The Journey of Two Souls
by Linda Darlene Marie Sharpe

"As a family, we had a strong relationship and it worked for us. I felt God put me here for a purpose, and at this time, it was to be a caregiver."

First time author Linda Darlene Marie Sharpe had the duty and privilege of taking care of her mother who developed signs of age-related dementia late in life. A strong woman who saw many changes in her long life, Frances Byers survived an early relationship with a dangerously abusive husband who once kidnapped their three children. She weathered the Great Depression and the sudden loss of a faithful spouse. She and the author, who had always been close, decided to share living arrangements in the last twenty years of her life. Once her mother's dementia took hold, Sharpe did her best to learn as much as possible about the alteration in her mother's personality and to be comforting and supportive, "not confrontational," which required a great deal of patience. Sharpe took early retirement from her career in the medical field to be an active participant in the care of her mother. She sought advice from various experts, monitoring her mother's treatment and trying as much as feasible to ensure her attention was at home, personal, and natural. Sharpe came to believe that by offering care, she was better able to deal with her own emotional pain.

The author has composed these personal memories in simple terms, sharing a story that seems more and more common to us all and is important for that reason. She draws from various sources, such as her contact with the Alzheimer’s Association and her personal study of the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross on the stages of death and dying. At the end of the book, after her mother’s passing at age 100, she offers advice on how to handle grief and slowly move beyond it. The Journey of Two Souls can serve as a helpful guide for anyone facing the protracted illness of a loved one.

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