A More Empowering Way to View a Loss

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. 

It’s Thursday. I always post every Thursday. Given my relationship with November 23rd, I wanted to wait and share this not-so-happy”post until tomorrow. But I feel it’s a message that will help those who need to hear it today. So forgive me for sharing this today, if you found this and don’t happen to know Dave or Andy. That said, you can always save this for tomorrow. In fact, I encourage you to do this with “important articles” on the wellbeing of the world, how to handle grief and sadness, and read it during a time where you’re more ready to “feel all the feels” 🙂 



Hi friends. It’s Tony Rossi. 

I wanted to wait to share this message after the holiday, as to not bring others down who don’t know either of these individuals. But due to recent events, this can’t wait. Thanks in advance for bearing with me.

(PS – Feel free to mark this as a “saved” post and come back to it during a better time, if you’d like. Same goes for political posts, news stories, etc….;) ) 

About four years ago, I was introduced to the world of personal development. Through a life coach, self help books, and more positive people, I felt like I was moving through the world a lot lighter. I was able to look at my problems through a different lens. They were still there, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Or when I did go into a funk, I’d stop beating myself up. I also noticed I wasn’t holding grudges toward people who had “wronged” me. And it wasn’t long before I got addicted to absorbing as much information on the subject as I could.

Since learning how to literally live a more enjoyable life, I decided, “You know what? Other people need to hear this. It’s too easy to apply this stuff. Through my blog, #SundayVideos, and doing a 180 on how I use social media, people started to referring to me as “the guy who is always happy.” And as much as I loved this, I found myself getting the same objection from a lot of individuals: “This doesn’t make sense….how are you supposed to just be ‘happy all the time?’”

I’ll get back to that. 

Let’s rewind a bit: In the fall of 2014, only a year after I started applying self help principles, my longest childhood friend, David Kendricken, passed away. The first thing I thought of was, What “good things” are going to come from this, that wouldn’t have happened in any other way?? This doesn’t make the situation okay. But it gives us our power back. It gives us meaning to something that’s shitty. It allows us to find love and gratitude in a place that’s really, really hard to find it. 

Last night I got word that this day was going to be an even darker day. We lost Andrew Scannell. And the craziest part? Both of these guys were FUNNY. They were really funny. They were loved by a lot. These two would have been great friends. 

Friends. Being a happy person will never, ever mean “happy all the time.” 

Being a happy person means being authentic. It means acknowledging that there are going to be dark times where you don’t feel happy. It’s like being a healthy person – it doesn’t mean you never, ever get sick. It means you get sick less and recover quicker. You’re not all of a sudden invincible. 

While there’s a bunch of different ways to handle death, one of my preferences is to look at the situation in a new light: What can I genuinely be grateful for right now? 

I go write a million more words on this, but I’ll leave just one on each of these sons of bitches: 

David Kendricken: You were my longest childhood friend. I lived next door to you for what, 14 years? And we had a friendship that’s hard to replicate. I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to have that with you. Thank you for that. You might be gone, but those loving memories aren’t going anywhere, son. 

Andrew Scannell: I met you in college at freshman orientation. You asked me for a word suggestion. Becoming friends with you? Oh that was a boost to my 18 year old ego. After four years of laughs, performances, and jokes that only a true New England Pirate would understand – we actually had a falling out. And then – we both forgot about it. We reconciled a year ago and had beers together with some old friends. I am so, so grateful we reconciled. 

Friends. We have an amazing opportunity to find gifts amidst a dark and dreary day. Don’t let your love go to waste. Yes – be sad. Cry when you need to. And when you’re ready, start finding those takeaways. And for extra credit, share those takeaways so we can spread this message to others. 

I love you Dave. I love you Andy. 

And I love you, friends. 


November 23rd.jpg


That One Time I Was Wrong

[Guys in the back IMMEDIATELY begin yelling in regards to the title.]

I know, right? I haven’t posted in a while. It’s good to see you too 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how we should focus our energies on the positives, even during the most negative situations.

I personally do a lot to make sure I stay positive. I start off each morning with exercise and personal development reading. I eat clean except on planned cheat days. I’m constantly listening to personal development audio, or interviews relating to my career. And I keep my positive and inspiring friends close by – or at least I try.

Even after learning about the passing of my childhood friend, I was doing everything by the books. I was Tony-freaking-Rossi – positivity king of the world. Nothing could break me.

Then I attended the wake. Then the funeral. And of course,  both were within twenty four hours. Oh, and let’s squeeze in my plane ride back to Chicago too (because Tony-freaking-Rossi thought that was a good idea).

I spent a third of the plane ride in tears. The other two-thirds were spent wondering how much longer the flight was…I really had to pee.

After taking the train back to the city, I stopped at one of my favorite restaurants that may or may not be healthy. I took my food back home where I eagerly grabbed some wine.

I needed a break from being positive.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s important to stay as positive as we can during dark times. But there are some circumstances that are going to be bigger than you. No matter how hard you prep, they’ll still get ya. It’s important not to confuse this with making excuses and turning every little thing into an “extreme” circumstance. But for the really extreme ones, we’re allowed to take a break. Not fall into a funk. Just take a break.

Stay positive, friends. And when all else fails, know that Big G’s is open late.

Oh and I lied. The night before Thanksgiving was also a cheat day. Spent it with these guys for the first time in four years. Much love to all of them and for helping me through the week 🙂