finding the good after loss

the blog

May 31, 2017

Living my life optimistically from NJ to AZ to NC.

Posted in: Good Grievings, My Grief Story, My Life

When tradegy strikes your whole world gets flipped upside down.

Especially if it’s a parent like my mom or a sibling like my sister. It’s so easy to just slip into the darkness and  tuck yourself away.  It’s so easy to give up.  Trust me I have been in the darkness.  I have been there where the anxiety takes over and you feel like you can’t handle it.  It took a lot of help to get me where I am today. Everyone grieves, everyone!! There is no such thing as someone saying. Oh my mom died, I’m good I won’t grieve.  It doesn’t work like that friends.

Fast forward 4 years after my mom passed. I met my future wife. That’s where life changed, I flipped the switch,  Happiness took over.  Don’t get me wrong I was still going through the grieving process, but the happiness out weighed the negative.  Now I have my girlfriend, friends, a job and poker every so often. So even though I was content with being happy I had still sought the help I needed. I things I needed to learn to keep this happiness from fading.   I was so nervous that it wouldn’t last.  That I would screw it up cause I couldn’t deal with my mom not being around.  The counseling I received helped me with all this.  It took a long time to understand that all of what had happened 4 years before was all for a reason. 2 years went by and it was time to leave the house I grew up in.  It was hard to leave the house, but I knew that if I wanted to move forward it’s what had to be done.

We moved into our apartment and started a new life, our life.

Happiness out weighed the negativity.  You are probably asking yourself, how is the guy able to handle and enjoy life like this, after losing his mother they way he did?  My answer,  I sought the help I needed to be happy.  If you think you can do it on your own, then do it!  (There may be a few) but seeking the help you need is the best option hands down.  I still seek help today.  I get help through this blog. I get help through the comments I receive from family and friends that read the blog.  I need to shoutout my cousin right here. Ryan ( has been an inspiration to me through this all. He has always been there through thick and thin.  He is one of the reasons I was able to start this whole blog thing, and I’m grateful to him. Seek help, Seek help, Seek help –  It works.  Whether you talk to someone you know, or a complete stranger. Just try it!  You won’t know until you do.

2-3 years pass and my wife brings up the the topic of moving. I wanted nothing to do with it.  I always said I would never move away from NJ. I swept it under the rug. Well, the topic wasn’t going away. I had to face the fact that we were actually going to move.

Of course all the anxiety came back and the fear of change.

Long story short we we decided to move after our wedding.  My in laws were already out in Arizona and we were going to start fresh. As we were planning our wedding, our honeymoon and our move all at the same time -my sister passed away. (You can read about this in the MY SISTER post).

I got thrown right back into the grieving process.

Just when I thought I was in acceptance that my mom was no longer here nearly 9 years later it starts all over again. The plans never changed on the moving part and of course we were still getting married. So I had to deal with it. Just as I dealt with my mom passing. The next 2 months went by in a flash.  We got married 6 weeks after my sister died- went on our honeymoon- packed up our apartment- and moved across country all in 3 weeks. Through all this I’m still trying to deal with the loss of my sister.

Grieving doesn’t stop – it doesn’t wait for you to be ready.

It’s a part of life. It’s a part of who we are. We grieve when people die!

The hot land AKA Arizona life was great. Well not at first, we did move there without jobs, but hey take risks right?  We got jobs, we had a house built we started a family, We enjoyed all of it. It was an experience to say the least.  4 years into our “hotland” life my father in law lost his short battle with cancer. Here comes the grief all over again. The process has been different every time. I feel like I grieve happier now. Hence “good grievings”. I take the memories of my loved ones with me”. My wife and I live our life through him. We reminisce about his funny sayings and his love of #rocknroll. Even though we knew it, this whole experience put it in perspective. You only live once, and if you aren’t happy, you are the only one to change it.

A year after my father in law passed we started talking about moving again. The Hotland became to hot for us. Not only that, we needed the beach, and a better overall life. Since we moved cross country once, why not do it again? So we pointed at the map and landed on North Carolina. I’m just kidding obviously. Anyway we talked and talked some more about NC. My wife did all the research and was probing around on sites to get as much information as we could.

We decided we needed to visit. In the midst of planning the visit, another loved one had passed away.

My courageous god sister passed away after her long battle with cancer. Now this hit home in a different way.  A way in which I didn’t grieve for myself. I grieved for my god parents and brother.  I flew to NJ to be there for them. To help them through what I could. The trip went by super fast. I got home and it hit me. The emptiness of my God sister not being here and all the memories of my sister resurfacing.  I didn’t take time for myself when she died. I went straight to help others.  I do this often now.  It could be a complete stranger and I feel compelled to reach out to them and say you are not alone.  I feel like I have to be the one to give them a hung and  tell them to keep going. Keep living your life.

We visited NC in April 2016 and absolutely fell in love with it. This was the place we needed to be. So now the job search. I couldn’t find squat lol. Not even a call back. I finally got an interview with the company I was at in Arizona but they said no in NC. Now we are like ok maybe it wasn’t meant to be for us to live there. In December of last year, right before Christmas I landed an interview from a company I worked for for 7 years before. I got hired the same day as my interview.  I wasn’t even going to apply for it, but I did cause I had nothing to lose. So we are moving. We had a month to pack and go.  I finally was able to give my notice at the current job. It was what I was wanting to do since we left from our North Carolina visit.  Imagine knowing you are going to quit a job to move but couldn’t until everything aligned. Crazy right?   We are Crazy- but you have to be. You have to “break the rules” as my cousin who I mentioned above states in his featured blog post on We prepared for months and decluttered the house. That’s how serious we were about getting out😉

We finally did it, We moved to NC.

We have been here 5 months and as I sit here writing to you I asked my wife. How would you rate living here? She’s says a 10 without even flinching.  Never in my right mind would I have thought I would have moved across country 2 times.  It’s great to be at a place you are happy with.

If you aren’t happy then what is the point?  You see folks,  I’m telling my story to you to show you that through all the tragedy I endured, I’ve chosen to live positively. I chose to get help, I chose to get out of the darkness.

I would have missed out on a lot if I didn’t huh?  Good Grievings is all of this. Yes it’s taking those memories of your loved ones with you. It’s also living your life through your loved ones. Reminiscing about them and their sayings or their music.  Talking about them often even if it brings tears to your eyes.  It’s ok! It’s all ok.  You too can do what I did and continue to do.  All you need to do is remember what I have been through and be open to what this world has in store for you.   I wanted to share this awesome quote from a friend that I have know for years. It hits the nail on the head. It’s called a Beautiful gift. Thank you Renee 😀👍



  1. benkilloy says:

    What a raw and open post … I have recently learned myself that vulnerability is one of the secrets to cultivating a meaningful life. It has also been a huge game changer for me as it had an unintended after effect… I got clarity on so much in my life and the stuff I was holding in was like the fog preventing me see the yellow brick road to my fulfilling life. Ryan is an epic guy as well he has helped me get my own blog going.

    • tbiddulph says:

      Thanks so much Ben, for taking the time to read my recent blog post. Ryan is like a brother from another mother to me. What you said about getting clarity is exactly what I’m hoping others will get from reading all of my posts. I appreciate you. Please follow along the way.
      Have a good night


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