Jess Walton jill gallery "The Young and the Restless" Set CBS television CityLos Angeles01/15/20© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661

Howard Wise/JPI

“Wherever you are my angel, thank you for it all.” 

This past year has, without a doubt, been a difficult one of heartbreak and loss for The Young and the Restless‘ Jess Walton (Jill). Back in August of this year, Walton shared the heartbreaking news that her husband, John, of 40 years had passed away after a three-month battle with terminal liver cancer. And just earlier this month she had to say goodbye to her two pups.

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Through it all, though, Walton clearly continues to let the light in her heart shine as she cherishes her memories. When their horse died in November, the actress turned the pain into something generous and good to raise money for HeartSpace Horse Sanctuary. 

“Doing this Pampered Chef fundraiser for HeartsSpace Horse Sanctuary in honor of John and Ace,” she wrote, still feeling the loss of the man she shared over forty years of her life with even as she dealt with this fresh heartbreak.

Then, on December 20, Walton shared a touching photo on what would have been her and her husband’s 41st wedding anniversary, remembering the man she’d spent so much of her life loving.

“41 years ago on our wedding day,” Jill’s portrayer tweeted, “I kissed the love of my life.” And, she added, even after he’s gone, she’s still “kissing you in my heart.”

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That marriage gave them their daughter, Allison, and son Cole, and nearly 41 years of laughter and love. We’ve no doubt that wherever he is, John, is kissing the love of his life right back. So today, we here at Soaps want to wish Walton a happy anniversary as we continue to hold her and her family in our hearts this holiday season and beyond.

Unlike on soaps, in real-life, love doesn’t have to be dramatic and volatile. Sometimes it’s just sweet, enduring and true. So to help remember how beautiful that can truly be, why not take a look at some photos of some more soap actors and their real-life loves before you go?