As fans ready their aching hearts to say goodbye to April Kepner on Grey's Anatomy, star Sarah Drew is getting candid about her final days on set.

Following an intense Thursday night episode that (spoiler alert!) revealed April did, in fact, survive the gruesome car accident that landed her on the other side of a Grey Sloan hospital bed, the actress took to Instagram to share a few photos — and words — from her last moments with a cast she's called family for nearly a decade.

"What I keep experiencing since the moment I was let go, is the tremendous joy that is present in the midst of my sorrow," she captioned one photo. "It felt horrible to be asked to leave my family of 9 years, and I have experienced real, deep grief over it, BUT I have ALSO been so buoyed up by my cast, my crew, the fans, and my family in such extraordinary ways, that I wouldn’t trade any moment of it for the world."

Of Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey, she wrote: "Chandra has been a true friend and mentor to me, as an actor, a director and a human. I admire her strength of character and her determination to choose joy in any and all circumstances...On my last day shooting, [Chandra] gave me a goodbye letter that she had written from Bailey to April. It was the most incredible gift I never knew I needed."

And, of Jesse Williams (Jackson Avery), April's ex-husband and father of her child: "Our partnership on this show has been so sweet, so collaborative, so challenging (in the absolute BEST way). We got to tell stories that really matter, that have reached out and provided a safe space for people to love, laugh, mourn and grow. I will be forever grateful to my co-captain for the 9 years of friendship and for the opportunity to tell such beautiful stories together."

Grey's Anatomy's Season 14 finale airs Thursday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET. See more of Drew's behind-scenes photos below.

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