In a new Red Hand Files Q&A, Nick Cave has discussed feeling his late son Arthur’s presence, four years since the 15-year old’s death in 2015.
In the latest post, Cave is asked by a fan if he believes in signs. Another fan asks how it’s possible that, years after her husband’s death, she still feels him all around.
In his response, Cave explains his son’s love of ladybird beetles, and that the insects have appeared regularly in Cave’s life since Arthur’s death.
“Two days after our son died, Susie and I went to the cliff where he fell,” writes Cave in his answer. “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.”
“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 says.
“Since then Susie and I see ladybirds everywhere. When Warren [Ellis, of the 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.”
Arthur Cave died from injuries in 2015 after falling from a cliff in Brighton, UK.
It’s not the first time Cave has used the site to open up about mourning his son. Late last year, Cave penned a touching essay about his experiences in dealing with his son’s loss.