Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Talks About Returning to Life After Husband's Death

PHOTO: Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, left, and Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey, arrive at the Sun Valley Inn for the 2011 Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in Sun Valley, Idaho.PlayJulie Jacobson/AP Photo
WATCH Sheryl Sandberg's Poignant Message About Her Husband's Unexpected Death

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg opened up for the first time about the difficulty of returning to work and life after her husband died last month, saying she is 30 years "sadder" and "wiser" in the last 30 days of religious mourning.

"For me, starting the transition back to work has been a savior, a chance to feel useful and connected," she wrote in a Facebook post. "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?"

Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey CEO, died at age 47 last month from severe head trauma and significant blood loss after slipping and falling from a treadmill at a hotel gym in Mexico, authorities there said. The Facebook executive met Goldberg 20 years ago.

Sandberg's essay describes the lessons she has learned, including asking for help.

"Until now, I have been the older sister, the COO, the doer and the planner," she wrote. "I did not plan this, and when it happened, I was not capable of doing much of anything. Those closest to me took over. They planned. They arranged. They told me where to sit and reminded me to eat. They are still doing so much to support me and my children."

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