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The day Google exec Dan Fredinburg died from a head injury in the recent Mt. Everest avalanche, his ex-girlfriend, actress Sophia Bush, said she was “devastated” by the news.
“Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I’ll likely never find them all,” Bush wrote in an Instagram post in April. “Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it. His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I’m devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe.”
Now, nearly three months later, she tells Health magazine that his death had a lingering, significant impact.
“Losing one of my best friends a few months ago shattered me,” Bush says of Fredinburg. “There were days I felt like my body had been turned inside out. I felt like my heart was on the outside of my body and everyone who came near me was stabbing me.”
Bush and Fredinburg ended their relationship in Aug. 2014 but it seems they remained close. The head of privacy for GoogleX and a Google adventurer, Fredinburg died on April 25 as a result of a head injury sustained during an avalanche on Mt. Everest, triggered by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal. He had survived an earlier avalanche during an Everest climb the year before. At least 18 people on Everest died as a result of the quake.
Bush, who stars on NBC’s Chicago P.D., characterized losing Fredinburg as one of the “most profound cracks that changed [her] life,” a reference to a Cynthia Occelli quote about a seed needing to crack open to grow. Bush said she was also dramatically affected by watching her mom go through chemo more than a decade ago.
“My mother, my everything, the strongest woman I know, was literally on her knees unable to stand, and that shattered me,” she said.
Fredinburg’s death taught her to seize the day.
“Since Dan died, the lessons have come like Mack trucks. There is no next time. There is no excuse to wait a day to do what you want to do and to change the way that you want to change,” Bush says.
The day of his death, she already seemed to be aware that people’s time is limited.
“Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed,” she wrote on Instagram in April. “Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it’s all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again.”
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