“But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
–George Orwell, Animal Farm
Dead. Apparently, according to the traumatizing episode of Grey’s Anatomy that aired this past Thursday. And no, not “apparently dead”, the character was really dead as in “not-coming-back-in-future-episodes-unless-it’s-a-dream-or-flashback” kind of dead. And to be honest, I still haven’t recovered from that episode or stopped thinking about what it means to me. The waves of emotion are relentless and although I’ve seen every single episode of this show and I know it’s a fictitious world, it’s still hard to wrap my mind around everything that happened so quickly yet with so much grace.
Although heartbreaking, this episode was very likely one of the best ones yet and I have to hand it to Shonda Rhimes for writing such an amazing episode that made me smile, cry, and relate to the emotions and reactions that the characters, namely Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) expressed. Every twist and turn seemed to have meaning behind it and at the end of the episode, I remember thinking Shonda thought of everything. The heroism of Derek as he put his life in danger to save those of four others, the significance of the little girl making sure he wouldn’t remain unnamed, and so much more. However, the aspect that stood out the most to me was the consequences of the inadequately trained surgeons that ultimately cost him his life.
If he had been taken to Grey Sloan Memorial, his life would have most certainly been saved but this unexpected turn provides a more realistic viewpoint that hit home just a little bit harder. My family and I have a few family friends who have had to remove their loved ones from life support or whom have lost their lives because the hospital and/or its trauma center were not properly equipped or staffed to handle their cases. And while we don’t often see this depicted on television shows, it is an unfortunate reality that take spouses, parents, and even kids away from their loved ones far too soon. Life is not full of rainbows and butterflies—it’s full of the cold and sometimes harsh reality that life is unfair and unyielding to our wishes. That a lot of the time horrible things happen to good people and good things happen to horrible people.
The possibilities and, I’m sure, the approaching continued rush of indescribable emotions will return this Thursday but all in all the true reality of what this episode means both in the fictitious world of Seattle Grace Mercy West and the real(ish) world of the Grey’s Anatomy series, still hasn’t quite sunk in. How do you cope with the loss of a friend or loved one? How do you keep moving forward when it’s so easy to stay hidden in your past? And what do you do when all hope seems lost?
Check out Victoria’s post here to discover even more about MerDer’s relationship over the years and her own reaction to Derek’s final episode.