Ellen Pompeo confirmed some sad news for Grey’s Anatomy earlier this week.
Warning: this article contains minor spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy season 19.
It’s been an emotional week for Grey’s Anatomy fans. On Thursday, one of the show’s few surviving original cast members Ellen Pompeo announced she would be leaving Grey’s Anatomy at the end of season 19 in January.
And now, the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes has released a moving tribute to Pompeo and her much-loved character, Meredith.
Posting a series of images of her and Ellen together over the years on Instagram, Rhimes expressed her admiration for the “incomparable” Pompeo and her work on the show.
“What a wild ride these past 19 seasons have been,” she said. “None of it could have been possible without the incomparable @ellenpompeo, the one and only Meredith Grey.”
While it’s sad to see Pompeo finally wave goodbye to the show after she announced she’d be reducing her screen time in season 19, Rhimes also hinted at the fact that Ellen could return to the show in the future.
“This isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see ya later!” she wrote. “Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ellen, Meredith and Grey Sloan Memorial. #greysanatomy”
Announcing her departure on Thursday, Pompeo also hinted that she might return to the show in the future, and thanked her fans for the support they’ve shown her over the years.
“I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!” she wrote on Instagram.
“Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!”
Pompeo continued: “I love you madly and appreciate you right back. This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit. With a lot of love and immense gratitude XoE”
While Pompeo will make her on-screen departure from the show in January, she’s expected to stay as narrator for the full season and make an appearance as Meredith Grey in the season 19 finale next spring.
Grey’s Anatomy first started airing in 2005, depicting Meredith Grey and her class of surgical interns dealing with the ups and downs of working in a hospital.
Since then, a number of the original cast members have left the show – with Pompeo being one of the few remaining cast members to appear in season 19, which is currently airing weekly on Disney+.
Seasons 1-19 of Grey’s Anatomy are available to stream on Disney+
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