deluca meredith beach grey's anatomy season 17 midseason premiere abc

Many Grey's Anatomy fans are still reeling after the midseason premiere. While Meredith has been in a troubling spot all season long, and her condition was the worst it had ever been as the drama headed into its winter break, our collective worry had turned to Andrew DeLuca by the end of Station 19's premiere, and our fears were confirmed when he met a shocking end on the operating table during Grey's. Now, star Ellen Pompeo has penned a wonderful tribute to her former co-star, Giacomo Gianniotti, who played DeLuca.

While pretty much every Grey's Anatomy viewer around was surprised by DeLuca's demise, we'd already heard that even though showrunner Krista Vernoff came up with the plan which led to the popular character meeting an untimely end, even she didn't really want to lose DeLuca or the talents of actor Giacomo Gianniotti. Now star Ellen Pompeo has come forward to show how much she appreciated her time working with Gianniotti, by posting a lovely tribute to him on Instagram. Pompeo noted:

Bravo @giacomo_gianniotti You will be missed. Thank you for showing up and being the consummate professional every time you walked on set. Grey’s is a master class in patience and in having to be present no matter how monotonous it may get. You aced it. Now you get to go have some fun and apply all that skill!! I’m excited for your future... and remember wine and pasta with me will always be a part of it!! Tuo amico per sempre

Awww! Perfect, right? It truly sounds like Ellen Pompeo and Giacomo Gianniotti enjoyed working together on the series, and that they managed to become good friends during their time away from the many operating rooms of Grey's Anatomy. Pompeo even wrapped her post with a kissy face emoji and a big fat heart emoji, so while this parting is sad, Pompeo seems to mean her wonderful wishes for Gianniotti's future.

Of course, Ellen Pompeo's Meredith and Giacomo Gianniotti's DeLuca spent quite a lot of time together on screen, so it does make sense that they would have been able to forge a bond off camera, despite his relatively short time on Grey's Anatomy. DeLuca was a little over three years into his stint at Grey Sloan Memorial when, while still trying to get over his nearly-deported love, Sam, he drunkenly kissed Mer at Alex and Jo's wedding. What originally seemed like a huge mistake, though, was soon realized to be what led the two to a real romance for a time.

The loss of DeLuca has hit fans hard, especially since the accomplished doctor was only recently able to come back from the mania that was starting to control his life, after finally getting treatment for bipolar disorder. It was because of his reckless behavior last season that no one believed DeLuca when he thought he spotted signs of sex trafficking because of a young patient, and why DeLuca felt the need to go after the woman he felt was the culprit when she returned, leading to his death when he was stabbed by one of her accomplices.

At least all the trauma wasn't in vain, as DeLuca's death will certainly hit Meredith hard when she overcomes her illness. Plus, Pompeo and Gianniotti got what seems to be a long-lasting friendship out of the deal. You can take a look at her full post, below:

Gianniotti responded with his own sweet message, and noted that "although our friendship will be everlasting, this ride with you has been incredible and I will deeply miss sharing the screen with you," adding that "it's been an honor," to work with Ellen Pompeo.

It's certainly nice to see the real love these two have for one another, and we can all see what the (probably) devastating effects the loss of DeLuca will have when Grey's Anatomy continues to air Season 17, Thursdays, on ABC, at 9 p.m. EST.

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