Björn Johansson

Many readers of this blog will know my good friend and colleague BjImageorn Johansson, who runs the Clues centre in Karlstad, Sweden with his partner Eva Persson.  I visited Björn and Eva in Karlstad yesterday. Some of you may know that Björn has not been well in recent months. What was originally thought to be disc pain in the back has turned out after many weeks of agony to be cancerous tumours of the type adeno carcinoma. For the last 80 days Björn has been in hospital, and Eva has been living there too during the past weeks to help and care for him.

Now at last Björn is showing signs of responding to new medication. We are hoping that he may get strong enough to return home for the summer. This could also mean the possibility of chemotherapy treatment, which his immune system is currently too weak to take. There is no guarantee that even this will help. Bjorn cannot even walk at the moment – months in bed means that his leg muscles have wasted away, though he is starting physiotherapy to regain strength and is being very well cared for.

There is no recovery prognosis. Björn has somewhere between two and six months to live, at best. He is 48 years old. He is lucky to have a wonderful family who have found ways to put their lives on hold to be with him. Their joint goal is now to make the coming months ‘the best summer of all’ for Björn.

How could you contribute to this? Send an email or even an old fashioned card to Björn with some words of appreciation, support and fellowship. What stands out for you – his contributions to SOLWorld from the very start (and even before), his hundreds of workshops, his work across Sweden and around the world, the exciting Karlstad group meetings, the SF summit, the Swedish SFCT chapter, the mop-scaling process set out in the Solutions Focus Working case book, even the classic ‘Björn’ exercise in threes (“Out of all the things you’re doing at work at the moment…”)… he and Eva have of course stepped back from organising the SOLWorld 2014 conference. If he gets home there may be possibilities to visit if you can.

You may want to reply here, and I urge you to send something personal too. Please do not expect an instant reply – Björn has not been strong enough to even read email, but Eva will help to pass on your messages.  Send things by email to bjorn@clues.se, or by mail to
Långmyrsgatan 8,
65469 Karlstad
Sweden

Update 7 June 2014: I received this update yesterday from Eva at the hospital

Dear Mark / Jenny

We are still at the hospital and it has been both up and downs since last time. New infections, more than 2 liter in on of the lung again, and the tumor on the left  kidney grows so the kidney is not working at all. BUT he has been out of the bed, tried to take some small steps around the bed : ) AND they plan to start chemotherapy next week, if no more complications will come., in order to try to reduce pain and tumors. So that is very very good news! We still dont now when he can come home, but i hope and think it will bee in two weeks time ( I have said that a couple of times now so this time I think it will happened). It still comes a lot of nice e-mails and post cards!!! we are so grateful and thanks Mark for pass on our greetings. We have put all the e-mails and cards on the wall so it reminds us that we have a lot of friends out there waiting for Bjorn. He have a plan to respond to everyone when he have the strength! We would like you to say something about that: how much we appreciate the response and it keep us buzzy to read all those good stories how to make the best summer ever that so many have shared! So even if we now are not able to answer we are following whats is going on and it makes a different for us!

Update 30 June 2014:  Message sent to SOLUTIONS-L and SFT-L lists

I am very sorry to have to let you know that Björn Johansson died at 5.30am yesterday, Sunday 29 June 2014.  He was 48 years old.  Eva was with him at his bedside.

Eva has asked me to let you know that the both appreciated all the cards, emails and love which came in so many ways.   A humanist funeral is being arranged for Thursday 17 July in Karlstad, followed by a gathering at the Clues centre.   For those would would like to send something to Eva and the family, the address is Långmyrsgatan 8, 65469 Karlstad, Sweden

I started drafting this email to say that ‘Björn is no longer with us’.  Except, of course, that he is – in his work, his writing, his ideas, his developments, his family and in all his interactions.  Ken Gergen wrote (in his paper in InterAction Vol 5 No 1) that we carry everyone we have every met as a sort of potential – ‘relational residuals’.  Some we use more than others.  I am proud to carry Björn with me.

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11 responses

  1. Thank you so much, Marc, for visiting Björn and Eva, for the update on Björn’s condition and the valuable suggestion to send some words of appreciation.

  2. Gun-Eva Andersson Långdahl | Reply

    Oh, I´m so sad to hear about this! My friends Björn and Eva!!!
    Gun-Eva

  3. Thanks Mark. Tragic news for such a great guy. For years he’s dealt with the fact that cancer runs in his family and so he seemed to be packing a lot to his life in case it hit him too. The Solution focus community has benefitted immeasurably from his passion and contribution.

  4. Katsuhiro PONTA Honda | Reply

    Thank you Marc san. I wrote letter to Björn. Would you please let him know this letter?

    Hi, Bjorn san
    How about you? How about the season in your country? Are the greens are fresh and beautiful?
    Here in Japan, We feel so happy to have the comfortable season. Have you ever seen the Japan’s silent but beautiful season in May? YOU MUST COME! ahaha! But it is 24th of May. Only 1week left.
    This September I am looking forward to see you in SOL in Sweden, your country. And I am looking forward to plan the next May Japan tour! Of course you have to take Eva san.
    See you and I pray for your recovery
    Ponta

  5. Thank you Mark for sharing all these terribly sad news and for the suggestions.

  6. Thank you Mark for getting this sad news out and also for visiting Björn! I am sure that was greatly appreciated!

    I would also like to let everyone know that both Björn and Eva, allthough unable to actively take part under present circumstances, still are and always will be an important part of the organizing team for the SOLWorld 2014 Conference. Plain and simply, both Björn av Eva have contributed immensely! I have personally not known Björn and Eva for very long but in the work we have done togehther, planning for the conference, I have not only got to know two extremely experienced and knowledgeable SF professionals, but also two fantastic human beeings! Warm, open, welcoming, fun and caring. It was especially inspiring for me to work with Björn when we started planning for the 2014 conference about a year ago. He had so many great ideas for the conference content and also for giving the participants a great overall experience! He was a very crusial part designing it all when we initially got started and, even though he has continously become more and more ill over the past twelve months, Björn has still used whatever energy left in store to help out – even from his hospital bed! There are no words to describe the tragedy of the developments in Björns condition, and sadly we cannot do much about this. What we CAN do is to make sure the conference will go ahead and that the great work that both Björn and Eva have put in will be shared with all who decide to join us in Stockholm in September. Their great spirit will be there even if they cannot attend in person – that we will make sure!

    /Niklas

  7. Lotta Björklund | Reply

    Kära Björn och Eva! Jag är så oerhört ledsen och ni finns i mina tankar. Björn, du betyder mycket för mig och jag är oerhört tacksam över den ökade kunskapen inom lösningsfokus som du delade med dig av under de tre åren som vi jobbade tillsammans i Forshaga. Du är en fantastisk människa. Kärlek till er båda. 💚💚

  8. Lotta Bjorklund | Reply

    Dear Björn och Eva! I am so very sorry and you both are in my thoughts. Bjorn, you mean a lot to me and I am extremely grateful for the increased knowledge within the solution focus that you shared during the three years that we worked together in Forshaga, Sweden. You are an amazing man. Love to you both. 💚 💚

  9. Björn…I am at once both deeply sad and still reeling from this news. I want to say ‘it’s not fair’ but it never is, is it? Your work, your life has been such an integral part of Solution Focus, that you will forever stand as one of the giants in the field (aside from the fact that you’re also very tall, which for me, being so short, is always memorable!). I wish you godspeed on your journey onward, and whatever awaits you (most likely Insoo and Steve will be there to greet you with a drink and meal..!) just know that I will miss you and your gently relentless and relentlessly gentle nature. And to Eva, many hugs and positive thoughts! Now, suppose, just suppose, that while you sleep tonight, a miracle occurs…. (and for just this once, I really hope it does)…

    I am grateful to have know such a fine fellow as you.
    Love, Mike Goran.

  10. Molly Ternström | Reply

    Me, as Björns daughter, would like to take a moment here, and thank all of you.
    Thank you for showing my dad and Eva such incredible support by your wonderful letters, e-mails, cards and so on. It means a lot for them.
    Eva covered one of the hospital walls in my dads room with all the cards that came to us, and every time I pass, I feel glad for my dad to have so many wonderful people that care for him. While looking at the cards on the wall and the bunch of printed e-mails lying on the table, my dad said to me with a smile on his face: “it’s incredible there are such good friends”.
    Never stop telling people in your surrounding that they mean something to you, continue to be as good and pure hearted you all have proven to be.

    For your effort, I will always be grateful.
    Lots of love to all of you,

    Molly

  11. I have continued the legacy and have been living my best summer yet 2015. I’ve evidence this in my Facebook and Instagram posts #bestsummeryet2015. I just returned from visiting UK and Europe. I presented on research I’m doing at EASSW2015 Conference in Milan June28-July3. I have also presented on BSFT and Social Work in Orlando Florida at the NASW Florida Chapter Annual Conference

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