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

Exactly one year and 12 days ago, father-of-three Richard Pringle lost his sweet little boy, Hughie.


The adorable 3-year-old passed away suddenly in August of last year after an unexpected brain hemorrhage—and it left the Pringle family utterly devastated.

“He had a brain condition but was doing so well,” Richard told the Mirror.

There was only supposed to be a 5 percent chance of a bleed, but “unfortunately that 5 percent chance happened last year and he didn’t survive,” said the heartbroken father.

“He was soft, gentle, caring and so lovable,” he recalls. “He made the boring things fun. He made everything fun.”

While Richard adored the time he got to spend with Hughie, it wasn’t until after he died that he learned what it meant to truly treasure the gift that this little man brought to his life.

He may have only been 3, but Hughie taught him 10 of the most important life lessons a grown man could ever learn.


After compiling these valuable nuggets of wisdom, Richard penned a Facebook post sharing his heart on “The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learned Since Losing My Son.”

The honest reflection is equal parts simple and profound, and it has since garnered nationwide attention from parents who are vowing to squeeze their little ones just a little bit tighter tonight.

Read Richard’s powerful words in full below:

❤️❤️ 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. Nighttimes, 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.

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.