Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg says she hopes her new book on grief will teach readers how to help others after a tragedy.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has a USA TODAY bestseller. Her book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy is a self-help and “help-others” guide to facing challenges and overcoming loss. Co-written by psychologist Adam Grant, the book focuses on the sudden death of Sandberg’s husband and Grant’s research on finding strength. Sandberg sat down with Joanne Lipman, editor in chief of the USA TODAY Network to talk about grief and resilience. Here are the highlights:
Q: How can siblings, cousins, friends, colleagues, etc. best support those who have lost someone? What is the best way to be by someone’s side while honoring their grief?
A: When the worst happens, we actually really are afraid to talk about it normally. You want to silence a room? Get diagnosed with cancer. Silence. Have your father go to prison, lose a job, have someone die — no one knows what to say. And I used to think, before I lost Dave, that when I brought something up… I was reminding the person. You can’t remind me Dave died… I live with that every day. So when people are kind and can acknowledge what’s happening, that’s really important. Now I’m not saying everyone wants to talk about it every time… but I am saying that rather than letting these things be this huge elephant following that person around, looking at someone and saying, ‘I know this is so hard, and I just want you to know I’m here to go through this with you,’ that’s something we can always do.
Q: When do you say, ‘How are you?’ What’s the appropriate time to do that?
A: There’s no appropriate time, and everyone grieves and mourns and recovers…