Even though Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has known longer than any of us that Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) would be leaving the show after Season 10, she's still grieving the loss just as much as anyone else, it would seem.

"It was one of those things where I so wished it wasn't true for many reasons," she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

"For me, as a human being, I love spending time with Sandra, and as a writer, writing for Sandra is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I would hope that it wouldn't be happening — but I also know Sandra, and I know that it's time for her to have new challenges."

But Shonda acknowledges the difference between her work as a veteran showrunner and Sandra's as an actor under contract: "I get to have new challenges all the time because I get to create other shows, but she doesn't get to do that, so I fully understood it."

And this cast departure is unlike any other for the 43-year-old producer.

"For a long time the show has essentially been a love story between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina more than anything else. Meredith, Cristina, and Alex [Justin Chambers], for me, were always very important characters. George [T.R. Knight] and Izzie [Katherine Heigl] exited fairly early, and while I'll always miss the characters, this feels different."

She elaborates: We've been doing this for 10 years — I've known these people longer than I've known some members of my family who married in … This is the first one of the five that's leaving where nobody wants them to leave; it's that feeling."

That much is true: Though we're happy for the next stage Sandra's career, we wish it didn't have to mean saying goodbye to Cristina!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!