormenting truth that Sharon’s comment wasn’t ignorant or ill-informed?
Madeleine’s father Gerry has openly said, “We made a mistake, but we are paying more for it than anyone could ever possibly imagine.”
There are two elements to his heartbreaking words. First, his acceptance that they made a mistake; an act or judgement that is misguided, often referred to as a moment of insanity. And the ongoing suffering, which no one is belittling or questioning for a second.
It’s impossible to even begin to imagine the harrowing sleepless nights they have endured, boiling anger that has sparked tears of frustration and streamed regret down their cheeks and into their pillows. Such all-consuming guilt is unfathomable.
We don’t have a time machine to go back and change the decisions that were made on that fateful night in May 2007 when the McCanns closed the door to their apartment in Portugal not knowing that their beautiful daughter would not be there when they returned.
We can’t unwind the exhausting hours her heartbroken parent’s minds have looped with painful ‘What ifs…’ and ‘If onlys…’. They more than anyone would change their decision if they could, but they can’t.
What is shocking is that nine years after Madeleine McCanns disappearance we haven’t learnt from this utterly gut-wrenching, distressing, heartbreaking loss and are still debating whether it’s ok to leave children alone at home while they’re sleeping.