My head was in a fog and still half asleep as I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It was just after 4 am my time. I briefly checked my phone before climbing back in bed and then my eyes read a message I was never prepared to read. My brain couldn’t make sense of it. What do you mean Emily Hartridge has died?
I was flooded with emotions as I learned a dear egg freezing friend, Emily had tragically died in a car accident in the UK yesterday. I am in complete shock and in disbelief. I had just messaged her last month. We had just talked on Skype earlier in the year. Life is so fleeting, so short, uncertain. None of us know if we will be here tomorrow, but no one expects a tragedy like this.
For the brief time I knew of Emily, she inspired me with her openness, kindness, and wiliness to talk to complete strangers if it helped others in any way. Emily was an advocate for mental health, loved talking about anything taboo, and shared all of herself online.
When we had just recorded her egg freezing story earlier this year, Emily was so quick to respond and say yes. I deeply admired her and how easy she was to talk to. I felt like we knew each other for years and really bonded.
I have this unique opportunity over the years to become friends with, ask personal questions about, keep up with what is happening in women’s lives who have chosen to freeze. I have studied and learned from hundreds of these women who are egg freezers just like myself. I get to hear about what they are really thinking about when it comes to family planning choices and why freezing is important to them. Sometimes I forget how this sisterhood of freezers bonds us all together with such a common thread.
I can’t imagine right now what her sisters, family, friends, and her amazing boyfriend Jake must be feeling right now. Emily had turned 35 years in May. She was thinking about getting a dog, pursuing another round of egg freezing, starting a podcast, and branching out with more advocacy work talking about mental illness and health. She had big plans.
Emily was and is such a voice regardless if she knew it or not. Her voice went beyond her zillion of followers online or views on YouTube. Her voice was powerful because it was true, real, and honest. She never backed away from talking about the most taboo of topics and subjects. She was the voice for those that couldn’t get out of bed or struggled to function due to their depression. Emily gave them all a glimmer of hope and a ray of sunshine with her shake it off anxiety dances in her underwear. She was raw and beautiful.
As the realization that Emily is gone tries to sink into my brain, I’m reminded how important it is to have your affairs and legal items in order. Medical directives, wills, and trusts for your DNA is vital. If a tragedy does strike like this, what will happen to your eggs? What do you want to happen to your DNA?
Personally, I have set up a will and trust for my frozen eggs with Ashley Pitman of Fertility Trust who is an attorney that specializes in this fertility law. Strange things can happen if one does not have a medical directive like this. I think about how I would never want to burden my family members with this detail about my frozen eggs in the events of my unexpected death. These are all morbid questions no one would like to think about, however, I encourage anyone who has eggs, embryos, or sperm frozen to consider and contact Ashley to create your own will and trust. Give her the code EGG CLUB for a discount.
It is a powerful thing to feel so deeply. I’m not sure if my hormones are just out of whack or I’m just in complete shock, but this news is hitting me pretty hard today. I learned about Emily’s passing just moments after it was announced publicly. It has rocked the core of how I think about the world right now.
I’m reminded today how nothing is for sure. We are given no guarantees in this life. Our frozen eggs are not promised to give us a baby. If you choose to freeze, it doesn’t mean it will work. Anyone can die unexpectedly. This sudden death with a friend has only happened to me in one or two situations.
Today, Emily has inspired me to live .. live harder .. love more .. forgive always. We never know when will be our last day. I for one do not want to anything to be undone, any stones unturned, or any friendship not mended.
So I am sending this message out into the world today ——-
- — If I have wronged you .. I’m sorry, please forgive me, I wish you no harm
- — To all those that I love .. I love you harder today and forever to always
- — For anyone that I’ve touched .. I hope I can inspire you to do more, be more, make good decisions
- — For anyone I have not met yet .. My hope is that I meet you sooner verses later and can help you in some way in the future
Please tell the people you love that you love them. Call your mom, dad, sister, brother, grandma or grandpa, friend, or anyone you care about. We all only have today .. today .. do it today!