“Do you believe in signs?”: Nick Cave discusses son’s death in new fan Q&A

"We were unaware of grief’s particular appetites"

Nick Cave has opened up on how he can still feel the presence of his late son, some four years after the teenager’s tragic passing.

Arthur Cave died aged 15 after he fell from a cliff in Ovingdean, East Sussex in July 2015.

While the Bad Seeds singer first spoke about his son’s death in the 2016 documentary One More Time With Feeling, he has again used his fan Q&A site Red Hand Files to discuss how his son’s love of ladybird beetles has proved to be unexpectedly prescient.

Responding to a fan who explained how she constantly feels the presence of her late husband, Cave explained his son’s deep affinity with the insects and how he spotted one when he visited the site of Arthur’s death for the first time.

“Two days after our son died, Susie and I went to the cliff where he fell,” wrote Cave. “Now, when Arthur was a small child, he always, always, had a thing about ladybird beetles. He loved them. He drew them. He identified with them. He constantly talked about them.

“As we sat there, a ladybird landed on Susie’s hand. We both saw it, but said nothing, because even though we recognised the sad significance of it, we were not about to belittle the enormity of the tragedy with some sentimental display of magical thinking. But we were new to grief.”

Cave went on to explain how the insects have been present on several other significant occasions as a result of his son’s passing.

Nick Cave
Nick Cave

“We were unaware of grief’s particular appetites. When we returned home, as I was opening the door to our house, another ladybird landed on my hand,” he said.

“Since then Susie and I see ladybirds everywhere. When Warren [Ellis, Bad Seeds]  and I were working on the last album a plague of ladybirds came into the studio.

“I don’t know what to make of this phenomenon, but each time I see a ladybird I receive a kind of jolt of recognition that something is at play beyond my comprehension, even though it is, in all probability, just ladybird season.”

This comes after a previous Red Right Hand Files response last year saw Cave open up about how he communicates with his late son.

Another recent entry saw Cave suggesting that a Grinderman reunion could be on the horizon, as well as speaking out on Morrissey’s controversial political opinions.

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