It’s been said that death ends a life, but not a relationship. This was evident on The Young and the Restless when Peter Bergman’s Jack Abbott poignantly dealt with the first Christmas without his mother, Dina, who had died recently of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Peter Bergman — Jack’s Heartbreak
In scenes that took place during a Christmas not that long, long ago, Jack and Dina (Marla Adams), still mostly cognizant, shared memories of a holiday ornament that Jack had made as a little boy.
Contrasting these sweet scenes were present-day moments in which Jack realized his mother wasn’t with him for this Christmas. These emotional performances, simultaneously powerful and understated, earn Peter Bergman Soap Hub’s Performer of the Week honors for YR.
A few days before the holiday, Jack recalled sharing his memories of having made the ornament when he was a child with Dina, when her character was still present enough to recall telling Jack that she should spell his name “Jacky” instead of “Jackie” on the ornament because the spelling, like Jack himself, was special. Jack beamed when Dina recalled the origins of the ornament, ensuring the memory will be one he’ll treasure forever. The camera then cut back to Jack in present day.
“I miss her, Ash,” Jack told his sister. Rather than focus on the fact that Dina had walked out on the family when the Abbott children were very young, Jack chose to recall a recent, more touching memory, which helped him get through the rest of the holiday.
As friends new (Sally; Courtney Hope) and past (Nikki; Melody Thomas Scott) joined Jack and Ashley (Eileen Davidson) along with Kyle (Michael Mealor) and Summer (Hunter King), “Smilin’ Jack” bravely kept a smile on his face, doing his best to not let the pain of losing his mother overwhelm him on this sentimental day.
As the episode concluded, Jack, Ashley, and Sally raised a glass as an instrumental version of Hark the Herald Angels Sing played over the dialogue-free video. It’s safe to believe that Jack (and Ashley) were both toasting Dina — gone, but never forgotten. The show ended on a heartfelt note as the camera panned over to an Abbott family photo of Abby (Melissa Ordway), Jack, Dina, Ashley, and Traci (Beth Maitland).
Kudos to the entire YR company — especially episode writer Janice Ferri Esser and director Sally McDonald — for bringing all the “feels” to this touching holiday episode. The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for airtimes.