Nick Cave heartbroken over death of their "beautiful, loving, happy boy".

It’s the sort of intrusive question that must surely wake singer Nick Cave and his wife Susie Bick from their sleep.

As they struggle with the utter senselessness of their son Arthur’s death the question that must haunt them is surely ‘what if, what if, what if’?

Arthur Cave was 15 when he and a friend decided to take LSD in July this year.

Arthur was just 15.

He fell to his death from a 60 ft cliff after taking the drug for the first time.

He was not the first teen to take risks. He won’t be the last.

At the inquest into his death yesterday the coroner said: “Some time was taken to do research beforehand but the long and short of it is that the drug was taken. It was taken by lads who were inquiring and experimenting which kids do all the time.

“It would horrify us parents if we knew, but we will never know as they get away with it.”

And that is the terrible, horrible truth. Teens do take risks. It’s part of growing up. And most of the time we parents do not know they are tasking these risks.

Arthur Cave took a risk. Most teenagers do.

The risk is taken. Fate does not intervene. The next day they are warm and safe in their beds. They go on to their next adventure. They finish school. They get a job. Maybe they raise a family. Hopefully they grow old.

But not Arthur Cave.

In Nick and Susie’s shoes I would ask myself over and over again. What if, what if, what if?

What if the boys had not chosen a cliff-top location,  naively believing it to be ‘safe and open’?

What if they had tried the drug with someone who was not using it and was there to keep them safe? Better yet, what if they had not  tried it at all?

What if, as parents must wonder, we had done differently? Should we have talked more to him about drugs? Talked less? Listened more? What if, what if, what if.

This is not to suggest Nick Cave and his wife are to blame. That’s just wrong. But it underlines how difficult it must be for a parent not to wonder, what could I have done?

The pair has spoken of their heartbreak at the death of their “beautiful, loving, happy boy”.

“This is not to suggest Nick Cave and his wife are to blame. That’s untrue. But it underlines how difficult it must be for a parent not to wonder, what could I have done?”

And if you took away the flash of cameras as they emerged from the inquest into Arthur’s death, they were not an indi rock star and his glamorous wife. They were parents so distressed by their son’s death they had to leave the room as details of his fatal injuries were heard.

They were all of us. They were everyone.

They were two people wondering “what if, what if, what if.”

But sadly in death there are no second chances. And now their lovely, risk-taking son is dead. No matter how many times they wish it wasn’t so.

Our heart goes out to them. And tonight we go home to hold our own children close, as we think “what if?”