By Andrea Chang
Los Angeles Times.
Sheryl Sandberg took to Facebook on Wednesday to reflect on the first 30 days after the death of her husband, a period in Judaism known as sheloshim.
“I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice,” Facebook’s chief operating officer wrote. “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.”
A month ago, Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died during a family vacation in Mexico after apparently falling off a treadmill.
In her lengthy post, Sandberg said she wanted to mark the end of sheloshim and to “give back some of what others have given to me.”
She thanked those who have been there for her, from close friends to strangers who shared wisdom and advice publicly. She said she hoped sharing her experience would help others.
“I have lived thirty years in these thirty days,” she wrote. “I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser.”
She went on to discuss the pain she felt at home, noting that her mother “has tried to fill the empty space in my bed, holding me each night until I cry myself to sleep.” She shared her thoughts on “real empathy” and the right way to comfort those in need. She pleaded with people to move out of the way when ambulances pass, saying the trip to the hospital that day was “unbearably slow.” And she said she’d learned real gratitude: “I appreciate every smile, every hug,” she said of her children.