McSpoiler: Shocking departure on 'Grey's Anatomy'

We've seen many Grey's Anatomy characters leave (in fact, this pretty recent cast photo is not up to date), but that doesn't mean this loss doesn't hurt any less. ABC
We've seen many Grey's Anatomy characters leave (in fact, this pretty recent cast photo is not up to date), but that doesn't mean this loss doesn't hurt any less. ABC
Published April 24 2015
Updated April 26 2015
Note: Do not read if you have not yet watched the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy that aired Thursday, April 23.

I guess it was not a beautiful day to save lives.

Well, there you have it, Grey's Anatomy fans. Creator Shonda Rhimes up and killed her leading man on ABC's (still!) popular hospital drama. After many fans have left the show throughout the 10 years it's been on air, I've kept up with it. I'm just not a quitter, okay?

But I guess Patrick Dempsey is. His character's story this season has been mediorce at best, so it's not a total surprise Dempsey is off the show. To refresh, Saint Derek saved four people from a car accident, but then got in one himself and died because of doctor incompetency. Not only was this incredibly sad (flashbacks will always get me), but it was also pretty frustrating. Out of all the deaths on the show, this one was a weak punch to my gut.

I have faith in Shonda and where she's going to take the show, but Grey's Anatomy A.D. (After Derek) might not be able to hold onto its already fading popularity. But honestly, I'll probably still be watching.*

So I'm going to deal with my grief in the most productive way I know: By writing a eulogy to the Man of Our McDreams.

Dr. Derek Shepherd, A McDreamy Life Lived

There just aren't enough words to describe all Derek Shepherd's charm, passion and faith. He charmed the pants off Meredith Grey after meeting her in a bar one drunken night. (Derek charmed all of us with his hair.) He was passionately in love with his job as one of the leading neurosurgeons in the country. (We remained passionately glued to our TVs as we said goodbye to our favorite characters season after season.) And throughout all of Meredith's ups and downs, he had faith they'd end up happy together. (We had faith the show would eventually get back to seasons 1 and 2 glory.)

We first met Derek in Meredith's house after a one night stand. But this is television, and we meet him again in the halls of Seattle Grace Hospital — where Meredith is interning. Theirs was a torrid affair: He was married, running away from a life he hated. She was dark and twisty with severe mother issues. But with a little romance — and lots of steamy elevator rides — they married by Post-It note. Two kids later, they lived in a beautiful CGI house in the wilderness.

But love wasn't the only driving force in his life. His real passion was saving lives. (We're still upset he couldn't save George's.) He always picked the hard cases — and usually was successful.

When his own life was threatened in season 6, Derek's quiet dignity helped us through one of the most emotional episodes Grey's has ever done. He admitted to being human: making mistakes and being flawed. But despite that, he made the most out of each day by saving as many lives as possible. Let this be his lesson to us: Don't let fear get in our way and accept that all challenges will make us stronger.

Meredith, our hearts are with you and your family as you grieve the loss of your husband and the father of your children. But remember what Cristina said last season: You are the sun. We know you can get through this.

Derek died doing the job he loved. Saving lives and trying to save himself. Now, can Shonda save this show?

* The finale airs May 14 but next week's episode will be two hours long. I'll be on my couch, with tissues by my side, as I am during most Grey's episodes.

If you still want to feel more feels, here's a video from ABC set to the weepy Fray song "How to Save a Life."