Daily Dagens Nyheter is running an interesting series of articles titled 'Komma igen' or, in English, "Comebacks". Claes Widlund, survivor of a devastating plane crash just outside Stockholm, was recently interviewed by the newspaper. Widlund survived the airplane crash in Gottröra, twenty years ago. When he revisits Gottröra, his heart starts racing and he says he can “feel it”. Yet he also says: “I was lucky to go through it. I wouldn’t want to have it undone.” Widlund describes the crash (where all passengers miraculously survived) in detail, how the plane left Arlanda, on its way to Warsaw via Copenhagen. “The motors just stopped and nobody said a thing,” Widlund explains. “It was strangely quiet.” Then came the unbelievable sound as the plane hit ground and crashed. Widlund and his wife (along with the rest of the passengers) were taken to psychologists right away. But Widlund wasn’t susceptible for that kind of help. Widlund explains: “I just wanted to talk to my family.” He says that one important part of the healing was to talk to people he knew, and especially his wife who had experienced the crash with him. They talked about it over and over. Only a week later, they decided to fly again. To Malmö and back. Shortly, Widlund discovered he had a new kind of energy. “I realized that the accident had given me something positive. An inner power, not at all religious. I grew as a human being. It is easier for me to see what’s important in life after the accident. I take in things that I use to take for granted before, like when the kids say ‘Pappa, I love you.’ I also have a drive to complete things, and this drive takes me through difficult periods.”
Claes Widlund survived the plane crash in Gottröra on December 27 in 1991, when miraculously all 129 passengers survived, and only one was seriously injured. Widlund’s tips for coming back after a trauma: Talk, talk, and talk about it. Make sure you are surrounded by people who ask you questions and care about hearing your answers. Return to the scene of the accident. Get back into the saddle.