The phrase captures Sandberg’s philosophy that this is not a chosen path and never will be a chosen path, but it is the path you are on. As she writes, “Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B.”
In Option B, Sandberg recounts step by step her difficult journey to resilience. She remembers, for example, the first time she felt happy after her husband’s death. It was at a bar mitzvah for the daughter of one of her best friends, whom she had known since high school. At the party, she suddenly found herself dancing and singing along to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” with another long-time friend. And then she burst into tears.
"Dancing to an upbeat song from childhood had taken me to a place where I wasn’t filled with loneliness and longing," she writes. "I wasn’t just feeling okay. I actually felt happy. And that happiness was followed immediately by a flood of guilt. How could I be happy when Dave was gone?"
This story is recounted in a chapter entitled “Taking Back Joy.” Accepting moments of happiness without guilt is one of the most difficult steps to take after a tragedy, but it is also an impor tant par t of one’s resilience, Sandberg writes.
As she explains in her introduction, “I am only partway through my own journey. The fog of acute grief has lifted, but the sadness and longing for Dave remain ... Like so many who’ve experienced tragedy, I hope I can choose meaning and even joy – and help others do the same.”
Like C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, published more than 50 years ago, Sandberg’s Option B will be helping other survivors choose meaning and even joy for decades to come.