It's been 30 days since Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband, Dave Goldberg, in an exercise accident while on vacation in Mexico. In that time, there's been an outpouring of public support for the mother of two. But now that the 30-day period of Jewish mourning, called sheloshim, is over, Sandberg is sharing her thoughts on the past month, including what she learned in the mourning process and what it will take to move her life forward, in a very moving post on Facebook.
The founder of the Lean In movement, who has empowered many women to pursue their career goals while juggling family responsibilities, and the woman behind the Ban Bossy movement is continuing to inspire mothers everywhere with her moving words.
On What It Means to Be a Mother
I have lived thirty years in these thirty days. I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser.
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. She has fought to hold back her own tears to make room for mine. She has explained to me that the anguish I am feeling is both my own and my children's, and I understood that she was right as I saw the pain in her own eyes.
On Attending a Parent Night at School
At the same time, there are moments when I can't let people in. I went to Portfolio Night at school where kids show their parents around the classroom to look at their work hung on the walls. So many of the parents—all of whom have been so kind—tried to make eye contact or say something they thought would be comforting. I looked down the entire time so no one could catch my eye for fear of breaking down. I hope they understood.
On Handling Father-Child Activities
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 sh*t 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 sh*t 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.
See the entire post below: