LOS ANGELES, April 24 (UPI) -- Grey's Anatomy said a difficult goodbye to yet another original cast member, leaving only a handful left in its 11th season.
Meredith's long-time lover, McDreamy, is dead.
On the April 23 episode of the show, Patrick Dempsey's character, Derek Shepherd, experiences a serious car crash and is sent to a hospital unfit to save his life. He emerges from surgery brain-dead and his wife Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is forced to pull the plug.
Fans are devastated by the news; some even threaten never to watch the show again and turned to social media to air their grief.
"It's been a remarkable ride," Dempsey told TVLine in an interview released Thursday night. "The worldwide impact has been extraordinary. It is incredible how devoted and passionate the fans are, and I will forever be grateful and humbled by the experience." Dempsey has been an integral character in the show since its first season.
What is going to happen to Grey's post-McDreamy? The show's screenwriter and director, Shonda Rhimes, has a plan.
"Now, Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life," Rhimes said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "The possibilities for what my come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: The carousel never stops turning."
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.