The 37-year-old actress recently likened being let go after nine seasons on the long-running ABC series -- where she portrayed Dr. April Kepner -- to her own death.
“In a way, you almost feel like you’re attending your own funeral," she told Vulture. "Weirdly. But in a really beautiful way.”
Following her unexpected departure, Drew was overwhelmed by the support of her friends, fans and co-workers.
“I think that in being let go, the outcry of support from fans, from my cast, from my crew, was so extraordinary. I talk about it as being love bombed,” she said. “It’s like when you’re let go before something ends and when it’s not your choice, people come up and tell you why they love you and how much they love you and what you meant to them."
Despite Drew's sadness at leaving her nearly decade-long job, she noted that "there [have] been so many silver linings" and expressed her excitement about "walking into a new chapter" of her life.
“Nine years playing one character, it’s a long time! I am so excited to spread my wings and be somebody else for a time,” she said. “I’m so excited to produce more and direct more. I’ve been feeling like actually walking away from the show has been the most excited that I’ve ever been in years... I’m just coming alive, it feels like a rebirth.”
"I'm someone that can't really sit in pain or hardship for too long without processing it into something beautiful and good, and what was wonderful about the aftermath of being let go from the show was that the outpouring of love was so extraordinary, the love was almost tangible," Drew told ET's Brice Sander at the time. "You could reach out and touch it, from the cast to the crew to the fans, to everybody."
"And so, I actually wouldn't have it any other way, you know? It was a kind of gorgeous and beautiful experience," she continued. "And now I'm feeling so excited about the future, so yeah, I mean, yes. It was devastating in the moment, but I'm able to process that stuff and find the good in it, because I don't know how else to look at the world. I have to look at the world that way."
Grey's Anatomy's 15th season kicks off on Sept. 27. In the meantime, here's more of ET's interview with Drew: