Nick Cave felt possessive over grief


Nick Cave was "deeply possessive" over his son's death.

The Bad Seeds frontman's son Arthur, 15, fell off a cliff near the family's home in Brighton in 2015 and died from his injuries and Nick has admitted he and wife Susie Bick struggled with the fact the tragic accident impacted on everyone who lived in the area.

In a Q and A session on The Red Hand Files, he was asked for advice on coping with grief by a fan named Hannah whose mother had been killed and he wrote: "The tragedy of my son's death is inscribed into the collective consciousness of the town where we live and where he died. I have had to learn to share the reality of his passing with the town itself, because it affected us all.

"I doubt there was a mother in Brighton who did not feel a chill of horror and cling to her own children a little tighter upon hearing the news of Arthur's senseless accident. But Arthur was our child, our own flesh and blood; Susie and I didn't want to share him with anyone, and we were deeply possessive over his absence."

But eventually, the couple grew to "understand" that Arthur was mourned by their wider community and a lot of people shared the feelings he and Susie had.

He continued: "It took us some time to understand that, while he belonged to us, he belonged to the world too.

"In time, we understood that, although we were the ultimate custodians of Arthur's memory, he was in fact mourned by many and many people felt outraged at the cruelty and randomness of the event, just as we did.

"Susie and I, individually and together had to find a way to be with Arthur, but also to share him with a multitude."

The 62-year-old rocker and his wife were eventually able to find their own place to grieve Arthur and have a "necessary and ongoing conversation" with him.

Hannah's mother was killed by a white supremacist in an attack on a synagogue and Nick told her that her anger was both "justified" and "essential" as she mourns her parent.

He wrote: "It feels to me that the meaning exists within the anger. Not only is your anger justified, it is compassionate and essential and, as you said, connects you to your mother, even as those around you take possession of her, eclipsing your feelings with their own needs.

"The righteous energy of your anger is the flaming sword you hold above your mother's memory. It may be the very thing that protects her, shielding her from the suffocating demands of the world. Perhaps, at this time, your anger is a way of safekeeping the spirit of your mother, of caring for her, of seeking her, of calling her to you. It is a pure and holy anger."