I didn’t know Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, husband, and father. And I don’t know his wife, Facebook exec and Lean In author, wife ,and mother, Sheryl Sandberg for that matter. But I have been thinking about them a lot over the last few days, usually as I fall asleep at night. Goldberg died suddenly and unexpectedly in a tragic accident according to news reports. He was 47 years old. I just turned 46. (You can see where this is going.) So as I lie awake in bed now I think, “What if I don’t wake up?” My sweet husband beside me. My step daughter in the next room. The pile of books on my nightstand unread–a galley of Boss Life by NYT.com columnist Paul Downe; History of Beauty, a gift from my husband; Ghettoside: A True History of of Murder in America; and the wonderful debut novel that I’m not quite finished reading, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Not quite finished with a lot of things actually. And I imagine Goldberg wasn’t either. So my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now. And admittedly some of my thoughts and prayers are with me, too: What do I want to finish? How will I spend the days I am given?
TOP 5 RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON GRIEVING
- On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. The classic text for mourners that explains the five stages of grief and how the grief process helps
survivors live with loss.
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. A beautiful and unflinching look at the year after her husband of forty years died unexpectedly.
- A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. Written after his wife’s death, Lewis’ powerful philosophical and spiritual exploration, and account of his grief and his “recovery.”
- Healing A Spouse’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Husband or Wife Dies by Alan D. Wolfelt. An amazing and helpful resource. (There are other editions for teens or adult children grieving the loss of a parent.)
- The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander. An exquisite and poetic memoir about the author’s husband’s untimely death. Both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life.