So You Want To Know The Cause of Avicii’s Death?

Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii. (image via Rolling Stone)

The first time I heard Avicii was seven years ago. In the shower. I remember feeling the water, then the music. It hit me with a rush, filling up my body with every beat, pulsing inside me to the point where I couldn’t distinguish between the rhythm and my own heartbeat.

The Life of The Boy Who Became Avicii

Young teenage Tim Bergling, en route to becoming Avicii.

Less than a year after that, Avicii was onstage alongside Madonna.

Madonna and Avicii. (image via EMDsauce)

He couldn’t say “no.”

“When I started touring I was eighteen years old. I was straight out of high school, I had shows every single day. I completely overdid it.” -Avicii

“I looked at myself like, “Fuck, you should’ve really stood up for yourself more there. Come on, Tim!” Why didn’t I stop the ship earlier?” -Avicii

(image via Bild: Leutgeb Entertainment Group GmbH)

“It’s very easy to become too attached to partying. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.” -Avicii

The signs began, softly at first, as they always do. If you ignore them, they become louder. They whisper, they speak, they shout, and finally, they scream.

A photo of tired 24-year-old Tim Bergling (image via Twitter)
Avicii during one of his hospitalizations (image via FaceBook)

Ominous Foreshadowing

The Miami hospitalization was a screaming sign, demanding attention after so many subtler ones were ignored: It’s time to do something different, or else you’re going to die.

Avicii recovering on the beach in Miami after his pancreas and gall bladder surgery. (image via SplashNews)

“I’m happy I got that hospital visit now, ’cause if not I probably would have still kept going and in a year or two years probably something way worse could have happened. Something that’s irreversible. This is not irreversible at all. It was just kind of a wake-up call.” -Avicii

And with that letter, Avicii said goodbye to live touring. (image via Twitter)

“I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist.” -Tim Bergling/Avicii

It began and it ended with family. (via Instagram)

After his last live show, Tim headed to Africa to celebrate his 27th birthday:

Tim unwinding in his new environment by celebrating his birthday in Africa (via Instagram)

And onward to reminiscing about quality time with his parents, reading, and mastering Monopoly on an island:

From the islands, returning to his home in Los Angeles, to his beloved pup Liam, a day out riding rollercoasters, and making music:

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” -Avicii, quoting Dolly Parton

Tim’s 2017 unfolded with quiet Fridays in, flea market shopping, and more music-making:

After posting a tribute to his mother Anki Lidén for Mother’s Day, he celebrated Midsummer in Sweden with friends:

From Sweden, he flew onward to Peru to undergo a plant medicine journey in the Amazonian jungle:

Tim and his crew began their medicine journey with Kambo, also known as Sapo, during which poison is gently collected from an Amazonian tree frog and placed into small burned holes in the skin by a shaman — it is used for purging toxins, negative energy, and negative experiences from your body:

“To me it was something I had to do for my health (decision to quit touring). The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me. I’m more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy, I think.” -Avicii

Kambo is sometimes done before an Ayahuasca plant medicine ceremony. Ayahuasca, also known as “Mama Aya,” is often sought out as a psychological or spiritually healing treatment:

While in Peru, Tim connected with furry new animal friends in the Amazon before flying back to LA to release his new EP including “Lonely Together:”

“I just feel happy. I feel free at this point. Like I have my private life back and focusing on myself for the first time in a long time. So far it has paid off tremendously in terms of well-being for me. I’m happier than I have been in a very, very long time. Stress-free more than I have been in a very long time. I can’t say I’m never going to have a show again. I just don’t think I’m going to go back to the touring life.” -Avicii

After the successful launch of his EP, Tim headed into the desert to Black Rock City just after his 28th birthday for Burning Man — not as a scheduled DJ in a camp’s lineup, but as an attendee:

He wrapped up 2017 camping in nature, “being home” in the studio, and with friends, wishing everyone a happy new year:

“The best days are yet to come.” -Avicii

Tim kicked off 2018 with quality time cuddling and hiking with his pup Liam:

And creating, mixing, and collaborating in “Studiomode:”

Tim’s last post on Instagram was taken as he walked across the watery steps of his home in the Hollywood Hills:

On April 14, a fan shared the following photo taken at the Muscat Hills Resort in Muscat, Oman:

(image courtesy of Instagram)

On April 19, the last known photo of Tim Bergling was taken aboard a yacht off the Muscat coast:

(image via TMZ)

The next day, he was dead.

The Cause of Avicii’s Death

What Happened?

Avicii was a Black Star — an astronomical term for a star that shines so brightly, it burns out and dies, leaving its mass behind.

So what’s the point?

“Do you ever get the chance to be just Tim?”

“I don’t think I’ve had the chance to really sit back and look at what’s happened. It doesn’t feel real.” -Tim Bergling

Asian American therapist specializing in healing codependency, trauma (ancestral, sexual, racial), AAPI thriving, & decolonizing mental health.