Sheryl Sandberg Talks Grief, Appreciating Mark Zuckerberg and Why She Won't Run for Public Office

Sheryl Sandberg - Watermark Conference for Women - Getty - H 2017
By Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images.

"Mark's one of the people who really carried me," Sandberg said of the Facebook founder in a new interview.

Sheryl Sandberg has been open about enduring grief in the wake of her husband Dave Goldberg's unexpected death in May of last year. The chief operating officer of Facebook co-wrote a book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, as a "primer for those who are bereaved" and spoke with Time about her experiences writing the book and coping with her loss.

Sandberg said her Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was instrumental in helping her following Goldberg's death. "Mark’s one of the people who really carried me," said Sandberg. "I believe even more I work with the greatest person in the world.”

She has become more interested in public policy now that she lives as a single mother, saying that the difficulties she's experienced as the sole parent, even with the resources and privileges she has that most single mothers don't, made her rethink parts of her best-selling book Lean In.

“When I look back at the chapter called ‘Make Your Partner a Real Partner,’ it has, like, a big old assumption that you have a partner,” she said. “I got that wrong.

“I think it’s part of why I have become so outspoken on public policy now,” she added. “I’m in a different place.”

Sandberg wants to effect change in maternity leave, paternity leave and living-wage laws, but tells the magazine she is not planning on entering public office. Part of that is because she wants to continue to focus on her children, thinks she can be more effective from her role in Facebook and feels even more loyal to Zuckerberg after her husband's death.

"My loyalty to Mark was deep before and is deeper now,” she said. Recently, the company implemented new bereavement and family-illness leave policies.

Option B is also being launched alongside a nonprofit aimed at changing the conversation around adversity, as Sandberg tries to use her experiences with grief to help others. The name comes from a conversation Sandberg had with Phil Deutch, a close friend whose birthday Goldberg and Sandberg were celebrating when Goldberg died.

A few weeks following his death, Sandberg told Deutch she didn't agree with his suggestion that a stand-in father should go to her children's school for a father-child event, because it wasn't the same thing. "Option A is not available,” Deutch told Sandberg. “So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”