One of my uncles passed the other night, after a tough fight with pancreatic cancer. Though his family and I haven’t spoken much over the last few years, I do love them, they’re a part of me, and I will always have fond memories of my uncle. He’s no longer in pain, and that’s all I’ve been able to feel about it so far.
The other one is more real to me.
Last night, I got the phone call that we knew was coming for a long time. He died surrounded by people he loved, and those of us who knew him and were in the area drank at the pub until early morning, crying on each other’s shoulders and sharing memories of the great times we had with him. And though we were, of course, sad that he’s gone, there was so much love, a reminder to tell the people around you that you care about them. And we are happy that he’s no longer in pain.
It’s always tough when a friend your age dies. Someone with such a big heart, who cared so much for the people around him. His sense of humor, his practical jokes, the way he smiled when you walked into the bar, you always knew he counted you as a friend.
It’s always tough to lose such a passionate performer. He could turn a room full of people who were there to see one of his heroes into fans of his. And not only did he have passion for his music, he had passion for the musicians around him, he had passion for the visual artists around him. Real passion and care for the creative spirit.
It’s always tough when you lose someone who you saw almost every single day. For a year, we lived across the street from each other, and I’d go see him behind the bar when I closed the restaurant. We’d chat as he walked the dog, just pacing around the block, talking about whatever was on our minds that day. He was a living monument to the community around him, always willing to go out of his way to help a neighbor.
A great performer, a community mainstay, and a fantastic friend. Josh “Cubbiebear” Bailey will leave a lasting mark on the Charles Village neighborhood he called home, his coworkers at the pub, his fans, and his friends. Rest in peace, brother.