Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared on the Today Show Wednesday to discuss Facebook’s Year in Review. She also ended up discussing her own year, which included the unexpecteddeath of her husband Dave Goldberg.
Goldberg was the CEO of startup SurveyMonkey, and he was a well-liked and much-respected figure in Silicon Valley.
On the Today Show, Sandberg explained why she chose to grieve publicly after Goldberg’s death.
“As I look to the new year, and my children and I have worked so hard to rebuild our lives and find happiness and joy and gratitude again, I think the support of strangers and our friends made a huge difference,” she said. “I always loved Facebook’s mission, but now I feel even closer to it in, I think, a much deeper and more profound way.”
Sandberg wrote a heartbreaking, eloquent Facebook post about Goldberg a month after he died. She credited her husband for showing her the internet for the first time, introducing her to cool music, and much more.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to post it, but I did,” Sandberg said on the Today Show, talking about the Facebook post.
“I hit send on the 30-day anniversary of his death, which has meaning in the Jewish religion. I shared how to talk to me and how I was feeling. And it changed a lot. People knew what to say. People started talking to me more openly. And even strangers, because I’m not the only person who experienced loss this year or in previous years.”
She continued: “By using, sharing on Facebook, I felt part of that global community. Because anything you experience, no matter how tragic or devastating… there are many people in the world who’ve experienced that. There’s something universal about the ability to share and connect and say to someone else, ‘It gets better.'”
Sandberg, who oversees Facebook’s business operations, returned to work on a modified schedule shortly after Godlberg’s death, rather than taking a leave. She made the decision on the advice of child psychologists who noted the importance of re-establishing regular routines, according to Recode.