The Power of One Life

My heart continues to go out to classmate and friend, Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, and her two young children. Her husband, Dave Goldberg, passed away.

My friend Jon McNeill recently posted on Facebook a very touching remembrance of Dave. The three of us worked at Bain & Company around the same time. I didn’t know Dave, but Jon’s post reminded me that I interacted with Dave as a young VC when he was raising money for a new company called Launch.

I cannot know how Sheryl feels. But, I’ve seen it from afar. My sister’s husband passed away when he was 42 years old. Their children were young, ages 7 and 9.

I think it is amazing how people remember Dave in the same way: giving, caring, thoughtful, and even-keel (here is an example). A true mensch. It is even more amazing when people whom I trust say that; for example, it was through Jon that I met Mrs. T.

It made me think about how the power of one life. With consistency and good values, we can affect so many.

Honestly, there’s not much more I feel I can say. I’ll end this post with Sheryl’s recent Facebook post about her husband:

I want to thank all of our friends and family for the outpouring of love over the past few days. It has been extraordinary – and each story you have shared will help keep Dave alive in our hearts and memories.

I met Dave nearly 20 years ago when I first moved to LA. He became my best friend. He showed me the internet for the first time, planned fun outings, took me to temple for the Jewish holidays, introduced me to much cooler music than I had ever heard.

We had 11 truly joyful years of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership that I could imagine… He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved – and I will carry that with me always. Most importantly, he gave me the two most amazing children in the world.

Dave was my rock. When I got upset, he stayed calm. When I was worried, he said it would be ok. When I wasn’t sure what to do, he figured it out. He was completely dedicated to his children in every way – and their strength these past few days is the best sign I could have that Dave is still here with us in spirit.

Dave and I did not get nearly enough time together. But as heartbroken as I am today, I am equally grateful. Even in these last few days of completely unexpected hell – the darkest and saddest moments of my life – I know how lucky I have been. If the day I walked down that aisle with Dave someone had told me that this would happen – that he would be taken from us all in just 11 years – I would still have walked down that aisle. Because 11 years of being Dave Goldberg’s wife, and 10 years of being a parent with him is perhaps more luck and more happiness than I could have ever imagined. I am grateful for every minute we had.

As we put the love of my life to rest today, we buried only his body. His spirit, his soul, his amazing ability to give is still with us. It lives on in the stories people are sharing of how he touched their lives, in the love that is visible in the eyes of our family and friends, in the spirit and resilience of our children. Things will never be the same – but the world is better for the years my beloved husband lived.

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