Grey's Anatomy is good at a lot of things: giving us memorable romantic moments (longing looks, passionate kisses, etc.), producing top-notch dramatic voice overs, showcasing McDreamy’s hair and, of course, making us cry.
So in light of the fact that 2012 was an especially hard year in Grey's deaths, we want to punish (but also reward) ourselves with a look back at some of the saddest deaths ever to hit Seattle Grace-Mercy West … leading up to what's still the freshest wound: Mark (Eric Dane).
Here are our picks for 10 of Grey’s Anatomy’s saddest deaths:
The almost-graduates: Every Grey’s fan remembers Alex’s (Justin Chambers) beautiful vows to Izzie (Katherine Heigl) on their wedding day in Season 5 … and how he stole them from the sole survivor of a horrific car accident. There’s nothing worse than watching an entire group of young adults die on the way to their graduation. We take that back. There is one thing that’s worse: When only one of them survives.
George’s Dad: The death of George’s (T.R. Knight) father on Grey’s was sad for many reasons. For one, the long, drawn-out goodbye was devastating. Two, we loved George so much. And three, it caused him to make a rash decision in marrying Callie (Sara Ramirez). And we all know how that turned out.
Any and every child: We hate it when kids die on the show, which unfortunately, has happened a number of times. But we will never forget the little girl in Season 5. She was Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) patient, and her father was trying to get her to Mexico for experimental surgery. Instead, he ended up holding her and describing the sandy beaches of Mexico to his little girl as she took her last breath. Yea, that one. Excuse us while we go get a tissue.
Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan): You knew it was coming. Between the love we had for Denny himself to Katherine Heigl’s amazing performance, losing Denny hit us where it hurt.
Jen Harmon (Jennifer Westfeldt): AKA the adorable brain patient that sent Derek (Patrick Dempsey) off the deep end. Her sweet demeanor and support of Derek made her extremely likeable, and losing her hurt us almost as much as it hurt Derek, who would later hit Meredith’s engagement ring into the woods with a baseball bat after the debacle. And so was the beginning of grizzly McDreamy.
Henry (Scott Foley): We never liked Teddy (Kim Raver) more than when she was with Henry. They were an unlikely pair, but they were the happiest married couple on the show albeit for a short time. And then Cristina (Sandra Oh) the robot surgeon let Henry go without even knowing it, Owen (Kevin McKidd) didn’t tell Teddy, and drama ensued.
Doc: Did anyone else sob hysterically when Derek and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) put Doc to sleep? Yes he was symbolic, but he was also just a sweet dog. Just us? OK.
George: It’s almost too painful to talk about this one. Yes, it was a fantastic twist. But we will never forget the look on Meredith’s face when she figured out that hit-by-a-bus guy was George, or more specifically, 007. Ugh. Guys, he was dragged for blocks. We can’t. We just can’t.
Lexie (Chyler Leigh): It was sudden. It was unexpected. It was downright heartbreaking.
Mark: Because apparently breaking out heart over Lexie wasn't enough.
What do you think has been the saddest death in Grey’s Anatomy history? Let us know in the comments below!
Catch the next new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Samantha Highfill is a contributing writer to Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter at@samhighfill.