Dad Shares 10 Lessons He’s Learned Since Losing His Son: ‘Don’t Spend Money, Spend Time’

Richard Pringle and Hughie
Richard Pringle and his son Hughie Courtesy Richard Pringle

Richard Pringle suffered a terrible loss on August 18, 2016, when his 3-year-old son, Hughie, died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. “He was kindhearted and gentle,” the dad from Hastings, England, tells Us Weekly. “He was a beautiful little boy.”

Hughie was born with a brain condition called cavernoma. “There was a five percent chance of bleeding,” Pringle tells Us. “Unfortunately that five percent happened last summer.”

Now Pringle has penned a moving list of the most important lessons he has learned since saying goodbye to his eldest child one year ago. “My Facebook post was written to help others realize what’s important in life and what’s not,” he tells Us. “Parents need to stop and appreciate everything. Even the simplest things. There’s beauty in simplicity but quite often we let it pass by us unnoticed.”

The 40-year-old entrepreneur’s August 23 post is filled with wisdom on being present and creating meaningful experiences. “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 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,” Pringle wrote. 

Richard Pringle and Hughie
Richard Pringle's son Hughie Courtesy Richard Pringle

And while it’s important to be in the moment, Pringle urged parents to “take as many photos and record as many videos as humanly possible. One day that might be all you have.” The same goes for kisses — there can never be enough. “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.”

Pringle, who is also dad of Hettie, 21 months, and Hennie, 12 weeks, with wife Jen, signed off with a powerful reminder. “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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