Sheryl Sandberg Tells Virginia Tech: Anyone Can Be Resilient

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had a message of resilience and hope for Virginia Tech graduates on Friday.

“I’ve spent the last two years studying resilience because something happened in my life that demanded more of it than I ever needed before,” Sandberg said in a prepared draft of her speech.

┬áIn 2015, Sandberg’s husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, died of a cardiac arrhythmia while they were vacationing in Mexico. She suddenly became a widow in her 40s with two small children.

“Sometimes I can’t believe it actually happened. I woke up on what I thought would be a normal day. And out of nowhere, my world changed forever,” she said.

Sandberg said losing her husband has “fundamentally changed” how she views the world and how she lives in it every day. She said that Virginia Tech graduates have also faced challenges, heartbreak, illness and shared losses, like the shooting at the university in 2007, which was the second deadliest mass shooting in US history.

“You know that life can turn in an instant. And you know what it means to come together, to pull together, to grieve together, and most importantly, to overcome together,” she said.

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