It's been nearly five years because we last observed Patrick Dempsey portray Dr. Derek Shepherd aka McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy, and to it is in honest, us still aren't end his leave from the series. One of the show's most popular characters was (SPOILER ALERT) killed off the display during Season 11, and to this day, fans of the famous medical drama wonder what at some point caused that to step away from such a beloved role.

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Here's every little thing we know around why Patrick Dempsey left Grey's Anatomy! 

So it transforms out, after virtually 11 year on the series, Patrick, that played Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey)'s husband on the show, decided he was just ready to move on. Special, he wanted to make more time to invest with his wife, makeup artist Jillian Fink, and also three kids, Talula, Darby, and Sullivan. 

"I’m very grateful for Grey’s Anatomy,” the told People in 2016. “It’s provided me the chance to do everything. However at the exact same time, there was a cost.”


Eleven periods with a present is definitely a lengthy time, and also Patrick was emotion that. "It had actually been lengthy enough. It was time for me to move on with other things and other interests. I more than likely should have moved on a couple of years earlier."

Shortly before he left the show for good, his mam filed because that divorce ~ 16 years of marriage. "I think after ~ a certain period of time, no matter just how much money you make, friend want regulate out of your own schedule,” he added at the time. The couple called turn off their break-up the following year.

Patrick left the show with respect, together creator Shonda Rhimes revealed his decision to departure was a common discussion. "We had a the majority of discussions around it," she claimed at the 2015 Summer TCA push tour. "It wasn't straightforward or fun, the is never easy or fun. We've been working really hard for a lengthy time together. We're family. Those choices and also those decisions are never ever easy for any type of of us."

Fans that the present know the Derek died in a tragic vehicle accident in ~ the end of his last season, leave behind his wife and three children. And also while viewers weren't happy the he to be killed, Shonda defined that there to be a an excellent reason behind it. "The decision to have actually the character die the way that that did was no a daunting one in the sense of what were the options?" she explained.

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the sees you when you're McDreaming, Mer. Tho the inquiry looms. #WhereIsDerek #GreysAnatomy 😳

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"Either Derek to be going come walk the end on Meredith, and leave she high and also dry, and what was the going come mean? that was walking to suggest that the love was not true, the point we had actually said because that 11 years to be a lie and also McDreamy wasn't McDreamy. Because that me, the was untenable." 

Her goal to be to preserve their love. "As painful together it to be for me as a storyteller, due to the fact that I had actually never really assumed that was going to happen, it maintained what feel true come me, was that Derek to be going to have to die in bespeak for that love to stay honest," she said.

"Because ns really couldn't have the idea that he simply turned out to be a poor guy who walked the end on his wife and kids it is in a true story," Shonda added. "To me, it felt like that was the only method to make Meredith and also Derek's magic remain true and forever frozen in time."   

With OG Dr. Alex Karev (played through Justin Chambers)'s final episode airing top top Thursday, march 5, fans can't assist but feeling nostalgic around Derek. Here's hope he'll make a surprised cameo on the show one day in the future!

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