Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Tenth Good Thing about Barney

Our cat, Ridgeway, died in November 2008. Both Elijah and Jacob had a very hard time with his passing. We had recently gotten a new kitten, named Tiger, because we knew Ridgeway was getting older. We had no idea that within a month of getting the kitten that Ridgeway would have to be put to sleep.

Ridgeway had been our cat before Jacob was even born. Jacob, who was twelve at the time, cried so hard when he found out. He had never known a day without Ridgeway. Elijah, who was eight at the time, cried too, but didn't really understand death. I spoke to a neighbor about it and she suggested the book "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney."

I went out and found the book along with one another book about a pet's death. We read them for several weeks. "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney" was an excellent book. A young boy, whose pet cat had died, listed ten good things about his death, but he had trouble coming up with number ten. He and his mom discuss it throughout the boook and they bury the cat. The boy finally comes up with the Tenth Good Thing about Barney.

Tonight, Elijah called me from his bedroom and as I walked in he said, "Mom, I tell you three good things about Ridgeway," and he did. It was very sweet. I think he is finally coming to terms with Ridgeway's death. Elijah has always done things on his own timetable. If you ever need a book to help a child deal with death, this is an excellent book and one I am going to go look for in Elijah's room so we can read it again.

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