The unavoidable is happening: We’re getting ready to say goodbye to Cristina Yang as Sandra Oh makes her permanent departure from Grey’s Anatomy. None of us are immune to the emotions thinking of life without Cristina is bringing to the surface — if you said you watched ABC’s tribute to the twisted sisters without crying, you’re a liar! And even creator Shonda Rhimes, who’s had more time to prepare for the change in the cast than any of us, is getting a little sentimental.

Because for Shonda, the character of Cristina is a bit more personal to her. Not only did she create the character, but she based her on someone very important to her in real life: her best friend.

“The Grey’s Anatomy Season 10 finale is locked and loaded,” Shonda said on Twitter May 5. “Goodbye, my dearest Yang (who is based on my ACTUAL Cristina btw). I’m going home.”

So who is Shonda’s mysterious Cristina? According to an interview Shonda did with Vanity Fair in 2013, she and her person met in fifth grade, when Shonda was the weird new kid in school. The best part? They still talk every day, just as we imagine Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina might once Cristina’s gone for good.

“I’ve had same awesome BFF since I was 10 years old,” Shonda added on May 6. “Even though we live 1000 miles apart, she’s still my person.”

And we’re so thankful for that — not just because Shonda’s lucky enough to still be close with a childhood friend, which is pretty rare, but also because without their friendship, Shonda wouldn’t have the awesome inspiration between our favorite TV friendship in history.

Who’s your person? Are you Meredith or Cristina in your BFF relationship? Let us know below!

Source: Twitter, Vanity Fair