Dave Goldberg, a well known technology industry executive and CEO of SurveyMonkey (and husband to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg) died on the eve of this weekend. His loss is being mourned by Silicon Valley, not for the successes he racked up in the executive chair, but mostly for his kindness, decency and generosity of spirit.
Almost everyone I know, knew him. And yet, I had never met him. I had never exchanged a single word or an email with him. His passing has left me with a sense of immeasurable regret. I mourn, with rest of my industry, for a family being deprived of their loved one, his children of their father and his beloved of his love. I also mourn for ‘we the people’ being deprived of the possibilities such a good person brings to this world every day. Humanness is in short supply and he had it in spades.
It is hard to even imagine the depth of pain Sheryl must be feeling. My heart goes out to her, her two beautiful children and the rest of her extended family. This poem by American poet James Whitcomb Riley says everything I want to say…
“I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you—oh you, who the wildest yearn
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead—he is just away.”