‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Creator Shonda Rhimes Dishes on Killing Off McDreamy — Plus See the Show’s Cast Then and Now!

It’s been more than three months since Dr. Derek Shepherd was tragically killed off Grey’s Anatomy — and fans are still mourning the loss of the show’s leading man.

During the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Tuesday, Aug. 4, the series’ creator Shonda Rhimes, 45, opened up about her agonizing decision to kill off Derek on Grey’s 11th season.

shonda rhimes 'grey's anatomy'

Patrick as Derek and Shonda (inset) at the TCA panel on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

“The decision to have the character die the way he did was not a difficult one in the sense of what were the options,” she said of Patrick Dempsey‘s character perishing in a car crash.

RELATED: Katherine Heigl Dishes on Patrick Dempsey’s Exit from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

“Whether Derek was going to walk out on Meredith and leave her high and dry, that was going to suggest that the love was not true, that the love they had for 11 years was a lie and McDreamy wasn’t McDreamy,” she continued. “As painful as it was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me is that Derek was going to die in order for that love to remain honest.”

Want even more Grey’s? Click through the gallery below to see the show’s cast then and now!