What is it like to lose a spouse? What would it feel like to have your partner for life, the person God placed on earth to walk beside you, taken away from you? How do you move on after you lose the person you thought you would grow old with?
Even if we haven’t personally experienced this type of loss, many of us know someone who has, and we’ve seen the devastating effect it can have on the spouse left behind.
How do you carry on after losing a spouse? For Pam Lundell, host of the podcast A Widow’s Heart and a widow herself, the will to keep going comes from the grace of God alone.
Pam hosts the morning show at 98.5 KTIS with Keith Stevens, and she began working for KTIS just four months after her husband’s passing in August 2005. She and her late husband, John Lundell, had been in broadcasting for years together, each making it into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
However, Pam’s experience at KTIS was different from her past experiences. Pam’s new job at KTIS came as an answered prayer. She had been seeking work for months after the passing of her husband. Since taking the job, she said that “the miracles haven’t stopped.”
When talking about the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death, the word “healing” comes to mind for Pam. John had been struggling for years with addiction, and each day it was growing harder for her to watch him suffer on earth.
The loss of her husband was an immediate reality for Pam: “I actually found him in our home after he died that night…. He was so peaceful, and it was just like God said, ‘Okay, you’ve been trying it your way for a long time, and now it’s time to come home.’”
Even in this time of pain, Pam had hope because her husband no longer faced addiction and heartache on earth.
“It was like the Holy Spirit was right with me,” Pam said. “He [John] is better; he’s healed in heaven, so it was really kind of an incredible epiphany moment for me.… It is really great when … people find Christ in their addiction, and they get healed on earth, but people get healed in heaven too.”
Though the Lord would provide healing for Pam as well, that healing did not come quickly or easily. Pam explained, “As a widow, when you lose your spouse, no matter where your relationship is, it’s just so shocking, and you go around for days or even weeks expecting them to come home…. You lost your friend; you lost your partner.”
This drastic change shook Pam. In the moment, she thought John’s death was “unfair,” but those around her reminded her it was okay to feel angry and to not fully understand why John went home to Jesus.
In her early stages of grief, Pam wished she would have “let God lead the way more” and allowed herself to “relinquish control” of her circumstances. She described herself as “the control tower.”
“I tried to control everybody,” she said. “I knew that I was saved by Jesus, and I knew that He was walking with me, but all along it’s like, ‘Hey, it doesn’t have to be this hard.’”
For others in mourning, Pam recommends going to a Christian counselor. Through her own counseling, Pam said she learned two main things. First, that “you [Pam] can hate the addict, but you can love John.” Second, that “you [Pam] have to forgive your husband.”
Now, her heart goes out to other widows who have faced the same loss she has, and she offers help and hope through her words and her podcast. After being at KTIS for only a year, Pam said widows were already reaching out to her, saying, “If you can do it, I can too.”
Hearing from these widows inspired Pam to continue connecting with other women who have lost their husbands. As you listen to A Widow’s Heart, you’ll hear Pam use this simple phrase as her rallying cry for widows.
Pam went on to host a dinner for 12 widows ages 26–75 who had reached out to her to celebrate the lives of their husbands. Pam continued to hold dinners and other events for widows over the years, and these gatherings would later turn into Widow Might, a nonprofit, faith-based organization devoted to supporting widows.
As a member of the board of directors at Widow Might, Pam can reach even more widows in their times of need. She has hosted numerous events for widows through this organization and has grown in her own faith by connecting widows to form deep and Christ-centered relationships—even in grief.
Pam has no doubt God called her to serve widows with her new podcast, A Widow’s Heart. She initially questioned whether she wanted to continue on this path of working with widows. But she found that her podcast provides a unique opportunity to reach widows and help them “on their journey, wherever they are.”
Hosting A Widow’s Heart allows Pam to reach out to widows in need of a “hug from God,” and she hopes to provide them with comfort and reassurance in the midst of their loss and hurt. Recently, she has been in awe of how God has used her life and work for His glory.
Pam has many other projects as well, such as hosting the morning show at KTIS. Sometimes, Pam says, she needs to take a “heart break” when she becomes overwhelmed and her heart becomes too full of what God is doing with her life. She loves to reach out to others and finds that God has been using her story of grief and triumph to inspire those who are hurting.
Pam pointed out, “We don’t grieve like others who have no hope.… You can grieve; you can be upset, but just know that step by step, day by day, [the goal is] to live, to heal, to grow, to thrive.”
For those currently grieving, Pam shared this promise: “It will get better. Reach out for help. And if you know someone who’s lost a spouse, if you know someone who’s a widow, I think one of the best things to do is to say that … you’re going to do something.” She suggests offering to grab coffee, make food, or just be there for anyone who is grieving.
Pam says the Lord continually blesses her with miracles, and she hopes to share her faith and wisdom with other widows. After remarrying in 2014, she now enjoys being with her “big, fat blended family,” as she calls them, with four “bonus kids” and her three grandchildren.
For more information about Pam’s life and the work that she’s doing with Widow Might, listen to A Widow’s Heart wherever you listen to podcasts.
If you’d like to know more about the A Widow’s Heart podcast, you can check out this article.