Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 20, 2024 ·  3 min read

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

Parents… your children will not remember you for the material things you provided, but for knowing that you cherished them. [1] Parents around the world share this sentiment and yet, it’s still so easy to get caught up in life’s trivialities. Deadlines, chores, work, extracurricular activities… all the things that parents allow to take the place of no-rush, quality time with family – especially their children.

Kids grow up so fast which sounds cliché, but it’s true. That’s why we are so dumbfounded when people seem to forget that no temporary material object or job could ever replace priceless memories made with their precious bundles of joy. What’s worse, our forgetfulness is innocent.

How Richard Pringle Responded When His 3 Year Old Son Passed Away

But, for reasons we will never understand on this earth, we take those precious moments for granted sometimes until it’s too late. If anyone knows the heavy truth of that statement, it’s Richard Pringle, whose 3-year-old son, Hughie, passed away from a brain hemorrhage on August 18, 2016.

“He had a brain condition but was doing so well,” Pringle told Mirror Online. [2] “There was only a 5% chance of a bleed but unfortunately that 5% happened last year and he didn’t survive.”

Now, Hughie’s father was not one to take the short amount of time he had with his son for granted. With two other children, he is reminded constantly of how important every second spent with them is.

“He was soft, gentle, caring and so lovable. He made the boring things fun. He made everything fun,” Pringle recalled. [2] “In three short years, he left us with a lifetime of the most incredible memories.”

After having over a year to reflect on his loss, Pringle crafted a list of the 10 most important things he has learned since losing his son, Hughie, and shared it:

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 songs together. My happiest memories are of Hughie sitting on my shoulders or sitting next to me in the car singing our favorite 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.

If Pringle’s vulnerable and honest words have struck a chord in your, or you think a loved one needs to hear these words, send it their way. Hughie’s death is a tragedy, but it’s out of times like this that people can come together and heal in ways they never thought possible or imaginable. Remember: take advantage of the time you have with your kids or grandkids, not for granted.

Keep Reading: Dying 24-Year-Old Has Life Advice You May Not Be Ready to Hear


  1. [2] Pringle, R. (2017, August 25). ‘The 10 most important things I’ve learnt since losing my beautiful little boy’. Retrieved from https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/the-10-most-important-things-11047370