Tribute to a Dear Friend

On November 30th,my heart broke into a million pieces as I learned of the unfortunate passing of a very dear friend of mine. On that day, the world lost an amazing human being with a big heart and the ability to put a smile on anyone's face. 

A few days before Josh's passing, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and dread wash over me. Since I suffer from severe depression which is extremely unpredictable in many ways, I just figured this was one of those bad spells that happen on occasion. I literally could not get out of bed. I slept for three days and when I was not sleeping, I was crying uncontrollably. I finally pulled myself out of bed and started feeling better and that very day I learned my sweet friend was gone. I now know that that overwhelming sense of dread and sadness was my sixth sense, which I often ignore and thoroughly regret it each and every time, telling me something bad was going to happen. I immediately slipped back into a deep depression. A depression so bad that I physically hurt.

A drawing Josh did of my favorite author, Joe Hill.

Joshua Emerick was an amazing artist. As a matter of fact, that's how I met him! He had worked on a now impossible to find comic for the band CKY, of which I have been a huge fan, and discovered he had been at the same local convention that I was. I found his table with the intentions of asking about the comic. Not only did we start up a conversation about the comic, with him giving me a bare bones copy of it, as well as a promo poster for it, but we also talked about movies he had been involved in, magazines he had been published in, people he's worked with, and even his family. I was even surprised to learn that he lived locally! We clicked immediately and when we were finished talking, even though I feel we could have talked all day and night long about nothing in particular or everything on the planet, he gave me his phone number and that was the start of an incredible friendship.

Josh had three children and a granddaughter, but was preceded in death by twin daughters and a son. He often told me how his children were his biggest motivation and was always so proud of them. They kept him going even when he didn't want to. 

Josh with Steve Gonsalves from Ghost Hunters.

Josh became friends with so many people in his lifetime. Most notably due to his artwork and the work he's done in movies and television shows, he became amazing friends with people like Steve from Ghost Hunters, Tom Savini, and even Norman Reedus. He's also had the pleasure of forming business relationships with Kevin Smith and Michael C Hall. 

Josh and his two youngest, Ella and Oscar, meeting wrestling legend Roddy Piper

He knew my love for Norman Reedus and had been very adamant on taking me to meet him. He even asked me to accompany him to the set of The Walking Dead over the summer while he was there to work on story boards for the newest season. He insisted on paying for my room and expenses, (that's how he was) he just wanted to share that experience with me because it was his way of paying me back for being there for him through everything. I told him that just knowing I have him in my life meant more to me than all of that stuff. Besides, I was friends with him because I enjoyed talking to him and loved the bond we had, not because of who he was or who he knew. Others hounded me to take advantage of the benefits I would reap by being friends with him, but I couldn't do that. I didn't want to. It wasn't about all of that, it was never about any of that. 

He suffered through a lot. Depression, a divorce, an alcohol problem, and health problems due to his weight. I watched him triumphantly lose about 200 pounds, check himself into rehab, start dating again, and even start up new projects that the world will now never see. I sat up many late hours texting with him and talking him through his demons and he let me talk to him about mine. We held each other up when we were too weak to stand on our own. 

A few messages from the early stages of our friendship, starting in 2013, that I will for ever cherish. 

He once told me that someone as beautiful as me should never be sad or have to face hard times and heartache. That's why I'm trying so hard to be strong and hold myself together. He wouldn't want me to fall apart over this, but I'm having a hard time not falling apart. He always thanked me for being such a great friend and told me he was so happy to have me in his life, but the truth is, I'm the one who was blessed. It was an absolute honor to have this man in my life and I feel very privileged to have been able to call him my friend.

Saturday as we were in the car on our way to another convention, my husband could see how uneasy I was about going since I knew it wouldn't be the same without Josh. My husband put his hand on my leg and told me that he knew I was sad, but God must have taken Josh because he needed a great personal chef (Josh was an amazing cook) and someone who could design story boards for what he should do with the state of our world. My husband and I aren't even a little bit religious, but that sort of made me laugh. 

When we met and he had given me this poster, He had apologized for it being in such crappy condition (it had been folded), but I treasured it so very much. It stayed in my closet because I had not gotten a frame for it and it hurt my heart to not have it out, where everyone could see it, especially after his passing. This week I pulled it out of the closet, removed the poster that was originally in this frame, and replaced it with my sweet friend's artwork so that anyone who visits can enjoy it as much as I do. It makes me overwhelmingly sad that he's no longer with us, but looking at this everyday reminds me that I am one of the many people that had the privilege of knowing such a great person and it makes me feel like he's still close. 


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