It’s been seven months since Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband.
Six months ago, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer wrote in a public Facebook post about her husband’s death that “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.”
The post was shared over 400,000 times.
Dave Goldberg died suddenly while on holiday with Sandberg in Mexico in May.
Now Sandberg has spoken about the response to her post, saying that at first she hadn’t even been sure if she would share it on the social network.
“I lost my husband tragically and suddenly and that’s a horrible thing to live through and it’s also pretty isolating to go through as you try to rebuild and go back to work,” Sandberg told the US Today Show.
“I hit send on the 30 day anniversary which has meaning in the Jewish religion and I shared. And I shared how to talk to me and how I was feeling. And it changed a lot.”
Sandberg said the post had prompted lots of people to reach out to her, and had provided much needed support during a difficult time.
Watch the full comments here:
“People started talking to me more openly, even strangers, because I’m not the only person who experienced loss this year and in previous years.
“I think loss and trying to rebuild resilience is a huge part of the human condition and by using and sharing on Facebook I felt part of that global community.
“It’s…a pretty isolating thing to live through. No one quite knows what to say. Everyone looks at you like a deer in the headlights.
“My children and I have worked so hard to rebuild our lives and find happiness and joy and gratitude again, I think the support of strangers and our friends made a huge difference.”
She said sharing the grieving process on Facebook had made a big difference.
“Anything that you’ve experienced, no matter how tragic or devastating, there are many people in the world who have experienced that and there’s something universal about the ability to share and connect and say to someone else: ‘it gets better’.”