real life

A grieving dad writes: 'The 10 most important things I've learned since losing my son.'

One year ago – on August 18, 2016 – three-year-old Hughie Pringle died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage.

The British toddler had a brain condition that carried a five per cent chance of a bleed. Tragically, that happened. And when it did, Hughie did not survive.

Richard Pringle and his son Hughie. Image via Facebook.

One year on, and Hughie's legacy is remembered through charity. Hughie’s Supercar Saturday, held last week, saw a line-up of sports cars (because "from the age of 18 months, Hughie was obsessed with cars") and more than AUD$3,000 was raised for a new MRI scanner at a local hospital.

"It’s been a tough year for us since losing Hughie," Richard told the crowd last Saturday, according to the Hastings Observer. "But one key thing for us was to celebrate what he was all about. He was only with us for three years but in those three years he brought us a lifetime of memories and happiness."

It's also been a year of learning, with the father-of-three sharing the realisations he's had since losing Hughie on social media. He posted the list on Facebook, alongside a photograph of the two of them, last Wednesday.

Understandably, the heart-wrenching message quickly went viral. Richard's words have been re-published here with his permission.

The 10 Most Important Things I've Learned Since Losing My Son.

1. You can never ever kiss and love too much.
2. You always have time. Stop what you're doing and play, even if it's just for a minute. Nothing's that important that it can't wait.
3. Take as many photos and record as many videos as humanly possible. One day that might be all you have.
4. Don't spend money, spend time. You think what you spend matters? It doesn't. What you do matters. Jump in puddles, go for walks. Swim in the sea, build a camp and have fun. That's all they want. I can't remember what we bought Hughie I can only remember what we did.
5. Sing. Sing songs together. My happiest memories are of Hughie sitting on my shoulders or sitting next to me in the car singing our favourite songs. Memories are created in music.
6. Cherish the simplest of things. Night times, bedtimes, reading stories. Dinners together. Lazy Sundays. Cherish the simplest of times. They are what I miss the most. Don't let those special times pass you by unnoticed.
7. Always kiss those you love goodbye and if you forget. Go back and kiss them. You never know if it's the last time you'll get the chance.
8. Make boring things fun. Shopping trips, car journeys, walking to the shops. Be silly, tell jokes, laugh, smile and enjoy yourselves. They're only chores if you treat them like that. Life is too short not to have fun.
9. Keep a journal. Write down everything your little ones do that lights up your world. The funny things they say, the cute things they do. We only started doing this after we lost Hughie. We wanted to remember everything. Now we do it for Hettie and we will for Hennie too. You'll have these memories written down forever and when you're older you can look back and cherish every moment.
10. If you have your children with you. To kiss goodnight. To have breakfast with. To walk to school. To take to university. To watch get married. You are blessed. Never ever forget that.


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