“Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg

September 28, 2017

Perhaps you have already read it – it’s on the best sellers list. It’s “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl is a top executive at Facebook. Her spouse, also a high exec in technology, died suddenly in 2004, leaving her with 2 young children.

Sheryl’s book is a compilation of what she has learned from professionals who helped her in her journey through grief. A couple of things I found useful in the book were:

The three “P’s” that stunt recovery from loss, from psychologist Martin Seligman:

Personalization. The belief that we are at fault; why we need to stop apologizing.

Pervasiveness. The belief that the event must affect all aspects of our life.

Permanence. I will always feel this way. I will never love / laugh / etc., again.

AND…”the elephant in the room.” How staying silent isolates us – the cultural pressure to conceal negative emotions.

It was noted in the book that even those who have tremendous support systems experience grief and trauma in the same painful way and the need to lean into the pain and go through it. Sheryl spoke highly of the value of bereaved persons attending grief support groups. It’s great to see a book about grief and loss on the best sellers list!

Carolyn O’Neal
Sudden Loss Group Facilitator, Community Hospice

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