Nate relays his Mother, Olivia’s words (she’s overseas) Her heart is with them all. Neil is with Dru – they’re united forever. We feel their loss, but also their love. Victor is next – Neil came to him as a young man, a Stanford grad who didn’t need to be taught – he was guided by honesty and integrity. He became a friend, a family member Victor was proud of. Acknowledging Lily and Devon, the twins and Moses, Victor concludes that he will his friend.
Not an easy act to follow, Jack credits Victor’s eloquent words – then speaks to Neil’s generosity and the Abbott Winters Foundation being his idea. He didn’t just write a cheque and call it a day. Neil wanted to help one patient at a time – one day at a time – addicts share a private and personal connection. Jack’s received so many emails from people whose lives Neil inspired and saved (like he saved mine)
Devon speaks to how much it meant to have Neil as a friend and Father. He took in my Mom, sister, my Aunt – he made his home our home. Neil lived by principles; loyalty, respect, righteousness and love. I don’t carry his DNA but I carry his voice in my head (saying ‘my man’) – his love in my heart. Devon then pauses at Neil’s portrait and casket. When the Reverand invites Lily to speak, she can’t but invites Cane to do so. Yes, it’s what her Dad would want – he loved you. she encourages.
Standing beside Neil’s framed portrait, Cane admits that he let him and Lily down more than once – but Neil believed in second chances. He showed me what a Father-child relationship should be like – to love with ferocity but let your kids grow. It was an honour to learn from him; a privilege to be part of his family. He then reaches out for Lily to join him, then takes a seat as she delivers a weepy eulogy that reduces all to tears. We have to be there for each other to get through this. Hold onto hope without him. I love you, she cries, her hands on Neil’s casket.
There is love and bravery in what you all did today, the Reverand asks all to cherish memories of Neil – and each other. Father in heaven, we thank you, oh Lord – for Neil and what he meant to each of us – we honour his memory, he prays. Amen, all recite. Devon wraps it up by thanking the Reverand and all for coming and loving his Dad. Chris follows Devon out to pass on Paul’s condolences. Still inside, Leslie awkwardly mentions abruptly breaking off her engagement to Neil (to Lily) Long-time pals, Phyllis and Malcolm share a supportive hug. Traci offers Lily her support and manages to put in a good word for Cane. Devon tells Sofia that she and Moses are family – reach out if you need anything. Malcolm then hugs Sofia as we’re left with the portrait of Neil smiling.