I couldn’t have watched a more inspiring speech on what a loved one’s death has taught someone. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, recently spoke at UC Berkeley’s Commencement Speech, and it was absolutely phenomenal. It was so evident that her words came straight from her heart and flowed so well that it is, hands down, the most powerful speech I have personally heard in recent times. She has learned about “the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss.”
But, she also “learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, find the surface, and breathe again.” She found positivity after her husband’s unexpected death from a freak accident when they were vacationing. She found even more confidence to achieve more and to support her two children through these tough times. She found peace following “the worst day of her life.” Her words brought an encouraging ambiance and inspired the new graduates to explore the world through their own visions. Despite setbacks, as cliché as this sounds, the goals will workout. Life will workout. The key to success and happiness is resilience.
“It is the greatest irony of my life that losing my husband helped me find deeper gratitude—gratitude for the kindness of my friends, the love of my family, the laughter of my children,” Sandberg stated to the new graduates. She encouraged them and all of us to find “that gratitude — not just on the good days, like today, but on the hard ones, when you will really need it.”
Her lessons to us from what she learned through her husband’s death has truly made a profound effect. It has given us hope, strength, and most importantly positivity to continue to handle the long journey of life — one filled with lessons, hardships, joys, and celebrations that will ultimately lead us to our destinations.
For those who are looking for some inspiration, please be sure to watch her speech here.