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Preview: Sheryl Sandberg on recuperating from her husband’s death

On May 1, 2015, while vacationing in Mexico, the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the arch handling officer of Facebook, died unexpected while exercising. Dave Goldberg was just 47. An autopsy, Sandberg says, showed that he died of coronary heart illness and had a cardiac arrhythmia.


Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg, graphic in 2011. 

Then famous for her bestselling 2013 book “Lean In,” which urged women in the workplace to mount up for themselves, Sandberg unexpected found herself opposed her toughest challenge, as a singular mom of two immature children.

“My rabbi told me to ‘lean into the suck,’” Sandberg tells Norah O’Donnell in an talk to air on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” Apr 23.  “And we thought, ‘That is not what we meant when we pronounced lean in.’ But it was really good advice. Because what he was revelation me [was], ‘This is going to suck. Don’t fight it.’”

In an romantic and wide-ranging interview, Sandberg talks with O’Donnell (co-host of “CBS This Morning”) about breaking the news of their father’s death to her children and how they worked together to pierce brazen after the loss.  She also talks about coping with grief and the other life lessons she explores in her new book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy,” co-written with crony and clergyman Adam Grant.  


Grant, she tells O’Donnell, also helped her find things to be beholden for in the issue of her husband’s death. “So one thing that happened is, Adam one day pronounced to me, ‘It could be way worse.’  And we looked at him like, ‘Are you crazy? we just lost my husband suddenly, how could it be worse?’  And he said, ‘Dave could’ve had that same cardiac arrhythmia pushing your children,’” Sandberg says.

O’Donnell first sat down with Sandberg, along with her husband, 4 years ago for “60 Minutes” in what incited out to be their only corner radio interview.  It was transparent then how much Sandberg relied on Goldberg.

“When we wrote ‘Lean In’, we hadn’t really ever suspicion adequate about what it was to be a singular parent,” Sandberg tells O’Donnell now. “I don’t consider we got it.  Being a singular mother, even for me with all the resources we have, is much harder than we ever imagined.”

Sandberg also talks with O’Donnell about anticipating the strength to giggle again. “I’ve had to work tough at anticipating laughter,” she said. “Even jokes early on done me kind of pant in startle like, ‘Oh my God, we just done a joke.’ we was examination TV early on with my sister-in-law, and we kind of blurted out, ‘Well, at slightest we don’t have to watch Dave’s bad TV shows anymore.’ And then we just froze in horror, like, Oh my God…  But then we laughed!”

The Emmy Award-winning “CBS Sunday Morning,” hosted by Jane Pauley, is promote on CBS Sundays commencement at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive writer is Rand Morrison.

Follow the program on Twitter (@CBSSunday), Facebook, Instagram (#CBSSundayMorning) and at cbssundaymorning.com. “Sunday Morning” also streams on CBSN commencement at 9:30 a.m. ET, and is accessible on cbs.com, CBS All Access, and On Demand. You can also listen to “Sunday Morning” audio podcasts at Play.it.

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