‘General Hospital’: Elizabeth’s Speech About Grace to Sonny Made Fans Cry

For the last two years of General Hospital, fans have watched Mike Corbin slowly deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s disease. In a recent episode, fans watched as Mike’s son Sonny pondered his treatment options. Sonny wanted the best for his father, but Mike’s condition had been worsening for a long time and the treatment options were narrow. Heading into August 5th’s episode, Sonny was convinced that he had to do everything he could to keep his father alive, no matter what. But a conversation with Elizabeth helped him see the truth–and fans who watched the scene are bawling.

Rebecca Herbst smiling, looking away from the camera
Rebecca Herbst | Rick Rowell/Getty Images

Mike’s return to General Hospital

Mike’s character was missing from GH for most of the 2010s after checking into treatment for gambling addiction but returned in 2018. Almost immediately, the show began a storyline about Alzheimer’s and the disease has been the main struggle for Mike’s character. Last week, Mike had stopped eating and had no ability to communicate, but Sonny felt he still needed to keep him alive despite his failing quality of life.

Other characters on the show (like Carly) believed that Mike would have wanted Sonny to let him go. To make things more difficult, Sonny didn’t want to keep him technically alive but helpless. But he felt he owed it to his father, and he felt Mike would want him to go through with putting in the feeding tube so he could survive.

Sonny’s glimpse at Mike’s potential future

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But when Sonny met Felix in the hospital, he got a glimpse at what might be ahead for his father–in the best case. Felix explained how Yvonne, the woman Mike had connected with at Turning Woods, was also on a feeding tube. But excessive complications like infection led to her being placed on a ventilator with almost no chance of regaining consciousness. After getting a firsthand look at how things could continue to get worse for his father, Sonny truly considered allowing him to stop treatment. And when he spoke with Elizabeth, things became clear for the first time–there would be no life-saving twist.

Sonny had felt like it was his duty as a son to keep his father alive no matter the cost, and Elizabeth broke down why he would be doing a better thing by letting him go. She made it clear that she wasn’t speaking professionally as a nurse, but her comments helped Sonny see that he wasn’t doing anything wrong by declining additional procedures. Putting in a feeding tube and watching the “empty shell” of a man cling to life wouldn’t be good for anyone, Elizabeth explained.

Grace and impossible decisions

She spoke further on the idea of grace, mentioning some things that had originally come from Mary Mae Ward (a popular character from the mid-1990s who was sadly written out when her actor passed away). “Life presents opportunities for grace realized… Grace isn’t joy, it isn’t triumph, grace isn’t something you get when you win–grace comes when you’re forced to make difficult choices, ones that often hurt us and help our loved ones.”

Although he didn’t immediately say he agreed, it was clear on TV that her words had an effect on Sonny. Realizing that he would be helping his father by not choosing to “help” him with another procedure helped Sonny make what he felt was the right decision. And later in the episode, he revealed to Carly that he wasn’t going to pursue any further treatment for Mike. The @GeneralHospital account Tweeted out the scene after the show had ended, and fans were excited to share their reactions, with many saying they were tearing up during the scene.

For all the criticism soap operas sometimes receive, they can deliver meaningful, gripping scenes. The actors do an incredible job of weighing all the different considerations and the decision is ultimately left to Sonny, and the scene truly resonated with fans.