Regardless of the criticisms leveled at Sheryl Sandberg‘s writing, she is an advocate for women (even if she does sometimes miss the mark, which she has–and has admitted). After losing her husband Dave Goldberg, she wrote, and recently published, her book “Option B,” which focuses on how to endure grief, and find ways to help other women deal with loss.
“Mark is why I’m walking,” she told The Guardian in a recent interview.
“Most of what [he and Priscilla] did is not even in the book, because they did so much. When I felt so overwhelmed and so isolated and just needed to cry, I would grab him into his conference room and he would just sit there with me and be like, ‘We’re going to get through this and we want to get through it with you.’ He did it over and over.”
Zuckerberg, according to Sandberg, made a point to act normal around her, which made it easier for her to settle back into her typical routines. In Time, Sandberg also mentioned that Zuckerberg said, “‘Actually I’m really glad you were here today. You made two really good points—here’s what they were.'”
For many, returning to ordinary routines can make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with, and mourning, a tremendous loss. In many ways, it gives meaning and purpose to one’s day–illustrating that we are truly capable of transcending our pain and loss, not just for others, but for ourselves. Sandberg’s frankness about what has helped her through her trauma can serve as a helpful example for others— and Zuckerberg’s behavior is hopefully a reminder to bosses everywhere that being kind to employees who are suffering can win lifelong loyalty.