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Nick Cave Shares Beautiful Open Letter About Communicating With His Late Son

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Nick Cave has shared a beautiful open letter in response to a fan who asked if he communicated with his late son. 

The Bad Seeds frontman wrote heartbreakingly of how he still speaks with Arthur, three years on from his death. 


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Nick Cave

Nick’s son died at the age of 15 after falling off a cliff near Brighton, with Nick telling of how he is still dealing with his grief now. 

Responding to a fan Q&A on his website The Red Hand Flies, Nick thanked them for their “beautiful question”, saying: “It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined,” Cave wrote first about his experience in dealing with grief.

“Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves. We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe.

“Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence.

“These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.”

Nick went on to explain that he “feels the presence of my son, all around, but he may not be there”.

“I hear him talk to me, parent me, guide me, though he may not be there,” he said. “He visits Susie in her sleep regularly, speaks to her, comforts her, but he may not be there. Dread grief trails bright phantoms in its wake. These spirits are ideas, essentially. They are our stunned imaginations reawakening after the calamity.


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Nick with wife Susie

“Like ideas, these spirits speak of possibility. Follow your ideas, because on the other side of the idea is change and growth and redemption. Create your spirits. Call to them. Will them alive. Speak to them. It is their impossible and ghostly hands that draw us back to the world from which we were jettisoned; better now and unimaginably changed.”

Nick has previously been open about the effect of Arthur’s death, exploring it in the 2016 documentary film ‘One More Time With Feeling’, and on his album ‘Skeleton Tree’. 

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