Ladybirds have become very special to rocker Nick Cave following his teenage son’s tragic death in 2015.
Arthur Cave died after falling from a cliff in East Sussex, England and his dad now reveals his late son’s childhood obsession with the red and black insects has become his – because they keep showing up in his life.
“Two days after our son died, (my wife) Susie and I went to the cliff where he fell,” Cave wrote in response to a fan’s query during a question-and-answer session on his website. “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.”
Cave went on to explain the insects have been present on several other significant occasions following his son’s death.
“We see ladybirds everywhere,” he added. “When Warren (Ellis) 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.”