Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) has a moment of vulnerability on Thursday’s episode, revealing in a touching moment with her potential new flame, Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson), that she thinks about her late husband daily.
“You ever have that dream? A miracle dream?” Riggs asks Meredith.
“I’d roll over in bed and there she was, asking me to go make coffee. So real,” Riggs continues, referencing his former love, Megan Hunt, who disappeared during a helicopter rescue. “And then I’d wake up.”
When Riggs asks Meredith if she ever thinks about something she knows will never happen, she adamantly denies ever having a “miracle dream” and leaves the scrub room.
Several moments pass before she returns to tell the truth, and it’s absolutely soul-crushing.
"Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character -- for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our 'McDreamy,'" Rhimes said in a statement at the time. "Patrick Dempsey's performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example -- happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true -- of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.