Ellen Pompeo has ‘huge gratitude’ for Grey’s Anatomy fans as Meredith Gray prepares to leave Seattle

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It Came Upon a Midnight Clear The doctors of Gray Sloan Memorial celebrate the holidays; Hamilton and Meredith prepare for a milestone in their project; Link wants to spend the holidays as a family with Amelia and Scout; Schmitt faces a difficult decision during surgery on an all-new episode of Grays Anatomy, THURSDAY DEC. 16 (9:00am-10:01pm EST), on TBEN.

Liliane Lathan/TBEN via Getty

Ellen Pompeo is thankful for all 19 seasons of Gray’s Anatomy.

The actress, also known as Meredith Gray, then shared a sweet goodbye message on Instagram with fans Gray’s AnatomyLast week’s fall finale was her last official episode of the season.

“I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you all have shown me, Meredith GRAY and the show over 19 seasons!” wrote Pompeo, 53. “Through it all…none of it…would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You are all RIDERS and you all made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!”

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She added, “I love you dearly and appreciate you right back.”

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Series creator Shonda Rhimes also shared a sentimental post about Pompeo on social media.

“What a wild ride the last 19 seasons have been. Nothing would have been possible without the incomparable @ellenpompeo, the one and only Meredith Grey,” she shared on Instagram alongside a selfie of her with Pompeo.

She added, “In true #greysanatomy fashion… this isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ellen, Meredith and Gray Sloan Memorial.”

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Pompeo stepped back from the series this season to pursue outside projects, including Hulu’s adaptation of the 2009 film Orphanwhich follows a terrifying adoption story in which a couple’s new daughter turns out to be a grown woman posing as a child.

Meredith’s storyline (so far) ended with her character’s decision to leave Seattle for Boston, where she accepted a position at the Catherine TBEN Foundation to research Alzheimer’s disease. There have been many more dramatic (and tragic) exits in the series – and Meredith’s new job certainly leaves the door open for guest appearances.

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"I saw her standing there"  Aware that Derek may never operate again, Meredith stops talking about the surgeries she performs.  Meanwhile, Richard enlists the help of Dr.  Catherine Avery to help him perform a complicated procedure as things become increasingly heated between Jackson and April;  and Arizona's struggle to accept her fate forces Callie and Alex to confront their guilt "Grey's Anatomy"  THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

“I Saw Her Standing There” – Aware that Derek may never operate again, Meredith stops talking about the surgeries she performs. Meanwhile, Richard enlists the help of Dr. Catherine Avery to help him perform a complicated procedure as things become increasingly heated between Jackson and April; and Arizona’s struggle to accept her fate forces Callie and Alex to face their guilt, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Pompeo confirmed that in the conclusion of her statement. “This isn’t the first time you’ve been on the roller coaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll be sure to drop by again,” she wrote. “With much love and enormous gratitude XoE 🙏🏼❤️”

Although Pompeo has been one of them Grays anchors since its 2005 premiere, her decision to scale back her role on the series this year wasn’t entirely unexpected — the actress has long been outspoken about her attempts to convince TBEN to end the series.

“I’ve been trying to focus on convincing everyone that it has to end,” she told Insider in December 2021. Are we going to tell?'”

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Gray’s Anatomy returns February 23 on TBEN.