Mourning with No Real Hope

Vaneetha Rendall Risner | August 23, 2017

Two weeks after her husband Dave’s unexpected death, Sheryl Sandberg received a letter from an acquaintance. The woman had been a widow for several years and wanted to offer comforting words, but she had none. Time hadn’t lessened her grief. The acquaintance wrote, “Try as I might, I can’t come up with a single thing that I know will help you.” The letter devastated Sandberg: “I felt the void closing in on me, the years stretching before me endless and empty.”

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy—co-authored with psychologist Adam Grant—is Sandberg’s counter to that inconsolable widow. Part memoir, part self-help book, and part research paper, Option B combines Sandberg’s raw account of her own journey with Grant’s research on people who have rediscovered joy after adversity.

Valuable Practical Advice

The strength of this book is Sandberg’s honesty and eloquence as she generously welcomes readers into her personal life, sharing her pain and the practices that accelerated her healing. She recommends self-compassion and self-confidence, which she developed by journaling her emotions and fears, naming her regrets, and recording three things she’d done well each day.

She suggests practical ways to help others who are grieving. Instead of asking…

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