It’s something no one wants to imagine can happen. But it can. And it does.
Richard Pringle is proof.
Through the grief and pain of losing his young son, Richard has managed to pen an incredibly poignant and important message to all parents out there.
In the heartbreaking viral Facebook post, the UK father reminisces about the little things that mattered the most after losing a child and encourages other parents to remember just how lucky they are to be able to watch their babies grow up.
“He made everything fun.”
One year ago Richard lost his son. Hughie was three years old and suffered from a brain condition. He died from an unexpected brain haemorrhage that came on suddenly.
“He had a brain condition but was doing so well,” Richard explains. “There was only a 5 per cent chance of a bleed but unfortunately that 5 per cent chance happened last year and he didn’t survive.”
“[Hughie] was soft, gentle, caring and so lovable,” Richard, who also has two other children, says. “He made the boring things fun. He made everything fun.”
Although Hughie may not be able to kiss his dad goodnight again, he remains close to his father’s heart each and every day. And this is evident in the message that Richard shares with us all.
Whether your children are babies, toddlers, preschoolers, teens or even adults with kids of their own, Richard’s tear-jerking and touching words ring true:
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 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.
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. Finally, 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, [then] you are blessed.
Never ever forget that ❤️”
We can only imagine how hard this devastating loss has been for Richard and his family. Even writing this message would have been difficult.
But through Richard’s powerful prose, hopefully we all remember to give in to one more cuddle, to offer one more story, to push them on the swing one more time. Through Richard’s words, hopefully we gain the perspective we need to see just how lucky we really are to have our little ones in our lives.
For more heartfelt words from a parent coping with loss, make sure to read our article about why it’s always important to take the photo.
Images via Facebook.