The Sheryl is Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO and author of Leaning In. Just over a month ago, her 47 year old young husband Dave died suddenly from injuries from falling off a treadmill. After a 30 day period of mourning, she posted her thoughts on grieving on Facebook. In days, her posting went viral. Click on her name above for the full text of her three page essay.
I loved this one bit of advice for those wondering what to say to one who is grieving. Rather than say, How are you? Say How are you today? She writes, When I am asked “How are you?” I stop myself from shouting. My husband died a month ago, how do you think I am? When I hear, “How are you today?” I realize the person knows the best I can do right now is get through each day.”
When our four year old daughter Robyn was diagnosed with leukemia, many people didn’t know what to say. I get that. Some stayed away not wanting to say the wrong thing. Others didn’t want to bring up Robyn’s name thinking that by doing so it would remind me of her cancer. Whether one mentioned Robyn or not, I was thinking about her cancer all the time anyway. Take a chance. Say something. I’ll appreciate the effort. I really will.
Rather than saying, I am here if you need anything, let me know what you will do without me asking. I am too empty and shocked to know what I need. Do something. Don’t wait for me to come up with what I need. I really don’t have any idea what that is.
Sheryl ends with a Bono lyric, “There is no end to grief…and there is no end to love.” Reach out with love. I won’t feel so alone. We’ll find a way.
PS Today at 33, Robyn is a beautiful young woman.