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29th Aug 2017

Bereaved dad shares lessons he’s learned since losing 3-year-old son

Hughie died of a brain haemorrhage last year.

Anna O'Rourke

“Cherish the simplest of things.”

A list of lessons learned by a dad who lost his three-year-old son suddenly has gone viral after being shared on Facebook.

The little boy, Hughie died unexpectedly last year from a brain haemorrhage.

He had lived with a brain disease but had not been expected to take such a turn.

His father, Richard Pringle from Hastings in the UK, told Romper that he wanted to remind parents to cherish the small things.

“I wrote the post to help people realize that it’s the simple things that matter,” he said.

“There’s beauty in simplicity and we shouldn’t let those simple moments pass us by unnoticed.”

Richard’s ten heartbreaking lessons are as follows:

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. 

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 

Hundreds people have commented on the original post with words of support for the bereaved dad.

“Beautiful words… So true all of them.”

“What a lovely reminder, thank you.”

“This made me really stop and think… thank you. How beautiful.”

“Just so beautiful how despite your unimaginable pain you uplift and inspire so many…. Hughie has left an amazing legacy.”