Brian Cushion: RIP

I wrote this post on Saturday. Most of you will remember it.

I received many kind comments, and my blogging friends and followers were, as always, very sympathetic.

Later that day, I got the news that my dear friend had died late that afternoon. So I thought it appropriate to update everyone with that.

I refuse to let Brian be a statistic, so here is something about his life, and the kind of man he was.

Troubled in his teens by the bone-wasting disease, Osteomyelitis, he was determined not to let the constant medical treatment get him down. He turned to music instead, with a voice to rival the Blues singers of the past, and even equal to the great Howlin’ Wolf. I was 17 years old when I met him, and he was singing at the front of a band, performing in a school hall in the London suburbs.

We were soon firm friends, and that friendship lasted for 51 years. Even though he has died, we are still friends, and always will be.

He later married, and I was the best man at the wedding. He and his wife had a daughter who he loved so dearly, becoming more than a father to her, a friend as well.

Over the decades, we lived together in a shared house, and spent a huge amount of time in each other’s company. We played Monopoly with an intensity usually reserved for Chess masters, and constantly disagreed on many things, especially politics. We shared holidays together, and saw each other through relationship and marriage break-ups, bad times and good times.

Many years later, decades of pain klling drugs caused his kidneys to fail. Brian had to go onto a dialysis regime until a transplant became available and he underwent the operation. Following that, he spent the rest of his days taking a daily cocktail of tablets, and having to attend hospital constantly. He still managed to play golf whenever he could, and once he retired, he rented a flat next to the golf club car park. He also continued to sing and perform with Blues bands around London and Kent.

Here he is five years ago, at his last ever gig. He is the man in the hat, singing and playing a harmonica. The pretty fair-haired girl at the front of the audience is his daughter.

He worked as a copy editor and proof reader, where his obsession with correct grammar and punctuation served him well. When I started this blog, he was one of my earliest and most loyal supporters, though he never failed to correct errors I made.

Brian was a good man, a loving father, and a true friend.

He will never be just a number.

104 thoughts on “Brian Cushion: RIP

  1. Hi Pete, I stumbled upon your blog through pure serendipity and then discovered through it that my erstwhile colleague Brian Cushion had died. I worked with him at New Society in the 1980s and briefly at New Statesman & Society following the titles’ merger. He was as you describe, although he kept his musical talents under a bushel. I recall he was an ardent supporter of Charlton Athletic as I am of York City and I thought of him fondly when goalkeeper Nick Pope was on loan to York City from Charlton a few years ago.


    1. Hello, Chris.
      Happy to hear from one of Brian’s former colleagues. He had been living in a flat at Bexleyheath Golf Club after he retired, and played golf every day until a golf cart accident left him with a bad injury. His daughter had a little boy this year, and it is sad to think Brian never got to see him. I was sad not to be able to attend his funeral, but there is hope for a big party to celebrate his life, in 2021. hr remained a Charlton fan until the end.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  2. This sounds so sad, Pete! I am feeling with you. The worst is if oneis in need of using pain killers destroying the body in a very silent way. Actually we are thinking about this virus, but at least we are having so many other viruses and things nobody until now had a solution. May he rest in peace. Thank you for the remembrance. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so sad Pete. I am terribly sorry for your loss. Being a thousand miles far, I can’t do anything except pray for his family, you and especially for him. May he rest in peace. Take care pete. 😞💔🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course I loved the hat first off. The singing and harmonica playing brought me back to many bar nights of my youth. I loved getting to know him just a little by knowing you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking about how many of my old friends, I have not seen in years and how young they still are in my mind 🙂 Those who have departed, still bring smiles to me more often as not the longer they have been gone. Warmest regards, Theo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Would you characterize your relationship with Brian Cushion as a bromance? In any event, it seems to me such close relationships are fairly rare these days, and that’s a shame. Brian’s affinity for music and meticulous grammar indicates to me that I would have liked him very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would have enjoyed discourse with him, I have no doubt. He was much like a brother to me for more than twenty years in our youth. As best as I can imagine, never having had one.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A terrible loss, what a great thing to have such a good friend. What a spirit to have endured all those health issues. My condolences to his family and to you at a time of such loss. Best wishes Pete and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a beautiful eulogy to your friend, I am so sorry for your loss!
    May the memory of your best friend always be a blessing!
    I remember you mentioned to me once that you did not have any siblings so I can only imagine you and Brain were as close as brothers!
    May your friend R.I.P

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pete, my heartfelt condolences are with you as your face the loss of such a good friend. I can feel the warmth of your friendship in this loving tribute and that is a testament to a life lived with love. May your friend rest easy now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Even though he has died, we are still friends and always will be…”. I will keep that thought gently tucked away to use as a comfort and to provide comfort to others. Thank you for sharing with us Pete. I am so sorry about the loss of your dear friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That’s a tough loss and deep pain you are in, dear Pete. My heart goes out to you. What a lovely eulogy. His life long illness didn’t hinder his tenacity and perserverence. He is inspirational. If the tables were turned, I presume his eulogy of you would be the similar.
    RIP Brian.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He always looked smart on stage as he got older. His slim figure set off his chioice of outfits well.
      You can imagine how much stronger his voice was as a young man.
      Thanks, Jon.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  11. I am so sorry. It must feel comforting to at least write a fine tribute, I know it is still painful, but a tribute means, they mattered and seems to preserve your memories. Loss hurts=no way around it. Thinking of you and sending my best-Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey Pete, I am sorry about your loss but I am glad he lived like a hero. He rose above his medical problems and lived his life to the fullest, unlike so many of us who just spend the days without making memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So sorry to hear he has now died. My heart goes out to you and his family. Lovely tribute to your great pal here, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bit lost for words Pete, I’m sorry that you have lost such a dear friend,but the memories of your friendship will always remain strong.

    Liked by 1 person

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