Leader comment: Tragedy shows fragility of our social networks

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What is it that keeps each of us anchored in society?

Most of us have family and friends that we rely on, a job perhaps, possibly clubs, societies or sports teams we belong to, and neighbours who expect to see us.

Huma Iqbal, whose story we tell today based on interviews with grieving friends, had many of those things.

A good job, a husband and son, friends living nearby who cared about her, and seemingly every reason to feel positive about the future.

The breakdown of her marriage, depression and losing custody of her son saw Huma’s world fall apart.

It is sobering to see how easily her life disintegrated. The fact she was living thousands of miles from most of her family was clearly a factor, but it is still frightening how quickly she effectively fell off the radar.

The city council is investigating whether there was more that they might have been able to do to intervene. Her loyal friends will inevitably question whether there was anything more they might have done. The answer to those questions is sometimes no.

Her terribly sad death though reminds us all of the importance and occassional fragility of care networks, whether family, friends or local authority.