Do we still have to lean in if Dave Goldberg is dead?

After three days of silence on the cause of death for Dave Goldberg, the New York Times has changed their story in the span of seven hours, some mysterious source said collapsed while exercising. Then a leak to the Associated Press said head trauma. If we were in an Agatha Christie mystery, I’d say heart attack.

But we are in the real world, and I don’t believe any of it.

My uncle committed suicide. His son hid in the closet while my uncle shot himself in the head. His son saw everything.

I didn’t know this until 20 years later. Everyone in my family thought the uncle had a heart attack shoveling snow. Every time my dad went out to shovel snow, my mom would say, “Be careful! I don’t want you to have a heart attack.”

The first thing my brother did when he saw my post about Dave Goldberg killing himself was send a reminder of our uncle. We still can’t believe how long the family thought he died shoveling snow. Family secrets are powerful. And effective.

So it seems pretty easy to me for Dave’s family to tell everyone a lie.

A reporter from CNN called me this morning. He asked me what the motive would be for Sheryl to lie about the cause of death.

Are you kidding me? The fact that CNN can’t dream up a motive really blows my mind.

Sheryl has made her husband, Dave, the role model for the perfect husband. She has said many times that the most important factor in her success was the husband she chose. And as late a week ago, she was saying that men need to do more, they are not doing enough, they need to take more responsibility. And, again, she held up her husband as an example.

It’s hard to be put in the spotlight as the world’s best dad and world’s best husband. Dave had one of the hardest roles in public life to maintain. He was CEO of a company where the investors were dumping stock, and Sheryl made people believe Dave was perfect – a poster boy for the family guy.

So then, I would like to know why was he on vacation in Mexico without Sheryl and without the kids? What was it a vacation from? Who was he with?

Why was Sheryl in DC instead of going to get the body? Why was Sheryl in DC instead of home with her kids? Why does Dave take a vacation when Sheryl is scheduled to be gone?

I wouldn’t ask so many questions except that Sheryl keeps telling me to lean in, but she doesn’t tell me how she does it. I ended up spending my 401K on household help, scaling back my career, and taking my kids on business trips that were magical at first and a bore thereafter.

Sheryl tells me she can lean in because she has a husband who is perfect, but it’s hard to believe because in the time she’s been married to him, he’s gained a lot of weight. And we all know that gaining that much weight is a sign of serious problems.

She tells me she and her husband try to make sure one of them is home with the kids, but it’s not what we have seen in the last five days. She doesn’t tell us if she has nannies. She doesn’t tell us how often she is away from her kids.  All she tells us is that leaning in depends on her husband.

So can she lean in now? Can you lean in if you don’t have the perfect husband? What if it’s too late to get the perfect husband? She doesn’t address that, but maybe she will now. I have a feeling that the spokesperson for high-flying careers is going to get a lot more informative and helpful now that she’s a single mom. All the money in the world can’t buy a substitute for a parent showing up to kiss a skinned knee.

But first she needs to stop misleading us. It’s misleading to refuse to talk about how much household help she has. It’s misleading to not talk about what she gives up with her kids, since all decisions in life are about choosing what to give up. It’s misleading to tell us she has a perfect husband and not address the cause of his huge weight gain.

Most of all, it’s misleading to ignore pleas for the cause of death for three days and then come up with something that is pretty difficult to confirm. And I can tell you, coming from a family of people who are misleading, that it’s a way of life once you start.

That doesn’t justify waiting three days to announce cause of death, and it doesn’t justify the misinformation she’s been spreading the last three years to push her own agenda.

That said I’m not sure it matters anymore how Dave died. Maybe he did die of a heart attack. It’s a fine line between a heart attack and a suicide. Heart attack is purely a disease of lifestyle. It is preventable. So Dave Goldberg died from a being totally out of control in his life from stress, or he died from depression that got out of control. Either way, Sheryl and Dave had nowhere near the perfect marriage that we heard about nonstop from Sheryl.

What matters is that we might all get relief from Sheryl painting a picture of the perfect family, refusing to divulge pertinent information about how that family actually works, and shaming everyone who do not lean in the way she does.

Arianna Huffington is on a book tour right now telling women to forget about having it all and instead get some sleep. I have a feeling that Sheryl will be on a book tour in similar fashion. But, like Arianna, Sheryl will have to wait until her kids go to college, because taking care of kids is a lot of work.

467 replies
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  1. harry ainsworth
    harry ainsworth says:

    It seems rather obvious that Dave Goldberg was murdered. We hear nothing about the cause of this high profile man’s death for 2 days and then we hear, bewilderingly, that it was head trauma while exercising! It’s also highly suspicious that Sheryl journeyed back to the US immediately. If my spouse died suddenly and unusually while overseas wouldn’t I want to stick around to find out what happened? It’s a tragedy that this man died suddenly but all concerned people have a duty to not ignore the red flags here.

    • Jessica
      Jessica says:

      It was probably a woman scorned for not ‘leaning in’.

      Seriously though, head trauma + blood loss had to be one heck of a gym ‘accident’. How many times does that happen at a gym? People wouldn’t be going. The odds of it are so slim that it is outrageous to believe it on the face of it and to a smart young guy, no less.

      It really doesn’t make sense. But if he was murdered, why would they hide that? Uncertainty?

      Why did she fly straight back? That’s SO weird.
      The supposed gym had staff and cameras, so the story gets harder to believe. At peak gym time too!
      And now the GM of 4 seasons coming out and saying it didn’t happen there.

      This is one big lie spinning out of control. Why aren’t other journalist reporting any of this? Fear of being shunned by the tech community?

      • harry ainsworth
        harry ainsworth says:

        Couldn’t agree more Jessica. Something so weird is going on here. Journalists who are usually so fearless have conspicuously suppressed asking the relevant questions. I think people are terrified of questioning someone that dominates the global social network.

        • Casey
          Casey says:

          Yes, it’s just blown me away. Yesterday I tried for 1/2 hour to find a photo on-line of the famous lean-in family and such a thing does not exist. Incredible. No photos of her kids at all, no discussion about them. How old are they, what are their names? All discussions of cause of death are sanitized as well. It is beyond frightening – not even the robber barons and moguls of old had that kind of power. Thank you so much Penelope for writing this.

          • N
            N says:

            Isn’t that a good thing though? She’s shielding her kids and allowing them to have as normal a life as possible instead of using them as media fodder. She’s a good mum. As for the accident why is it so hard to believe that a random accident can strike a rich man? Sheer statistics would indicate that this kind of thing can happen.

          • Casey
            Casey says:

            “Isn’t that a good thing though? She’s shielding her kids and allowing them to have as normal a life as possible instead of using them as media fodder. She’s a good mum. ”

            Yeah sure, all those people who end up the hapless victims of some newsworthy event and end up with all their social media pictures, photos of their home with police tape around it, interviews with neighbors and locals etc etc plastered all over the media are bad mums. Because if the survivors wanted to protect their children from the media’s glare, they totally could, right?

    • ofinterest
      ofinterest says:

      take note, looks like the state dept updated its travel warning to mexico (which includes puerto vallarta) on may 5. recent news reports of the drug violence in the area as well. really, though, why say he fell off a treadmill if it isn’t true . . . there would be better ways to be remembered and to bypass media scrutiny.

  2. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    Why in the world are all these commenters so angry at Sheryl Sandberg? She has a very impressive career and many people have her as a role model. It makes perfect sense for her to write a book explaining what she has done in her career and what has worked for her. I don’t think she is trying to put anyone down. Has she called anyone a failure? From what I’ve heard, the things in her book don’t even sound that controversial– Of course you can better develop your career if you have a partner who is supportive of you. I have a supportive partner and its working out pretty well for me.

    • Rads
      Rads says:

      Thanks for this Virginia. Her book was a game changer for me when I was going through a rough time in my career.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      How do we know a single thing she says about work/life balance etc is even true? How bizarre is it that photos of her family do not even exist? And she apparently was not even with him on vacation. Both parents were away from the kids, something she swore never happened. If she was with him in Mexico we would have heard already. The media would have reported “Sheryl and the kids were out shopping” or whatever. Why do they deserve more consideration than anyone else?

  3. Rads
    Rads says:

    Penelope, you’ve clearly been boiling in envy of women who have made their mark in this world, particularly of Sheryl Sandberg. Your post is not brave, it is vile and everyone can sniff your venom. Regardless of your barking, many of us still continue to admire and respect Sheryl Sandberg. I’d never heard of you before I googled for news on Dave Goldberg and stumbled on this drivel. Do you think your blog posts are going to stop women from leaning on jumping in. Seems to me you’re just angry you didn’t have any opportunities to lean in or the guts to lean in. Peace.

  4. Jane
    Jane says:

    Wow… This may be one of the worst things I’ve ever read. To the author, “Penelope” and those of you who are defending her – take a minute to think about this – each of you are actually wishing – really hoping – that a man committed suicide and a family is destroyed because because their happiness made you feel bad about your own life and you want to believe that in reality, they were so unhappy a man to killed himself (because as we all know, throwing yourself off a treadmill is a very popular method of killing yourself – idiots)

    Frankly, this makes you bad people and I’m unsurprised their happiness made you feel bad about your own lives.

    Penelope – words fail me how revolted I am by what you’ve written, It’s classless and pathetic and I’m stunned you went there. Disgusting.

  5. TashaMaria Tromer
    TashaMaria Tromer says:

    I too came across these posts when Googling his cause of death, because to me, it felt like…something was fishy. My thought, as a recovering journo, was MURDER rather than suicide. This felt like a conspiracy of silence. Then, suddenly, a cooked up narrative about a peculiar accident at the gym. No witnesses, etc. And if it is true the gym and resort deny his presence, well, that complicates things even further. As for the veracity of a statement given by an official of Mexico, we have no way of knowing if that’s some official CYA statement or something truthful. I too had a close relative commit suicide, but the purported constellation of events leading up to Dave Goldberg’s strange and mysterious death did not set off my suicide alarm. It will be interesting to see what actually unfolds. As to startups, many manic-depressives create businesses (and spend huge sums of money) in their manic phases. And marriages, for those who can navigate those precarious waters, require a set of intersecting pathologies. No one really knows another couple’s ‘deal’ from the outside.

    • harry ainsworth
      harry ainsworth says:

      Couldn’t agree more Tasha. Obvious case of murder. We don’t get any details, reports are from unnamed mexican officials. What is going on? Such a high profile couple and such a paucity of detail over a sudden death raises alarm bells. Everyone knows it, they are too scared to speak up. The tech fraternity is diabolically powerful.

      • Mark
        Mark says:

        Right and it had to have been some big shots from one of the drug cartels that did it, right? Or maybe some obviously corrupt Mexican cops who were paid by some official who hated Facebook? Go ahead and pick whichever scenario best floats your boat(even if that boat is very much capsized).

  6. funkright
    funkright says:

    Penelope et al… the only crosses we bear are the ones we chose to carry ourselves… Who cares about leaning in? Living life according to someone else’s ideals will never make you whole or complete.

  7. val
    val says:

    I am done reading your blog. I have regreted taking one of your courses but since you are being so honest now: you were late for 3 of the 4 online classes, You clearly had not prepared and just spoke on and on without any structure plus you were rude to the students who asked for clarification. You are a true train wreck, you could probably get a reality show now aka Anna Nicole Smith, loser.

  8. Mark
    Mark says:

    “It’s a fine line between a heart attack and a suicide.” No, it’s not. But thanks for playing, doc.

    By the way, I see you provide career advice at this website. What exactly is your career, other than giving bad advice to people even more sad-sack than you?

  9. Marty Mazurik
    Marty Mazurik says:

    Overweight late forties executive collapses trying to work out, before the Lobster dinner with extra butter sauce … story repeated hundreds of times over in America.
    Land of plenty, I’m sure the Sandbergs had plenty and apparently the weight gain (Dave) put stress on his heart, and his arteries were no doubt clogged and the stress of running company(s) took years out of his existence.
    While I don’t agree that he was necessarily “unhappy” or “depressed”, you can’t make up for a lifetime of bad choices by going to a hotel gym.
    Workouts can kill, I suffered a heart attack at 49, and I know … this isn’t something you just “jump into” because you’re on vacation … you gradually get your body moving.
    It likely was a heart attack, then a collapse … mayb e a rupture in the dreaded widow maker (left ventricle) , double over, hit the moving belt, hit your head.
    That or he was clocked by a hit man with something in the back of the head.
    Either way, having it all isn’t about power, money or being in Facebook or SurveyMonkey, if anything those Silicon Valley dreams play out as they do BECAUSE the lifestyle is non-conducive to having it all … just ask Steve Jobs.

  10. Ang
    Ang says:

    I looked at the pictures online of the gym or workout area and in a fancy hotel like the Punta, I find it hard to believe that there’s not a video camera and/or that at 4:00 pm in the afternoon that there’s no one else in that big gym. Show us the proof that he died via an accident. It sounds suspicious to me.

  11. HDL
    HDL says:

    Four to seven are not peak hours for a gym, especially one in a resort where people go to to be outside during the day. The notions that billionaires all travel with body guards all the time and that there are no private areas in high end gyms are wrong.

    And Sandberg never said there were no tradeoffs. Men and women always make tradeoffs. Women sometimes stay home and raise kids only to be left by husbands who remarry while the women have fewer prospects to do so. Or their husbands die and the widows have to learn to take care of themselves and their kids. Some women and men regret the amount of time they spend at work. Soem do not. There is no perfection in life, and Sandberg never said there was. The glee that she has suffered a tragedy is just revolting.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      4-7 pm are peak hours for family time however. How is it possible that a family that ate dinner together every night at 5:30 didn’t even keep tabs on each other from mid afternoon until 7pm? This is the biggest red flag to me. 7pm is late for a doting father to be unaccounted for and for no one in the family to know or care where he was from 4-7pm is inconceivable. Even if he wasn’t traveling with the kids he would be skyping or something. And did they really think he was at the gym for >3 hrs? Makes no sense at all. And the autopsy done so quickly – no toxicology reports needed before foul play ruled out when a healthy man dies of a head wound? Doesn’t make sense either.

  12. concerned
    concerned says:

    Were you drunk when you wrote this ? Are you serious that you could even write this riposte to your own thinly disguised jealousy of Ms Sandberg.

    Seriously, you should get some therapy. This post is ill.

  13. Tracy J
    Tracy J says:

    Haven’t read all of the comments, so maybe someone has said this:

    Heart attacks are definitely not all because of lifestyle choices. Genetics plays a huge roll, especially if he had one at such a young age.

  14. Kat
    Kat says:

    Penelope, I think, the American masses already understand that have-it-all is a fable of the past. Sheryl can be a liar or a women who never understood what sacrificing really means. But even if her husband died of stress, it is not a wake up call for people to realize that lean-in is an unrealistic concept.

    It’s clear that the camp that roots for her found inspiration. The camp that hates her think it’s bull. And it’s clear that your readers prefer to move on…because the effort to deconstruct the have-it-all life is a passé.

  15. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    Penelope, (I HOPE YOU WILL RESPOND!)
    I have been reading your blog for 10 years and thank you for your guidance, honesty and for standing up for women. In general, I agree with your views here, but am feeling torn about your kicking Sheryl while she’s down. She is a human being, trying her best. Though to Sheryl, you are one thorn among a much larger pool of supporters during this difficult time, so fine. She is grieving the loss of her husband, not crying over your post. What I am having trouble reconciling is your statement that you’re “not sure it matters anymore how Dave died.” It feels like you are backpedaling from your initial, very blunt/hurtful/attention gaining announcement that you think he committed suicide, just to cover the possibility that you could be wrong, so that you can still be right. It does matter how he died, because while I understand your logic when pointing out what’s similar about a heart attack and suicide, they are different. A person might prioritize other things in life besides their health, not realizing they are about to die of a heart attack because of it. This is a passive act. Self-neglect. Suicide on the other hand, is an intentional act, and probably more disturbing/hurtful to those left behind. I feel like you are minimizing a really significant comment you initially made, and from which you benefited. I am sincerely interested in your response.

  16. jd
    jd says:

    Penelope, you are disgusting to use someone’s tragic death to forward your pathetic agenda. The first post was obnoxious. This post is sub-human.

  17. Big mel
    Big mel says:

    Poorly done, Penelope. This is a cynical grab for web traffic to your blog. All of what you conjecture may be true but talking about it at this time and in this manner is unconscionable. Show some basic decency.

  18. Mac
    Mac says:

    It’s a big gym (four seasons punta Mita):–v1938785-72/

    25 photos of it on this site. theres a sign in sheet rather than an attendant, no obvious cameras (anywhere in he hotel for that matter). Nothing behind the treadmills, quite a bit of clearance.
    Weight room next door, open footprint/layout.

    Ap report with hotel statement:

  19. Stacie
    Stacie says:

    This smacks of some sort of cover up to me. When I first heard about the story, my instant reaction was, “How sad, wait, how did he die?

    They waited three days days to release the cause of death with someone so public, with such an unusual manner death at that? ( How many people do you hear about falling off treadmills) And, it’s not like they were waiting on some sort of lab work to get an accurate report. He fell, and hit his head on the treadmill. Boom, End of story. They knew that the minute they found him. Why was there a wait of three days to release that? Come on, People, Wake up, and smell the Spinshit! Somethings not right here.

    Penelope is absolutely right to question this, and as she pointed out, she is one of the few people who can withstand the harsh critics to do so publicly.

    That being said, I am troubled by the nasty undertone in making the above point about his death. There is sort of a gleeful “Ha Ha Sheryl your perfect husband died, What are you going to do now? feel on both posts.

    However, many of the people who rightly criticize that aspect of the posts then turn around and hurl despicable insults right back at Penelope which serve no purpose in furthering the discussion.

    Regardless, I hope more reporters or bloggers will have the courage to question this, because I think we are being fed a load of BS.

  20. Logan
    Logan says:

    Died of head trauma- his head split open?

    I think he was murdered. No one falls off a treadmill and splits their head open. The head is covered by a skull. Most likely someone hit him on the head with a hard object (ie, baseball bat)

    Obviously being a billionaire’s husband has its downsides. You become a target to so many terrorist groups.

    • Jessica
      Jessica says:

      This has to be it.

      Why else would she leave to go back so soon? Unless she wasn’t safe.

  21. Jessie B. R.
    Jessie B. R. says:

    I’m all for gutsy media. But this just seems hateful, misguided and irresponsible. Either you are hoping on clicks for the sensationalism or you’re projecting something awful & dark & personal.

    One blog post of this ilk seemed distasteful & erroneous. A second seemsthe product of a disturbed person with a chip on her shoulder.

    I’d been planning on using your career coaching services. I’ll be unsubscribing instead.

  22. EcoMind
    EcoMind says:

    So now we learn they were staying in the private villa which its own private exercise room. Not part of the main hotel. With multiple private buildings. Yet the junior detectives above, who think they’re onto a conspiracy, are posting information on the main hotels exercise room. Etc. Continue with your nonsense if you so desire.

  23. Juhie Parnami
    Juhie Parnami says:

    Whether what Penelope says it true or not, it’s very cruel to publish this in such proximity to the news. Couldn’t you wait a few weeks or maybe even a few days — it’s fairly heartless. People lost a family member, a friend and a colleague — he was loved by many who will miss him and that doesn’t seem like a lie.

  24. May Lavinia
    May Lavinia says:

    Speechless. Want to be sympathetic. So much is not adding up. Autopsy…in Mexico? Body? In CA or MX?
    Who said the wife never went to MX? What? If the head injury is true, only a good autopsy would determine if he had a condition that caused imbalance or just lost his balance and fell. Read hui body was returned on Saturday. Also read they did an autopsy IN MX. All in that one day? Now Four Seasons is denying they were ever registered, but the nine BR villa at Four Seasons Punta Mita checks out as real.
    Bottom line not my business….but……..the confusion and thus the possibilities of what happened continue to multiply. Tomorrow’s the funeral at Stanford.

  25. Hima N
    Hima N says:

    Sheryl’s lean in pertains to women having choices. Lean in never says that woman can have it all. All it says if you want a career just like your male counterpart then go for it. We woman have been backstage being happy in part time and stagnant jobs because that was the norm. We let the man shine in his career and let the woman do what she can after she takes care of the house. For those who are happy doing that more power to them . For those of us who want more than being on sidelines Lean in validated all our desires. A stay at home mom is god but how many people commend the career woman who still does all the things the stay at home does except the afternoon kitty party. All lean in says men and women need to have the same choices and not feel guilty about it. If a man wants to stay home respect him. If a woman wants a high profile career then support her….
    I don’t believe in hell and heaven so I am sure the author of this distasteful post will experience her share of grief on earth that will make her reflect and repent on what she did by posting these articles..

  26. CandiQ
    CandiQ says:

    Yeah….Hate to say it but I’m officially done with Penelope Trunk. Some things are sacred.

  27. Honesty is the best policy
    Honesty is the best policy says:

    You’re a disgusting human being who has NO idea what you’re talking about. You’re speculating like a cheap gossip magazine about people you clearly have never met and know nothing about. You’re a horrible vulture and should be ashamed of yourself, his kids and wife are grieving inconceivably right now and you’re spreading smut and lies. You’re a true disgrace to humanity.

  28. Kat
    Kat says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Do you ask yourself why The Farmer looks so anorexic? Is he not allowed to eat anything from the farm since you are so broke? Is he selling all the food to pay the taxes you owe the IRS thus starving himself? Please feed him instead of spending the time to judge others. Is it nice when someone judges your husband like this?? Then stop judging Sheryl’s!!!

  29. Anna
    Anna says:

    I’ve been a reader of this blog for many, many years and I’ve never commented until now. What I can say is that Penelope’s writing and courses have dramatically changed my life for the better.

    What I don’t understand is people personally attacking her for this article. I don’t understand why you would all waste your time commenting negatively and even read this blog if you can’t handle the TRUTH. There are millions of sites out there where you can read what you want to hear.

    As a long time reader, I can say how brutally honest Penelope is to her readers. And quite frankly, I find her blog to be the sanest in the internet world.

    As a woman who just turned 30 and is seriously thinking how to balance having a career and my own family this makes a lot of sense to me. I have also seen first hand with my parents careers and life choices that in order to have a happy and emotionally healthy family, one parent had to give up a high powered career- usually it’s women. Even Penelope tried it but she’s also admitted that she cannot have it all.

    What I’m seeing in this post is that Penelope is fighting to correct the wrong thinking that society is telling us that we women can have it all. If you have been reading her posts, you would know that Penelope would encourage women to have more sex, be better a better wife, a better mother and not to get divorced. Why? Because ultimately it will lead to happier lives. When families are intact, children are happier. When children are happy and healthy, they grow up to be better individuals in the society which ultimately benefits the nation.

    The supply of strong families in America is getting scarce and one reasons is because society makes us believe that we women CAN and should have it all. That we can have very high and successful careers and still be able to juggle the responsibilities of being a mother, a wife and a leader. And as per Sheryl’s Sandberg’s case, finding that perfect husband so we can have and do it all. It not only disrespects the men in our lives, our children and our future grandchildren but also ourselves. A life lost is just too high of a price to pay for a lie.

    Thank you Penelope for pointing how flawed the can have it all idea is. May you continue to change women’s lives for the better.

  30. Anon
    Anon says:

    Take some help – you are sick and need it. Sickest thing ever.
    Jealous of someone’s success and reveling in their sorrow. I have no words to describe your meanness, I didn’t even know it could exist.

  31. ntjpc
    ntjpc says:

    I like it when someone points out the emperor has no clothes. Too many authors and celebrities are allowed a free pass to sell (she is selling and making money off of her books and speeches) a lifestyle. They should be questioned.

    It is too bad it is happening around Davids death.

    I agree with PT that there are more questions to be asked. Having stayed in luxury hotels and resorts, I find it unusual that there was not an attendant in the gym. Or that the body was not discovered sooner. Those types of places are normally crawling with staff.

    I think the questions PT is asking are relevant and fair. One hopes other in the media will ask the same questions and push for answers.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      And having traveled as a nanny with wealthy families many times I can assure you that they most likely traveled with an entourage of nannies etc and that the doting dad of the family would never be unaccounted for (or apparently even missed) from mid-afternoon til 7pm. That is truly inconceivable to me. They never thought to wonder what happened to him after he left for the gym until 3 hrs had passed, well passed their usual dinner time?

  32. YY
    YY says:

    Moms are never perfect, whether they are working or staying at home. Plenty of working moms neglect their children’s needs and plenty of stay-at-home moms neglect their children’s needs even more.

    I’ve read Lean In, and I don’t really find her message all that radical. She’s not saying that all women should be the next CEO. The idea of having a job while raising children and needing a lot of support along the way is not radical, nor impossible, and that’s simply what she is preaching: how to be a working mom.

    It’s hard but it’s hard either way. It’s hard with your husband and mom’s help, it’s also very hard for a stay-at-home mom. Raising children, raising human beings, is just hard, period. And you just never know how your child might turn out.

    It also looks like Dave died of an exercise accident. Rest in Peace. It’s sad that his death as a human being has been made into all the gossip about his wife’s cause that this website has become. Which, in my opinion, are completely unrelated!

    • Maria
      Maria says:

      I have read Sheryl´s book and I really agree with the comment above. To be a mom is hard anyway. Her book is not that radical it just gives some advice and hope how to be a working mom.

  33. Gina L.
    Gina L. says:

    This morning I told my husband that Dave’s cause of death had not been disclosed and that it had been a couple days. I asked him how he would interpret that, and without hesitating he said it’s probably autoerotic asphyxiation in a batman costume. Or something that had to be “sanitized.” The family has lawyers, publicists, spokespersons…plus they’re seasoned marketing geniuses. Of course they knew people would be guessing what happened. All they had to say was “freak treadmill accident.” And why does anyone give a shit? Well…mostly because it makes us rethink Sheryl’s advice to us women. Right about now I’m kinda thinking that putting on a power pantsuit and spending her days making Mark Zuckerberg rich by selling people a bunch of crap they don’t need was the opposite of meaningful. Leaning in to nonsense corporate America was a waste of her awesome intelligence. I agree that women should absolutely stand up for themselves, demand excellent salaries, and take their place at the table. But if she’s wondering why there aren’t more women in corporate executive roles…its because we have no interest in drinking the cool aide. Life is too short! I don’t think being a corporate weenie is such a great example for my daughters. I’m setting a good example by simply living with gusto, and having strong and interesting friendships with both men and women. Facebook is masturbatory and addictive, and SurveyMonkey enables marketers to target ads. Stop calling this “ambition” and asking why women aren’t more into it. Blech!
    And stop shaming anyone who dares to engage in this conversation. It’s okay to have questions and not be obediently silent on matters that seem fishy.

    • marla
      marla says:

      I’m with you. I didn’t even mind that this blogger questioned his death for all the reasons stated here-What I took issue with was her wacky theory about suicide…she shouldn’t have gone there…that’s just a writer (perhaps angry, after all, this blogger has founded 4 start-ups & isn’t a household name…yet) getting caught up in a story she can’t stop telling because it does make a good story….but…this is suicide, man…you don’t mess with that….you just don’t….very poor judgment on this writer’s part and why she hasn’t won a fan though I’m sure she’s pleased with all the discourse her piece stimulated…..
      Good attention, bad attention…just so we get some.

  34. Karen
    Karen says:

    Where’s your effing unsubscribe button?? You have an unsubscribe link that doesn’t work. Unsubscribe my email from your POS blog, or I’ll get the FCC to do it for you.

  35. Maria
    Maria says:

    Interesting the way Penelope is trying to get herself out of trouble and loss of credibility after speculating Dave committed suicide. It is a nice try! Penelope´s post on suicide was just wrong. I like reading her blog because it is sometimes interesting, and I select what I can learn from it and what I can trash. The post on suicide was really one to trash.

    PS: nobody shares all information about their private life on the internet. No even you Penelope. It is a selective sharing. A sharing that serves the writers purpose or objective. The writers select information to make a certain point come acrross. In Penelope´s case, she is trying to select information to make the point leaning-in is a myth. In Sheryl´s case, she selects information to make the point that woman can be happy by having a career and a family. It is stupid to think there are not trade-offs in life.

    By the way, I like Sheryl´s point a lot better. Because it gives hope and hope is always a good thing! It helps to find the way…

  36. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Three years ago I was a new mum with a baby & toddler,desperate to figure out how to still work. Penelope, taking into account my personality, you advised me to partner with someone to do startups until one was funded and I could make myself the perfect job. To me it was ground-breaking advice and permission to fuel my ambitions. Yet now in hindsight it was pretty terrible advice: last year the unsustainable life style finally came crashing down on me.

    So from my perspective, Sheryl Sandberg does not have the monopoly on bad advice. Also she used what she could to get the world’s attention and get people discussing her ideas. Again, you do the same. But the one place you are different is the openness. Penelope one of the things I admire most about you is how open you are, often giving enough information for me to evaluate how you’ve come to your conclusions and therefore whether I should agree with them or not. Your criticism of her is that she is not open enough and therefore misleading. Being open is very very difficult. You yourself say it easily becomes a way of life. So applaud yourself for breaking that trend rather than coming down hard on someone who can’t. Maybe she will become more open, maybe she won’t.

    Either way, we need to get better at evaluating advice and ignoring advice that comes without full disclosure. And we need to get better at taking responsibility for any advice we do follow, without blaming the source, come what may.

  37. xyz
    xyz says:

    You must be really jealous of Sheryl to write something like this. I have read her book and she have never claimed to have a perfect life let alone marriage.

  38. radhika
    radhika says:

    Hii,Read the article and felt sad that somebody could write such ugly things.Sheryl wrote Lean In to help women,encourage them to be best they can be in every sense.I used to think world will be a better place if more women will replace men outside and more men will replace women in households.less voilence,rapes,wars,politics etc.But seeing woman like you I feel I was ignorant about woman’s vices.Even if he committed suicide and even if all of us are spectulating about it,you at such sad time will hold Sheryl or her ideologies responsible in some way is pure disgusting and extremely sad.Hope you will understand keeping quite is some time braver and give us time to get more informed then giving into temptation to speculate aloud and hurt people

  39. Anna
    Anna says:

    I am stunned that the cruelest, meanest comments are coming from people accusing Penelope of being cruel and mean. If you really think she is, and you must, did your mothers teach you not to reduce yourselves to the level of your adversary? These comments are bullying said from one 14 year old to another, and you are adults hiding behind screens. Would you say them in person? If so you are people I would never like to meet.

    Penelope is willing to be frank and honest about many things, including people who have set themselves up in the public eye as role models and have the dollars and influence to manage the media. She’s right, we may never know the real story. The dribbling out of bits and pieces is highly suspicious and payoffs to keep mouths shut work wonders. If Sheryl Sandberg wants her life to be a learning experience for other people she needs to tell the truth about nannies, travel, and household help or shut up and stop making other women feel inadequate. There aren’t that many multi-million dollar jobs out there, or even six figure jobs for the bulk of the population, I don’t care how many people lean in. Penelope gives honest advice about real, imperfect lives. Google”impression management” if you want a picture of how celebrities handle the truth. If you or I bonked my head on a treadmill in Mexico and it managed to make the news, I can assure you there would be photos of the ambulance, interviews with the onlookers, and all other sorts of invasive information.

    One other minor point — why is it ok to speculate about every single thing on the planet except death? Americans are awful on this issue that, ahem, affects everyone. Sad yes, but normal. We can and should talk about it.

    Penelope, stick with it. Few people are willing to put their thoughts out there for the scrutiny of others. You have my support 100%.

    • Aurora
      Aurora says:

      To your point, would you walk up to S.S. and say “shut up! Stop making me feel so inadequate about my life!” Maybe not the rudest thing to say, but certainly would make you sound terribly insecure and immature, no?

      • Anna
        Anna says:

        Thanks Aurora. I stand by my comments, but after I hit send I thought the same thing — I would willingly engage in intellectual sparring, but I would never tell anyone to shut up! Amazing how easy it is to do in print.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      “how celebrities handle the truth. If you or I bonked my head on a treadmill in Mexico and it managed to make the news, I can assure you there would be photos of the ambulance, interviews with the onlookers, and all other sorts of invasive information. ”

      not to mention all of our facebook photos would be published in the Daily Mail and elsewhere.

  40. Jill
    Jill says:

    Wow. Have you learned nothing at all? When you know better do better.

    I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt for your previous article but this is confirmation of your character. Unsubscribed.

  41. dee
    dee says:

    originally I read he died in his sleep now completely different story why shouldn’t we all question it do we just accept thisZ?

  42. malaika
    malaika says:

    the Lean In myth has been in my family since my great grandmother graduated from college. Bravo Penelope. I loved the part about sleeping tips at the end.

  43. KG
    KG says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments so forgive me if someone else already said this.

    My husband’s first response was: I bet it is something more embarrassing than suicide. Like auto-erotic asphyxiation… (see World’s Greatest Dad) So just an accident, but embarrassing.

    Of course, I imagine everything would be embarrassing if you think you have the perfect spouse and it turns out that your spouse is just human like the rest of us.

    I could be wrong here, but it seems to me, Penelope, that you are so angry at Sheryl. :) I am glad you are vocal about your point of view. I agree with you. I understand about being angry at fake people. But I hope you are able to release the anger soon.

    • JP
      JP says:

      Auto-erotic asphyxiation isn’t an embarrassing way to die. It’s like dying on a Mt. Everest trek:)

  44. Mike
    Mike says:

    Great stuff. There are surveillance cameras everywhere at a high end resort, literally everywhere. Key cards tell their own story, exactly when and where a guest is or was. You are on to something, maybe not suicide, but you are on to something. More likely an overdose of just a drunken fall.

  45. Billy
    Billy says:

    Penelope’s writing is more rational than my own thoughts. I’m so glad people like her exist!. Her writing is quality and worth reading, whether you agree or not. It’s art.

  46. N
    N says:

    I don’t know Sheryl Sandberg or Dave Goldberg other than what I’ve read in the media. To answer your question, perhaps this tragedy makes the idea of leaning-in even more important. He could have died any way – being hit by a truck, a sudden illness, etc and without a great career, interesting work and financial stability, it would be even harder for her to try and adjust to his death. My mother was widowed at 48. Since she was financially independent and had an occupation, at least some things were easier to process post the death of my father. Also as human beings we want to see patterns in everything but sometimes we see patterns where there aren’t any. This just feels like a random tragedy that just happened, by sheer statistics, to hit one of the richest couples in the world. Thousands of middle aged men die each day of heart attacks or strokes or whatever. Almost as many die on treadmills or while exercising. There’s probably no pattern here, one of those middle aged men sadly just happened to be him.

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