• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'I'm just a guy who got cancer, nothing else'

The Local · 19 Sep 2013, 13:02

Published: 19 Sep 2013 13:02 GMT+02:00

"This is a selfish blog. Created by myself. For myself. If you want to read it, you are free to do so. But this is my way of dealing with this situation," so began Kristian Gidlund's blog "I kroppen min" (In this body of mine) in March 2011, shortly after having been operated for stomach cancer at the age of 27.

Little could the musician from Borlänge rock band Sugarplum Fairy have then known that by the time his fight to beat the cancer that had ravaged his body would end less than three years later, his blog would have attracted some 8 million visitors and been published in book form.

"Kristian Gidlund is gone, his fantastic book is lying by my bed. This damn unfair cancer. This anonymous pest," was how "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" actor Mikael Nyqvist greeted the news of his death on Tuesday.

While his blog was started to chart a journey towards death it became, perhaps inevitably, at least as much about life and in one particularly profound post he dedicated a message to the child he knew he would never have.

"I would try to inspire you to think for yourself. Beyond the expected. And I know that you would inspire me. You already do."

"We would climb trees, you and I. And when you wanted to climb a little higher, I would try to let you. But I would stand beneath you with my arms outstretched and with a throbbing pulse."

Gidlund has said that he had always wanted to be a correspondent reporting from war zones across a troubled world. He has explained that his blog had in some form become his way of fulfilling that dream - except his war zone was not a place, it was his body.

"I am not writing so that one should cry over what I am saying. It feels more that I have landed in a front line which I have to report from. I am like an adventurer in an unknown jungle with access to a remarkable telegraph that I have to use," he told the Svenska Dagbladet daily in 2013.

Judging by the outpouring of public sentiment following his death on Tuesday afternoon, this telegraph had become a beacon for a broad spectrum of Swedes. Gidlund had for some attained an almost messianic guru status, a development which he consistently sought to diffuse.

"I am just a guy who happens to have got cancer, nothing else," he said in his hugely popular talk programme on Sveriges Radio in the summer 2013.

This honest, humble, poetic, message made Kristian Gidlund's personal fate comprehensible for a wider audience. His writing has provided a lasting legacy and a reminder that life is not something worth waiting for.

Story continues below…

Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who - for good or ill - has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

SEE ALSO: A list of The Local's past Swedes of the Week

Peter Vinthagen Simpson

Follow Peter on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

See Stockholm spectacularly change through the seasons
A bright autumn day in Stockholm. Photo: Delphine Fortin

In order to help her long-distance relationship, one Stockholm-based blogger produced a fascinating visual illustration of the Swedish capital throughout the seasons.

Groped woman had 'gigantic breasts' - player cleared
File image (2010) of Björklöven players in a huddle. Photo: public domain

A former prosector said the reasoning was "absurd" and "illegitimate".

Sweden’s high-speed trains the least punctual in Europe
One of Sweden's high-speed trains during a delay in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

It seems the Swedes are not quite so efficient after all.

Refugee crisis
Asylum seekers leaving Sweden in record numbers
The Swedish Migration Agency offices in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The large number of asylum seekers leaving Sweden in 2016 coincides with a dramatic fall in the number seeking asylum in the country compared to last year.

Long-term damage seen from brain injuries: Swedish study
A model of the human brain. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A study carried out in Sweden suggests that youths who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to experience long-term psychological and social problems.

The Local List
30 Swedish movies you must see before you die
Thomas Hedegran and Rolf Lassgård in thriller The Hunters. Photo: Photo: Per Pettersson/TT

Film buff Christian Ekvall picks out 30 definitive Swedish movies you must see to understand the soul of the country's cinema.

Malmö police catch car arson suspect in the act
Another car blaze earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Malmö police have arrested a man after they caught him setting a vehicle alight in the Rosengård district as the city's spate of summer car fires continued.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
Culture
This Swedish street artist's incredible murals will make your jaw drop
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,373
jobs available