3:30 pm EDT, May 11, 2018

To the lovely and incomparable April Kepner…

There are no words to express how much heart your character has brought to Grey’s Anatomy, and you will be most ardently missed.

It definitely came as a shock to all your fans that you would be leaving us so quickly and suddenly, despite having one of the most incredible storylines this season. We just love everything about you and want to see your smiling face week after week. Thankfully, we can always look back to your 202 episode run and revisit all our favorite moments whenever we want, but Grey’s Anatomy definitely won’t be the same without you.

You have come such a long way from the days of jotting self-affirming notes in a little red notebook. You have lived and loved and brought so much joy to both your world and ours. You have been an example to us all of how to love first and deal with all the rest later. You’ve worn many hats during your time at Seattle Grace/Mercy West/Grey Sloan Memorial, and each time you donned a new one, we were more excited to see you embrace all the twists and turns that came with them.

We watched you fall in love with Jackson, deny your feelings for Jackson, lose your virginity to Jackson, and, ultimately, realize that loving him was just not enough for happily ever after.

Seeing you and Jackson move from friends to lovers to husband and wife to divorcees has been one hell of a roller coaster, but you’ve always been a gracious and loving contributor. Mistakes and hardships put distance and hurt feelings between you that ultimately kept you from riding off in to the sunset, but it’s better to have loved and lost, right? Especially after watching him sitting by your bedside in “Cold As Ice.” It was instantly clear that while being each others’ one-and-only didn’t necessarily work out well for you, there will never be any shortage of affection and love between you.

There has also been far more to your character than just Jackson-drama. You’ve been a fierce friend to those you are loyal to, and you’ve never backed down from a fight when they needed you the most. Whether it was your complicated friendship with Reid, the will-they-won’t-they friendship with Jackson, the kinship you found with Arizona, or the wartime bond you made with Riggs, you were always there for the people who needed you. You offered your shoulder for tears, your arms for hugs, and your hand for strength through even the toughest moments.

Seeing Meredith burst into tears at the thought of your death last night illustrated that even those who haven’t been your nearest and dearest know how loyal and dedicated a friend you’ve been. You may have started off as a Mercy West-er, but you have been so much more than that for a long time.

Your journey to motherhood was one of the most heartbreaking storylines you ever had. We watched you celebrate your pregnancy, learn about Samuel’s condition, and then ultimately lose him to a disease that meant he never got the chance to live. The heartbreak of watching your trauma and grieving over him could only be matched by the joy and happiness of watching you hold and treasure Harriet as she grows. And her birth was anything but easy.

Motherhood definitely sits well with you, April. And watching your journey has brought joy and consolation to many who’ve suffered similarly.

Despite all of those wonderful qualities, I think it’s your role as a healer that most defines you. No matter whether you were treating patients in the ER, patching up soldiers on the battlefield, or performing delicate procedures in the OR, you were always a determined and gifted woman with healing hands.

Sometimes you would put on your fight face and do battle for what was best for your patients. Sometimes you would hold a hand as they accepted a terrifying diagnosis. Sometimes you would run around in the pouring rain as you work to save a couple of trauma dummies that Owen Hunt kept trying to convince you were dying. Seeing your ferocity for your patients always balanced the gentleness that exudes from you so often.

Your ability to have faith in both medicine and God is what has always made you such a unique and exciting character. You trust that your work healing and helping those in their darkest moments is part of a greater plan, and you do your best to shine love and hope on some of the darkest parts of the world.

Grey’s Anatomy has been a better story because you were a part of it, and it will be hard to go on without you. Know that your fans will never forget how you changed this show for the better.

With love and affection,

Your most devoted fans

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