You Need to Read Sheryl Sandberg's Moving Statement About Her Husband's Death
Sandberg's heartbreaking Facebook post reveals how she's coping with his loss, a month later.
Just one month after the sudden passing of her husband, Dave Goldberg, Sheryl Sandberg has opened up about her first month without him in a heartbreaking, yet inspiring Facebook post about how she's coping.
â€œI think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning,â€ the Facebook chief operating officer and author of Lean In wrote today. Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey, passed away suddenly from a severe head trauma while on vacation last month.
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â€œThese past thirty days, I have spent many of my moments lost in that void. And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well,â€ she continued. â€œBut when I can, I want to choose life and meaning. â€œ
The timing of the post marks the end of Goldbergâ€™s sheloshim, a 30-day mourning period in Judaism, which SandbergÂ explains has been a great period of growth (and sorrow) in her life.
â€œI have learned that I never really knew what to say to others in need. I think I got this all wrong before; I tried to assure people that it would be okay, thinking that hope was the most comforting thing I could offer,â€ she wrote. â€œReal empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay but acknowledging that it is not.â€
Another thing she says she's learned: gratitude. "Real gratitude for the things I took for granted beforeâ€”like life. As heartbroken as I am, I look at my children each day and rejoice that they are alive. I appreciate every smile, every hug. I no longer take each day for granted."
Sandberg also touched on her transition back to work, which she credits as â€œa chance to feel useful and connected.â€ And she's made an effort to let her co-workers in, however difficult being "open" and "vulnerable" during this time might be. "A colleague told me that his wife, whom I have never met, decided to show her support by going back to school to get her degreeâ€”something she had been putting off for years. Yes! When the circumstances allow, I believe as much as ever in leaning in."
Read Sandbergâ€™s full essay below. It's one of the best things you'll read about love and loss.