Shonda Rhimes Shares The Truth Behind Derek’s Death With Us

For the first time Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes defends her decision to kill off the loved Dr. Derek Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey. She opened up to a roomful of reporters on Tuesday, August 4, where she said he decision we the only way to preserve Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo and Derek’s marriage.

“What were the options? Either Der was going to walk out on Mer and leave her high and dry, and what was that going to mean?” Rhimes said on a panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “That would suggest the love wasn’t true, the thing we had said for 11 years was a lie.”

Rhimes went on to explain that the only way for McDreamy to leave his wife was through him dying. “Meredith and Derek’s love had to remain Meredith and Derek’s love. As painful as it was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me was Derek was going to have to die for that love to remain honest.

So what is in store for Meredith in the upcoming Season 12? Rhimes indicates that the long-running ABC hit drama will feature Meredith as a single woman again- although this time with three loving children by her side. “We do have this world in which Meredith is single, and she is living this life that she hadn’t though she was going to be living again.”

Meredith is living in a house with her new found sister “surrounded by women who are dating and having a whole life and she’s not interested in any of that. …You start to wonder if there’s a second life … or are those years behind you?”

Rhimes spilled that the Season 12 theme is “rebirth.”

Ellen Pompeo is happy to tell the latest chapter in Meredith’s life as a widow, “which is just a very important human story to tell. So many people lose their spouses,” the actress told reporters. “A lot of people feel like they can’t get up again. If we give anybody, even one person, a little bit of comfort, that’s a story worth telling.”

Two words…. Can’t Wait!

Grey’s Anatomy returns Thursday, September 24 on ABC.


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