"Over the last 14 seasons, I've cried many tears on screen and off. This show has brought me so much joy and so much laughter, but truth be told, it has never been easy. This year was no different," Pompeo, who has played Meredith Grey since Day 1, wrote on Instagram on Thursday evening.
"Saying goodbye to characters, cast mates, friends is always very hard, regardless of the circumstances," she continued, alluding to Drew and Capshaw's emotional exits. "What remains and what keeps us going is the incredible passion and loyalty of our fans."
"So in classic Grey's bittersweet style, we will leave you tonight with tears in your eyes and hopefully, smiles on your faces," Pompeo wrote. "Thanks for riding with us on this rollercoaster [known] as Shondaland."
Pompeo wasn't the only notable member of the Grey's family reacting to April and Arizona's last hurrah, as creator Shonda Rhimes and showrunner Krista Vernoff also shared heartfelt messages following the finale.
Earlier this month, Pompeo hinted to ET that Capshaw and Drew -- whose exits were announced in March -- would not have tragic endings in their farewell episode. "You only get killed off when your behavior is bad. If you're a nice actor, you die nice," she said, adding, "But yeah, these endings aren't tragic."
Pompeo also shared her personal reaction when she learned that Capshaw and Drew would be leaving after the 14th season, seemingly reiterating that she wasn't part of the decision.
"My first reaction was, 'What? What do you mean? Why?' And then you go through levels and stages of grief. It's hard for them, it's hard for us, it's hard for the writer who had to make the choice, [who] had to make the creative decision," she said, adding, "You have to try to support the girls. It's just not easy for anyone, but I don't want to make it about me. It's about them and I just tried to be just as supportive as I could be to everyone involved."