Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, lost her husband to sudden death after only 11 years of marriage. Together with her psychologist friend, Adam Grant, she has written a book about grief and recovery. It's entitled Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.
In an interview with AARP The Magazine, Sandberg advises people who have faced a trauma such as the death of a loved one that they not isolate themselves.
Here's what she says: "You have to find ways to break the isolation. I found it very hard to tell people that I wanted to talk. It felt like I was imposing my sadness on them. When someone asked, 'How are you?' I kept saying, 'I'm fine,' and then people wouldn't ask me any questions. But I learned to say, 'I'm actually not doing that well.' One of the most common things about grief, about loss, about adversity, is silence. So what happens is, you go through this adversity or trauma, and then what piles on top of that is the isolation of no one talking about it."
Have you experienced this, too? Yes, it's pretty common that people in grief pull into themselves and isolate. I remember doing that after my divorce, too. However, Sandberg's advice is helpful. Isolation only prolongs the grief and makes you feel more alone than you already feel. If you are grieving something now, try Sandberg's advice. Be honest about where you're at in the process. Let friends and family help you. And if you know someone who's grieving, gently continue reaching out to them.