NEW YORK: Sheryl Sandberg is marking the end of a 30-day period of mourning following the death of her husband by saying "I want to choose life and meaning."
Sandberg, Facebook's No. 2 executive, lost her husband Dave Goldberg after he died in a treadmill accident while on vacation in Mexico a month ago. In "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," Sandberg wrote about the profound influence Goldberg had on her life and career. She's called her husband of 11 years her rock and a "true partner" on all fronts.
On Wednesday, she took to her Facebook page to mark the end of an official Jewish mourning period by writing that she wants to "give back some of what others have given me."
Sandberg, who has two young children, wrote that while "the experience of grief is profoundly personal, the bravery of those who have shared their own experiences has helped pull me through."
The always-poised executive, who saw herself as the "the older sister, the (chief operating officer), the doer and the planner," wrote that she has learned to ask for help.
Here are the other thoughts she shared on motherhood, mourning and honoring Goldberg's memory.
ON BEING A MOTHER:
"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 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."
"For me, starting the transition back to work has been a savior, a chance to feel useful and connected. But I quickly discovered that even those connections had changed. 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? I realized that to restore that closeness with my colleagues that has always been so important to me, I needed to let them in."
ON THE AMBULANCE RIDE:
"Although we now know that Dave died immediately, I didn't know that in the ambulance. The trip to the hospital was unbearably slow. I still hate every car that did not move to the side, every person who cared more about arriving at their destination a few minutes earlier than making room for us to pass."
"I can't even express the gratitude I feel to my family and friends who have done so much and reassured me that they will continue to be there. In the brutal moments when I am overtaken by the void, when the months and years stretch out in front of me endless and empty, only their faces pull me out of the isolation and fear."