young restless sharon dying characters affected photos
Credit: Image: CBS screenshot

“All is not lost,” she told herself. “But I’m not in the home stretch the way that we had hoped.”

When The Young and the Restless’ Sharon learned that her cancer returned, it hit us like a ton of bricks — and hit her even harder. “Please don’t tell me that I am strong and that I’m a fighter,” she told boyfriend Rey after returning from the doctor’s appointment at which she learned the devastating news, “because I’m so sick of hearing that, and I am so tired of fighting.”

Those were scary words for the heroine’s fans to hear. We’ve followed her travails for 26 years now — in fact, just recounted the character’s wild life and times in an anniversary photo gallery. We’ve seen her down before — many a time, as a matter of fact — but never counted her out. This, though… this feels different. Could The Young and the Restless really be considering letting Sharon lose her battle with cancer?

“Before my appointment, I told you that I spent a lot of time preparing myself for every possible outcome,” Sharon reminded Rey in the September 9 episode before making a confession. “What I didn’t tell you is that I also spent a lot of time playing out every horrible scenario in my mind, over and over again.

“I just needed to practice hearing the words, just in case,” she continued. “In case it ever became a reality, so I wouldn’t lose my mind and start screaming. But I never imagined this: ‘Sorry, we didn’t get it all, and now the cancer has spread to your sentinel lymph nodes.’”

More: Photos, Young & Restless all-time best characters, ranked

Sharon was trying so hard not to give up, and as she spoke, we willed her to hang in there, to fight, to never surrender. “All is not lost,” she acknowledged, “but I’m not in the home stretch the way that we had hoped. In fact, the race just got a lot longer and harder. We’re at the starting line.”

Then, tears unbidden filling her eyes, she said something that filled our hearts with dread. “And I… ” she began. “I can’t do this, Rey.”

Immediately, viewers on social media began to react. Some, like Michelle Huey, praised the soap’s scribes for their raw and honest script. “Kudos to the writers today,” she tweeted. “Really great dialogue.”

Others, like FridayInCanada, cheered the impressively vulnerable performance by Emmy winner Sharon Case. She’s “knocking it out of the park.” Added Miss Bertany: “You can feel her pain in those scenes. Bravo.” Tay, meanwhile, was just “so happy [the actress] is front and center where she belongs.”

But beneath the applause was an undercurrent of fear. No matter how powerful the storyline, would the show really be willing to lose a legacy character as significant and beloved as Sharon? “I sure hope not,” tweeted Linds Brown, “because I think she is a very big part of this show.”

That’s putting it mildly. Were Sharon to die, the ripple effect would wash over Genoa City like a tidal wave. Below, has compiled a list of just 10 of the characters that would be profoundly impacted. Click on the photo gallery to see the affect her passing might have — and, if you can, imagine the unimaginable.

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