Loss changes who you are. You feel like a hollow shell of who you once were when your loved one was near, and the memories of them follow you for years, clinging to you constantly like the first real snow clings to the ground.
After losing a spouse or someone else close to you, you have to remember who you are again. And maybe when you pick up all the pieces, you’re a different person—with a whole new part of your story. What do you do with that new story of loss? Do you try to forget it because of all the pain it brings? Or do you accept the new role it plays in your life and try to use it for a purpose?
When Pam Lundell lost her husband in 2005, she had to figure out what her new life looked like without her husband. Pam shared her story on the air at the radio station 98.5 KTIS, but she didn’t initially want to share it on a larger scale because she thought many couldn’t relate, and she would be “narrowcasting,” only speaking to a very specific group of people.
But once she started sharing her story on the air, something happened. Pam said, “God brought me to KTIS, and that’s when the widows started calling me and saying, ‘If you can do it, I can do it.’” Widows, widowers, and other listeners reached out to her, telling her how much her story meant to them. She was slowly building an audience, a community, without even realizing it.
Pam soon discovered that it wouldn’t be “narrowcasting” at all for her to speak to her “tribe,” as she calls her community of widows. And in 2021, the Wow God podcast network asked her to do a podcast for widows, giving her an opportunity to do just that.
“I really do have a heart for widows,” Pam said, “and that’s why we decided to call it A Widow’s Heart.” On the podcast, Pam Lundell has “raw, wonderful” conversations with widows or other individuals who can speak into the experience of losing someone.
“I’ve had several, just, stunning women who have experienced such great loss, but they take that grief … and turn it into something amazing,” Pam described.
That is the common theme of Pam’s podcast. Pam treats each episode like “having a cup of coffee with a friend.” She feels a personal connection with many of her guests, so she lets the conversation flow naturally instead of coming up with a list of questions each time. However, she always makes sure to ask, “Where has God showed up in your story?”
And Pam has discovered that those genuine and real conversations are what make the podcast special. “When I first started, I thought I had to be like a real expert and get into the podcast with all this flowery stuff,” Pam said, “but … now … I just get into the podcast. Because the message and the meat is right there in that interview.”
Sharing these stories is difficult and emotional for both Pam and her guests, but they support and pray for each other through each moment of it. As Pam says, “we laugh, and we cry and just listen to these amazing God stories.”
Trying to figure out who you are after loss can feel like coming up for air after being underwater for a long time. You’ve forgotten how to breathe, how to take in the fresh air, after floating in the stifling blue ocean of loss.
But beauty can come out of grief. Loss may have changed you, but you can take this new part of your identity and offer it to God so He can grow something out of it. The podcast artwork visually represents that reality, showing a flower emerging from a cracked sidewalk. For Pam, “this really illustrates the journey of a widow.”
When you experience loss, it’s like a crack appears in the smooth flesh of your heart, slowly taking over who you are and every little thing you do each day. But a new part of your identity can grow from the cracks, just like flowers can grow within the crevasses sprawled throughout a sidewalk.
God did something special with Pam’s story as a widow, and He gave her the opportunity to empathize with other widows in a way only she can. What is God calling you to do with your story?
If you’d like to learn more about Pam Lundell, check out the story behind the host.
Listen to A Widow’s Heart to take part in Pam’s heartfelt conversations with her guests about loss.