Invisible Buddies

Invisible buddies is a technique I used when I was a teacher with my kids who felt “socially awkward” or struggled in class. Let’s be real here; who doesn’t feel “awkward” living life as a widow?? Guess what? Borrowing those qualities you admire from an invisible buddy can teach you how to live the life you desire after loss.

So, what, exactly, is an invisible buddy? In the realm of children and school, it would have been anyone who displayed characteristics you wished you had. You take those characteristics and try them out, just like a hat.

Crystal has lots of friends to play with at recess? Watch what she does and emulate it. Carlos always gets his work done in class while you struggle to finish? Watch what he does and emulate it. It worked!

An invisible buddy functions as a silent mentor and role model….AND we don’t actually have to know them! It can be anyone who possesses qualities we desire to emulate in our own lives.

When in a given situation where we may wish to call upon those qualities, we may ask ourselves what our invisible buddy would do, and act accordingly.

Julie Martella

As a newly widowed person, I was all over the place! It took over three years of running from my grief until I was properly exhausted and ready to look for others who were doing this better than myself.

I was ready to find invisible buddies. I looked to men and women who had been on this path longer than myself.

I met a woman who was a widow and also a farmer. She changed the trajectory of my life, and introduced me to this thing called “life coaching.” She showed me a version of me that was winning. She taught me how to ground myself and deal with my grief. When in distress I’d ask myself what she would do.

I met a man who comfortably traveled the world as a happily single person. I wanted to travel the world. I watched how he navigated his way through flights, dining alone, and packing only carry on’s. His fearlessness amazed me. I watched him, and then gathered my courage and took my first solo trip in forever.

I met an older woman, in her 80’s, who had been widowed twice, yet maintained so much love, hope and humanity! I talked to her a lot and learned to how put my tragedy into perspective, and to allow the love that I had experience carry me towards an unknown future.

Invisible buddies exist all around us. When you meet someone who has a quality you particularly admire, perhaps someone who is “widowing” in a way that you admire, watch them. Observe them. Take notice. Try on those qualities, as if it were a new hat.

Then pick one thing that you can try to do yourself, and see how it feels!



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