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Ellen Pompeo is thankful for all 19 seasons Grey’s Anatomy.
The actress aka Meredith Gray shared a sweet farewell message on Instagram to her fans Grey’s AnatomyLast week’s fall finale marked 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 for 19 seasons!” wrote Pompeo, 53. “Through it all….none of it all…would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You are all AWESOME and you all have made the ride so fun and IMAGINARY!!”
He added: “I love you madly and appreciate you instantly.”
RELATED: Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith reveals that she’s leaving and is struck by lightning — to heartbreaking effect
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Pompeo left the series this season to pursue outside projects, including Hulu’s 2009 film adaptation Orphanwhich follows a terrifying adoption story in which a couple’s new daughter turns out to be a grown woman masquerading as a child.
Meredith’s story (so far) ended with her character’s decision to leave Seattle for Boston, where she accepted a position at the Catherine Fox Foundation to research Alzheimer’s disease. There have been far more dramatic (and tragic) exits in the series — and Meredith’s new job certainly leaves the door open for guest appearances.
RELATED: Patrick Dempsey wants to work with Ellen Pompeo again for one simple reason: ‘The Chemistry’
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Pompeo confirmed this at the end of her statement. “Not your first time on the roller coaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit,” she wrote. “With much love and immense gratitude XoE 🙏🏼❤️”
Although Pompeo was one of them of grey Since its premiere in 2005, her decision to scale back her role on the show this year wasn’t entirely unexpected — the actress has long been outspoken about her efforts to convince ABC to end the series.
“I’m trying to focus on convincing everybody that it has to end,” she told Insider in December 2021. “I feel like I’m the super naive one who keeps saying, ‘But what’s the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?'”
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Grey’s Anatomy returns February 23 on ABC.