Chyler Leigh (Lexie Grey)'s departure from Grey's Anatomy came as a massive shock to viewers, many of whom expected that the actress would pick up the helm as the titular Grey should Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) leave the show — and now, the actress is opening up about why her character was killed off at the end of this season. It turns out that it was actually her decision. "Earlier this year, I made the decision that Season 8 would be my last," Chyler told TVLine in a statement. "I met with Shonda and we worked together to give Lexie's story appropriate closure."

Shonda had stated previously via Twitter that Lexie's death was "a decision that Chyler and I came to together," writing that "we had a lot of thoughtful discussion about it and ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character’s journey to end.” Fans who may have suspected that Shonda was being diplomatic about a decision that was actually unilateral now have Chyler's statement to contend with.

Chyler continued, "Your unconditional love and support have made these last five years very special for me. I look forward to my next chapter and I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey.”

While we're still bummed about Lexie's death, we're excited to see what roles Chyler takes on next!

Source: TVLine

Credit: Hulu Photo: Watch the Grey's Anatomy Season 8 Finale Death: Goodbye, Lexie (VIDEO)

Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.

Satisfy your Grey’s Anatomy addiction: Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and Tumblr.