The Facebook COO, who lost her husband, David Goldberg, over a year ago, brought tears to the eyes of graduating UC Berkeley students with her speech on Saturday morning. Sheryl Sandberg was open and honest about her pain and suffering and how it forced her to tap a deep reservoir of inner strength and resiliency that has made her a better person. Watch and read for yourself—it’s truly inspiring.
As I stand here today, a year after the worst day of my life, two things are true. I have a huge reservoir of sadness that is with me always—right here, where I can touch it. I never knew I could cry so often—or so much.
But I am also aware that I am walking without pain. For the first time, I am grateful for each breath in and out—grateful for the gift of life itself. I used to celebrate my birthday every five years, and friends’ birthdays sometimes. Now I celebrate always. I used to go to sleep worrying about all the things I messed up that day—and trust me, that list was often quite long. Now I try hard to focus on each day’s moments of joy.
It is the greatest irony of my life that losing my husband helped me find deeper gratitude—gratitude for the kindness of my friends, the love of my family, the laughter of my children. My hope for you is that you can find that gratitude—not just on the good days, but on the hard ones, when you will really need it.