To mark the end of her sheloshim, the first thirty days of Jewish mourning, acclaimed author and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has broken her silence on her husband's recent death.
While on vacation with Sandberg at a resort in Mexico, Dave Goldberg suffered a head injury after falling from a treadmill. According to his autopsy, reported on CBS SF, the SurveyMonkey CEO also experienced a heart arrhythmia that may have contributed to his death.
Though there's much to learn from her touching and honest remarks, posted publicly to Facebook, several moments stand out.
"While the experience of grief is profoundly personal, the bravery of those who have shared their own experiences has helped pull me through. Some who opened their hearts were my closest friends. Others were total strangers who have shared wisdom and advice publicly. So I am sharing what I have learned in the hope that it helps someone else. In the hope that there can be some meaning from this tragedy."
"I have gained a more profound understanding of what it is to be a mother, both through the depth of the agony I feel when my children scream and cry and from the connection my mother has to my pain. She has tried to fill the empty space in my bed, holding me each night until I cry myself to sleep."
"Those who have said, “You will find a new normal, but it will never be as good” comfort me more because they know and speak the truth. Even a simple “How are you?”—almost always asked with the best of intentions—is better replaced with “How are you today?” When I am asked “How are you?” I stop myself from shouting, My husband died a month ago, how do you think I am? When I hear “How are you today?” I realize the person knows that the best I can do right now is to get through each day."
"I have learned to ask for help—and I have learned how much help I need. Until now, I have been the older sister, the COO, the doer and the planner. I did not plan this, and when it happened, I was not capable of doing much of anything. Those closest to me took over. They planned. They arranged. They told me where to sit and reminded me to eat. They are still doing so much to support me and my children."
"I was talking to one of these friends about a father-child activity that Dave is not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, “But I want Dave. I want option A.” He put his arm around me and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”
"Dave, to honor your memory and raise your children as they deserve to be raised, I promise to do all I can to kick the shit out of option B. And even though sheloshim has ended, I still mourn for option A. I will always mourn for option A. As Bono sang, “There is no end to grief . . . and there is no end to love.” I love you, Dave."
Among the many responses and, yes, "Likes," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg chimed in with his support. "Your ability to find meaning and clarity is deeply inspiring," he writes. "You're an amazing person, and we're all here with you to help you kick the shit out of option B."
Previously: Sheryl Sandberg's Husband Dave Goldberg Died In Treadmill Accident