Sheryl Sandberg pens heartbreaking essay about the loss of her husband

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Sheryl Sandberg Reflects On Life Since Her Husband's Death


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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Sheryl Sandberg pens heartbreaking essay about the loss of her husband
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is interviewed by Megyn Kelly, during a segment of her Fox News Channel “The Kelly File,” program, in New York, Thursday, March 5, 2015. Sandberg has enlisted NBA stars LeBron James, Stephen Curry and some of the basketball league's other top players to convince more men to join the fight for women's rights at home and at work. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., left, and her husband David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey, arrive to a morning session at the Sun Valley Lodge during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Technology companies from Silicon Valley are expected to take center stage at this year's Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference as tech and media converge. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 05: In this handout image supplied by Sportsfile, Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey, speaks on the centre stage during Day 2 of the 2014 Web Summit at the RDS on November 5, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE via Getty Images)
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., left, walks with her husband David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, as they arrive at the Sun Valley Lodge ahead of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries will gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 23: Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, speaks during the Digital Life Design conference (DLD) at HVB Forum on January 23, 2012 in Munich, Germany. DLD (Digital - Life - Design) is a global conference network on innovation, digital, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and investors for crossover conversation and inspiration. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 09: Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, attend the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 9, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful businessmen from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 32nd year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 08: Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, arrive for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 8, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful businessmen from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 32nd year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg arrive for morning session of the Allen & Co. annual conference at the Sun Valley Resort on July 10, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The resort is hosting corporate leaders for the 31st annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference where some of the wealthiest and most powerful executives in media, finance, politics and tech gather for weeklong meetings. Past attendees included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
MENLO PARK, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a Safer Internet Day event at Facebook headquarters on February 10, 2015 in Menlo Park, California. California Attorney General Kamala Harris delivered the keynote speech at a Safer Internet Day event that is designed to promote safe, effective use of the internet and mobile technology. Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over 100 countries on the the second Tuesday in February. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 09: JULY 10: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg arrives for the Allen & Co. annual conference on July 9, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The resort will host corporate leaders for the 31th annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference where some of the wealthiest and most powerful executives in media, finance, politics and tech gather for weeklong meetings which begins Tuesday. Past attendees included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
FILE - This Jan. 15, 2013 file photo shows Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. “Lean In” is now in its 15th printing and has sold 600,000 copies just three months after publication, Bogaards said Thursday, June 6. Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, has been encouraging a national conversation on how women can advance in their careers. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, left, and Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey, arrive at the Sun Valley Inn for the 2011 Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in Sun Valley, Idaho (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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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."

NEWS: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's Husband David Goldberg Dies Suddenly at 47

"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.


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.

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