By Pam Lundell
My husband John Lundell and I were married in 1994 and had some wonderful plans for our future, but as Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps.” After a three-year struggle with poor health and various addictions, my husband died suddenly in 2005, and I became a young widow. I found him in our home. As I tried to administer CPR and called 911, I knew he was gone. The thought that kept going through my mind through all of this was “I never thought death was an option… I always thought he would get better.”
The following days of planning a service, picking out a casket and people in and out of the house are still a blur, but I thank God for my family and friends who supported me. Most of all, the very moment I found out that my husband had died, the Holy Spirit literally lifted me up and walked me through the sadness and grief that was to come. I distinctly remember someone saying to me “Pam, God will use this in you to help others someday.” I thought, “No way, I just want my husband back.” Little did I know what God had in mind.
John and I were both Twin Cities radio veterans and had been doing a morning show together before he died. The station had ironically been sold, so when John died I received compensation and insurance from my contract, which meant I didn’t need to work immediately. I grieved and wandered around the house waiting for him to come home — all the while dealing with difficult decisions like finances, having no life insurance, wondering whether or not to sell the house and trying to find someone to take care of my lawn. It’s overwhelming and hard to describe.
I also started looking for a new job and networked with several contacts in radio, one of them at KTIS. In December 2005, I was hired to do a morning news magazine on the AM network of stations, just four months after John’s death. It was the perfect place to be, and no coincidence, as I interviewed some of the top Christian authors and teachers during that time. Many of those I interviewed prayed with me as a new widow. Many times I cried while driving home, but could feel so much love and support I knew I could move forward.
In 2008, I started as co-host of 98.5 KTIS. That was when new widows started contacting me. I remembered that day when I was told God would use John’s death to help others and I started to reach out to them. One woman emailed, “When I hear your cheerful voice on the radio I know that I can make it too.” Another of those amazing widows was Michele and I could feel the pain in her voice — a pain that I knew so well — when I first spoke with her. I told her story on the air and let her know I was there if she needed to talk.
There is comfort in knowing someone who has walked the same journey you are on. Betsy is another good friend and widow who contacted me at KTIS. She had lost her husband Scott in the 35W bridge collapse. I felt a sisterhood developing and knew that something amazing was going to happen. I then heard of the formation of Widow Might® and I believe it will be the fulfillment of God’s continuing plan to help and heal widows through a variety of resources, connections and hope.
Friday, November 18, 2011, was our first gathering of sixteen beautiful women — all widows connected through the airwaves of KTIS. We celebrated our husbands by lighting candles at a “Novembering” dinner. This is now an annual Widow Might event growing in attendance, miracles and hope as we head into the holidays each year to honor our late husbands, uplift each other and look to the future.
I also remarried a wonderful man, Tim, in May 2014 and find myself in a place to reach out, comfort, and share my experience and God’s unending love with widows just beginning the journey. I’m honored to be on the advisory council of Widow Might and can truly say you CAN live, heal, grow and thrive again.
For more information about Pam, you can check out her website.
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