Sheryl Sandberg Pens Heartbreaking Essay About the Loss of Her Husband

by Zach Seemayer 9:27 PM PDT, June 03, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Executive Officer for Facebook, shared an emotional post on Wednesday, reflecting on the loss of her husband Dave Goldberg, who died in a tragic accident on May 1.

In the powerful essay, Sandberg shared the many things she's discovered about life, tragedy and pain in the wake of her husband's sudden death. She also welcomed those that know her and those that are struggling with their own loss, into her life and situation, writing, "I am sharing what I have learned in the hope that it helps someone else."

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"A childhood friend of mine who is now a rabbi recently told me that the most powerful one-line prayer he has ever read is: ‘Let me not die while I am still alive.’ I would have never understood that prayer before losing Dave. Now I do," Sandberg wrote. "I 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. These 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."

"But when I can, I want to choose life and meaning," she added.

Sandberg explained that one of the most common things she's dealt with while trying to recover from her loss is the different way in which people interact with her. She wrote, "Many of my co-workers had a look of fear in their eyes as I approached. I knew why—they wanted to help but weren’t sure how. Should I mention it? Should I not mention it? If I mention it, what the hell do I say?"

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So she has decided to be as open and honest as possible, in an effort to move forward in her personal and professional relationships.

"I have lived thirty years in these thirty days," Sandberg wrote. "I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser."

Her touching, heart wrenching open letter can be seen in full below, and is well worth the read.

Today is the end of sheloshim for my beloved husband—the first thirty days. Judaism calls for a period of intense...

Posted by Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Goldberg, who was 47 when he died, was CEO of SurveyMonkey, an online polling service. Goldberg died during a family vacation at a villa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He fell while exercising on a treadmill, and struck his head, causing fatal head trauma and blood loss.