The Season 14 finale of Grey's marked the end of a journey for both April Kepner and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), who were both written out of the series. Each of the characters got to walk off into the sunset and start new lives with April quitting her job at Grey Sloan to help the homeless in Seattle and Arizona moving to New York with her daughter and to probably reunite with Callie (Sara Ramirez).
While their endings may have brought smiles to fans' faces, Drew's goodbye Instagram messages are sure to draw more than a few tears. The actress posted three sentimental notes to fans after the east coast airing of the finale on Thursday night.
"It's hard to say goodbye to characters I've played. It always feels like a little death, but this is different. I've lived with April nine months out of the year every year for nine years. She's a part of me. I'm a part of her. Saying goodbye to her is big and deep and sad and beautiful and joyous. It's all the feelings mashed up into one. Because I've spent so much time with her, advocating for her, investing in her journey, she feels like a real person to me. She's been through a lot of joy and a lot of pain, and I've felt that joy and that pain while playing those scenes. Her stories have made their way deep into my soul," Drew writes in the first message. She continued on to explain all the things she loved about April and the journey the two have been on together.
Thank you @ouafae_japril for putting together this beautiful April collage.☺️☺️ It's hard to say goodbye to characters I've played. It always feels like a little death, but this is different. I've lived with April nine months out of the year every year for nine years. She's a part of me. I'm a part of her. Saying goodbye to her is big and deep and sad and beautiful and joyous. Its all the feelings mashed up into one. Because I've spent so much time with her, advocating for her, investing in her journey, she feels like a real person to me. She's been through a lot of joy and a lot of pain, and I've felt that joy and that pain while playing those scenes. Her stories have made their way deep into my soul. So it is hard to let her go. She has taught me about courage, about taking a leap no matter what anyone else says. She has taught me about resilience. She was fired twice and then came back twice with her whole heart ready to throw herself into whatever was put in front of her with no resentment or anger. She lived through unspeakable pain and fought to heal not only herself but her marriage as well. She was beautifully flawed and unapologetic about needing to work through her pain in whatever way was necessary. I admire her courage. I admire her fighting spirit. I admire her ability to speak her mind regardless of what people think of her. And I admire her compassion and empathy. April's faith journey has been especially important to me. It's been my great joy to tell an honest story about an authentic, multi-faceted, complicated person of faith with a deeply felt faith journey. April's journey has made an impact on so many, and it's been my great privilege to hear their stories and know that through her, I've been able to meet people in their own suffering and to offer some comfort to them... to take away 1/60th of their pain (did you catch that reference?). This is truly why I love being an actor. To remind people that they are not alone. I am so grateful to Shonda Rhimes and our incredible team of writers for giving me the opportunity not only to tell this story, but also to participate intimately in the development of her journey.
My nine years on Grey's Anatomy has forever shaped and changed me. I grew as an actor and as a human. I developed beautiful life long friendships. I found my voice and learned how to collaborate creatively with our incredibly talented group of writers and with our leadership. Our writers are simply extraordinary. This past year, I began my journey as a director and had the privilege of being taught by Chandra Wilson, Kevin McKidd and Debbie Allen. I was able to grow my family and have my two beautiful children while working in an environment that took great care of me thanks to Shonda Rhimes and the precedent she set. And I got to be a part of a show that continues to push boundaries, inspire people to pursue their dreams, find strength in hardship, and fight for what they believe in. What an honor and a privilege to have had the chance to be a part of this extraordinary family.
Her final post of the evening thanked Grey's Anatomy fans who have fiercely fought for April and supported Drew for nearly a decade on the medical soap.
"And lastly... I can't sign off without thanking all of YOU guys! The Grey's Anatomy fans are some of the most passionate people I've ever encountered. Thank you for the years of encouragement and engagement and love. You are a FORCE!!! I love you!," she wrote.
For her exit, Capshaw kept it a bit more lighthearted on her Instagram, posting behind the scenes photos of her final episode. "Headin' to a weddin'," she captioned the post of herself and co-star Justin Chambers as they headed to the location shoot the season finale's wedding scenes.
Seeing both of these women go is a bittersweet situation because they were loved characters. It's always sad to say goodbye, but they got the happy endings they both deserve.
Grey's Anatomy returns this fall on ABC.