Losing a child is about the hardest thing anyone can go through. Keeping your head up after such a tragedy is unfathomable, but one father who lost his son is doing his best to impart the lessons he learned while dealing with his grief.
Grief and loss are not easy things to talk about, especially when you’re dealing with the death of a child, but somehow Richard Pringle was able to put some thoughts together in the aftermath of his family tragedy, and his words of wisdom are inspiring thousands of others.
When Pringle’s 3-year-old son, Hughie, died suddenly of a brain hemmorhage, it total upended his family’s lives.
“He had a brain condition but was doing so well,” Richard told Mirror Online. “There was only a 5% chance of a bleed but unfortunately that 5% chance happened last year and he didn’t survive.”
A year after his son’s passing, Pringle, who has two other children, took to Facebook to share the lessons he’s learned from the ordeal.
Titled “The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learnt Since Losing My Son,” his post has 36,000 likes and over 22,000 shares, and his wisdom is proving a boon to fellow grief sufferers.
His son was only three when he passed, but that was plenty of time to know and love the boy, and nowhere near enough time with him.
“He was soft, gentle, caring and so lovable,” Richard said. “He made the boring things fun. He made everything fun. In three short years he left us with a lifetime of the most incredible memories.”
Richard’s powerful list is full of lessons about living in the present and cherishing the love and loved ones in your life, and the 10 items include things many of us need to hear, especially in today’s hectic, distracting world.
The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learnt 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 your older you can look back and cherish every moment.
The last item on the list may be the most heartbreaking, as it can’t help but make you think about the things Hughie is missing.
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.
Richard, we salute you for your strength and thank you for your words of wisdom.