A month after the death of her husband, Dave Goldberg, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg shared her deep grief with the public on Wednesday. She used her Facebook page to write that during her mourning she "learned to ask for help," and reflected on the circumstances of other women in similar situations but without the immense financial resources that are at her disposal:
Sandberg commented on what it's like to return to work, and related to her colleagues:
I realized that to restore that closeness with my colleagues that has always been so important to me, I needed to let them in. And that meant being more open and vulnerable than I ever wanted to be. I told those I work with most closely that they could ask me their honest questions and I would answer. I also said it was okay for them to talk about how they felt. One colleague admitted she’d been driving by my house frequently, not sure if she should come in. Another said he was paralyzed when I was around, worried he might say the wrong thing. Speaking openly replaced the fear of doing and saying the wrong thing.
One of my favorite cartoons of all time has an elephant in a room answering the phone, saying, "It’s the elephant." Once I addressed the elephant, we were able to kick him out of the room.
Sandberg wrote about the fact that women tend to have less financial support than men, and struggle emotionally and financially in times of loss:
In the last thirty days, I have heard from too many women who lost a spouse and then had multiple rugs pulled out from under them. Some lack support networks and struggle alone as they face emotional distress and financial insecurity. It seems so wrong to me that we abandon these women and their families when they are in greatest need.
She ended her note with a lyric from U2's "California (There Is No End To Love)," writing, 'As Bono sang, "There is no end to grief . . . and there is no end to love.' I love you, Dave."