When my mother's Alzheimer's got bad, I was going through her bills and I found a notepad. Written on it were the words "Important. Tell Meredith not to." And that was it. She never finished that sentence. Tell Meredith not to what? Not to drink too much? Not to pet strange dogs? Not to give her heart away? Not to leave the sprinklers on? We didn't exactly talk a lot during those days. I regret that. I wish we had. I think about my mom's note all the time. Tell Meredith not to... not to cave? Not to care? Not to give up so easily? Not to fall in love? Not to have children? Not to tell a lie? She left me wondering what to do, what not to do. She left me knowing everything was up to me and me alone. And she left me with no one to ask. So I would decide what she meant to write. Tell Meredith not to be afraid. Goodbye, Mom.

Be Still, My Soul is the eighteenth episode of the thirteenth season and the 287th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

When Maggie's mom's health deteriorates, the doctors are at odds over how to treat her. Meanwhile, Richard comes to grips with Bailey's betrayal over the Residency Program.

Full SummaryEdit

While Meredith's voiceover talks about an unfinished note from Ellis that read "Tell Meredith not to", a nurse enters the scan room where Meredith and Jackson are having a loud discussion over Diane's scans. A crying Maggie's watching them through the window, but walks off when Meredith sees her. She looks lost.

She goes to the chemo room, where she finds her mother asleep. She takes off her mother's glasses, which wakes her up. Diane smiles and they start talking.

Diane's in the scanner as Jackson and Maggie are waiting for the images.

Jackson, Meredith, and Nathan are talking to Maggie and her mom. They had clean margins in the mastectomy, but the latest scan shows a spot alongside the chest wall. They don't know what it is until they go in. Nathan will do that and explore the area and remove anything he finds. It should be simple. Maggie wants the surgery tomorrow. The others doctors would like to wait a week to let Diane get stronger, but Diane sides with Maggie and asks to have the surgery as soon as they can do it.

Maggie walks her mother to the OR and kisses her on the forehead before she's taken in.

Maggie's sitting with her mother in the ICU. Nathan's outside. Meredith brings him coffee and asks about the surgery. He says it went okay, although the radiation-caused fibrosis made things tricky. He would've preferred to wait a week. Meredith understands. She apologizes to him for not having followed up on their dinner plans. She just doesn't feel like it's the time. There's a lot going on. He understands. It'll happen sometime. Meredith enters the room.

Meredith finds Diane sitting in her dark living room. Diane says her stomach's hurting. Diane asks why she's up. Meredith says she never sleeps with three kids. Diane smiles. She always wanted a sister or brother for Maggie. She was worried when Maggie wanted to move out here, but she's glad that Maggie found Meredith. Meredith then asks about Diane's stomach pain.

"Damn it," Bailey says as she, Richard, Jackson, and Meredith are watching Diane's abdominal scans. Richard turns to Meredith and asks her what she's gonna say.

Meredith's telling Diane and Maggie about the met in her liver. Maggie explains it to her mother. Meredith knows that this is a lot, so she suggests they discuss this further in the morning. Maggie wants to talk about it now. She asks if Meredith can remove the met laparoscopically so they can continue the chemo regimen. Meredith wants to take this outside, but Maggie refuses. Meredith says that surgery is not curative for metastases. Maggie says it could prevent further pain and complications. Meredith says there are other ways for that. Maggie is not happy about more chemo. The sisters start arguing over it until Diane shuts them up. Diane asks Meredith if she can do the surgery. Meredith says she can, but she won't. She thinks it's a terrible idea. Maggie says they'll find a surgeon who will. Meredith says this is not Maggie's decision to make. They turn towards Diane, who fires Meredith from her case.

Maggie's meeting with Richard, Bailey, and Jackson in the morning. She has found a clinical trial she'd like them to look into. The trial's next phase was rushed into approval due to favorable outcomes. Diane's a candidate as soon as they remove the met that's obstructing on her bile duct, which will lower her liver enzymes. Jackson says that Meredith's against the surgery. Maggie says Meredith's no longer on the case. She'd like one of them to operate. Richard says they should read up on the trial and come up with a plan. Maggie likes that. She thanks them and leave. Jackson asks the others if they think it's a good idea. They both say no. Jackson wants to get together and work somthing out, but Richard wants to work alone. Bailey then says so does she.

Meredith joins Jackson and Bailey as they're watching the scans. Bailey doesn't want to go near the met. Right now, she's just trying to lower Diane's liver enzymes so she can get into the trial. Meredith suggests a percutaneous stent under minimal sedation, which could result in long-term relief and get the liver enzymes down. It's better than a complete bypass, so they're going for it. Meredith says she was never here and leaves.

Maggie meets with Bailey, Richard, and Jackson. Bailey tells her the procedure worked. She relieved the obstructions and the enzymes are coming down. Diane qualifies for the trial now. Maggie's exhilarated. She hugs Bailey and leaves to go call her contacts about the trial. The three surgeons don't think the trial's a good idea. They argue over who should tell Maggie, and Richard eventually says he'll do it.

Richard enters Diane's room. Maggie's gone to get some tea. Richard wanted to chat about the clinical trial. He tells her she'll get in. Diane says Maggie will be so excited. She wants to start the protocol right away. Diane asks if Richard will do the protocol. Richard wants to make sure Diane has a complete picture. The trial is very aggressive. It's going to take a toll on her body. Diane knows that, but Maggie thinks it's a good idea. Richard says there's a reason they don't let doctors treat family members. The need to help someone you love can cloud your judgment. Diane says Maggie would do nothing that could make her worse. Maggie then comes back. Diane tells her everything's great. Richard says they'll talk more tomorrow. He leaves.

Maggie and Diane enter a private chemo room. Since it's a trial, she needs to be in a room where everything can be controlled. Diane wanted to ask her chemo nurse if her son's finally passed his driver's test. Diane's surprised that Maggie didn't know about that since she works with these people. Bailey comes in with forms to sign. They don't know how her body will react, so she needs to be prepared for anything. Bailey decides to walk Diane through it. She lists all the side effects. Hopefully, she'll get a little better at the end of the trial.

As time goes by, Diane experiences multiple side effects. She's weak and dizzy as Maggie walks down the hallway with her.

There's also night sweats and chills. Amelia and Maggie discover skin irritation as they're covering Diane with blankets.

Jackson treats wound irritation.

As Meredith watches, Owen later drains fluid to relieve an extreme fluid build-up. Meredith then goes to tell Richard that the trial's killing Diane faster than the cancer. It's what Diane wants, he says. She corrects him. It's what Maggie wants.

Maggie comes downstairs in the morning and finds her mother in the kitchen. She woke up hours ago. She felt great, so she watched the news, did some laundry, and reorganized the pantry. She tells Maggie it's time that Maggie learns how to make lasagna. Maggie says that she doesn't want her mother to start passing things down. Diane says it's not that. She finds that at this age, she has earned the right to put her feet up and have Maggie cook for her. She asks Maggie to invite her friends. They're doing this now. Diane tells Maggie to grab the flour.

That night, Arizona, Jackson, and Richard arrive together. They carpooled. Maggie says her mother made her make the noodles from scratch.

Over dinner, Diane's talking about how Maggie started to read at the age of 2. Her baby's a genius. She guesses she has Richard to thank for that, as well as Ellis. She'd like to pay her respects to Ellis. She asks where Ellis is buried. After a moment of silence, Meredith admits they dumped her ashes down the scrub sink in OR 2. The guests let that sink. Meredith says it seemed like the right thing at the time. Diane starts laughing and the others join her. She loves that. The laughing soon turns into coughing. She's coughing up blood.

Ben and Richard are waiting in the ambulance bay as the ambulance arrives. As Diane's taken out of the rig, Richard takes Maggie's hand to help her get out, mirroring a young Meredith when her mother was taken to the ER. Maggie and Richard go inside.

Richard's scrubbing in as Diane's prepped for surgery. Bailey comes in. She just heard about the esophageal tear. Bailey starts to get ready for surgery. She tells Richard he's too close. She can do the surgery so he can be with Maggie. Richard tells Bailey not to pretend she's doing this for him. She made it clear that his wellbeing is a loss of her progress. She says she's just trying to help. He says she'd be last person he'd call if he needed help.

Outside Diane's ICU room, Richard tells Maggie he had to do a thoracotomy. She asks if they're going to tubefeed her mother. Richard says they're not there yet. He's worried about sepsis so they started Diane on broad-spectrum antibiotics. She's still sedated and they'll keep her on PCA to keep her comfortable. Amelia asks if Maggie needs her to get anything, but Maggie's only concerned about getting her mother back on her feet as soon as possible, or she'll miss an infusion and she's out of the study. Jackson says they'll get Diane through the next 24 hours, and they'll see it from there. Maggie returns to her mother.

In the attendings' lounge, Meredith wants to talk to Maggie, but she doesn't want to be talked out of anything. Meredith says the protocol made her esophagus tear. Maggie says that could also be due to the cancer. Meredith brings up that Maggie can't wait to get her mother to the next infusion. Maggie says because her mother wants to live. This clinical trial can do that for her. If she didn't want this, she could have said no. Meredith wonders how, when her surgeon daughter's standing there pushing it on her. Maggie says there have been positive outcomes. They just have to get mother to the end of the treatment. Meredith thinks Diane won't make that. She's already dying and the trial is making her suffer. Maggie says at least she's not giving up. Meredith says they're only doing her harm. As Nathan walks in, Maggie yells that Meredith doesn't get it. Unlike Meredith, Maggie loves her mother enough not to say screw it and throw her down a drain. She walks out. Nathan sees that Meredith's hurt and asks her what he can do, but she refuses his help and walks off.

Richard's sitting with Diane as she wakes up. Richard tells her she doesn't have to keep putting herself through this if she doesn't want to. Diane says she was born in a two-room shed with 6 brothers, and not a lot of food or love. When the social worker put Maggie in her arms, she realized Maggie is the universe giving her a gift. She's a happy person. Maggie is special. This will give Maggie darkness. Diane can't do that to the most special person in the whole world. When she dies, Maggie needs to know that she did everything that she could. Richard says she has done all she can do. Diane says she can't stop. She can't do that to Maggie. Richard says she can take it. Diane may not see that because she's known Maggie all her life, but Richard only knows the woman that Diane's raised her to be. That woman is smart and strong as iron. Now Richard can see where she gets that. Diane says she doesn't want to die.

Diane's now on oxygen as Maggie comes in. She wants to make calls to some professors from Boston, but Diane stops her. Maggie tells her not to quit on her. Diane tells her to sit down and let her talk.

Maggie's trying to keep herself together as Richard approaches. He asks if she's all right. She says no. She wishes her dad were here. She walks off, oblivious to the pain that her comment causes Richard.

Maggie's watching her mother's scans as Nathan comes in. She tells him Meredith doesn't get it. She just got started. Her mother's been sick for months without her knowing. She feels like she left the oven on and went about her business, only to return and find the house engulfed in flames. No one will let her in, no matter what she does. She can't save anything. She could have stopped it if she'd known, so she can't give up now. He hugs her, for which she thanks him.

Meredith enters the room and finds Maggie sitting on the couch. She sits down with her. Maggie says Diane's gonna go. She's not ready for that. Meredith says you never are. You just do it. Maggie should sit with her and talk about whatever her mother wants to talk about, and record her voice in her head and memorize everything. Amelia comes in and sits down as well. Maggie shuts the screens down with the remote.

Maggie's sitting with her mother, who brings up orgasms. Since she's dying, she want to impart wisdom. Maggie says she's had orgasms. Diane says good. It's her right. She advises Maggie to get one at least once a day. Maggie stops her from talking about her own orgasms. Diane tells her she's too intense. She should have some fun. Maggie says she has fun and starts painting her mother's nails. Her eyelashes are for tomorrow. Diane says Maggie was always so good. She had incredible grades, a clean room, she never talked back, and she never messed around with the boys. Diane appreciated it back then, but now she thinks Maggie has to shake it up a little. She should be lazy or slutty, or make a mistake. Maggie says she has a job. Diane says you never wish you had been more uptight. Diane tells Maggie to tell someone off once in a while. Maggie knows not to forget about the top coat. Diane starts coughing and Maggie gets her some water. Maggie continues to work on her mother's nails. Diane says she brought her engagement ring to Seattle. She wants Maggie to have it, as would her father. Diane wants Maggie to fall in love with someone who's worthy. She should find a man who loves her a little bit more than she loves him, so he thinks he's lucky to have her. Maggie should never make herself small for anyone. She has to be her own person. Maggie tells her that if she's going to continue at this rate, she'll have run out of advice by tomorrow. Diane says this polish smells. Maggie goes to open a window. The rain has stopped. Maggie sits back down and then notices her mother has passed away. Maggie starts crying and closes her mother's eyes. After letting herself cry for a while, she continues to paint her mother's nails.

Richard's standing on the helipad. Bill Pierce gets out of the helicopter. The two men shake hands and get on the elevator. Bill says he'll write Richard a check for the helicopter, but Richard says it's okay. This is family. Bill thanks him.

Richard and Bill arrive outside Diane's room. They watch through the window. Maggie's hugging her mother's body while Meredith and Amelia sit with her. Richard opens the door and Bill enters the room. Maggie's happy to see her dad and hugs him as she continues to sob. Richard closes the door and leaves.

Meredith catches up with Nathan at the elevators in the lobby. He's sorry to hear about Diane. Meredith says Maggie's gonna need her now, but she doesn't know for how long. Nathan understands. He gets on the elevator and tells Meredith that their timing's just off.

Richard's sitting in the dark gallery. Bailey walks past and decides to go in. She sits down next to him and gives him tissues. He says that Ellis went to her grave without forgiving him. It robbed him of so many things. He doesn't want him and Bailey to do that to each other. This moves Bailey as she agrees.

Maggie's sitting in the kitchen with the lasagna leftovers. Meredith and Amelia walk in. Amelia gets two extra forks and they sit down. Together with Maggie, they start eating lasagna.

Meanwhile, Meredith's voiceover says that she's decided that her mother's note would have ended with "not to be afraid." She then says "Goodbye, Mom."


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • Jackson Avery
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Ben Warren
  • Nathan Riggs
  • Diane Pierce
  • Bill Pierce
  • Chemo Nurse

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Diane PierceEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Inflammatory breast cancer
    • Liver met
    • Skin infection
    • Fluid build-up
    • Esophageal tear
  • Treatment:
    • Radiation
    • Tumor resection
    • Chemotherapy
    • Clinical trial
    • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy
    • Thoracotomy
    • TPN
    • Antibiotics

Diane was recovering from her mastectomy and undergoing chemotherapy. However, her scans showed that the cancer had spread. Nathan planned to open her up to remove whatever cancer he found in the area. They planned surgery for the next day at Maggie's insistence, despite the other doctors believing she wasn't strong enough. Later, she had stomach pain, so they did another CT, which showed a met where the bile drains from her liver. Meredith didn't want to operate as she felt it wouldn't help, but Maggie insisted, so Diane fired Meredith. Maggie found a clinical trial that Diane could get into if they removed the met. She asked Richard and Bailey to do it. Bailey looked for other ways to lower her LFTs in order to get her to qualify for the trial. They were able to place a stent, which lowered her LFTs. She started the new treatment and had many bad reactions to the drug. She finally started feeling better, but at dinner, she coughed up blood, so they took her back to the hospital. She had a tear in her esophagus. Richard tried to close it with EGD, but had to convert to a full thoracotomy because the tear was full-thickness. She was put on TPN and antibiotics. She then made the decision to stop treatment. She died not long after.


Song Performer Scene
"Heart" Sleeping at Last
  • Maggie watches as Meredith and Jackson talk about Diane.
  • She walks into the room where Diane is having chemo.
  • Diane startles awake when Maggie takes off her glasses.
  • Diane gets a CT.
  • Maggie fights for Diane to have a surgery immediately instead of waiting.
  • They take Diane into surgery.
  • Maggie sits by her mother's bedside.
  • Nathan and Meredith discuss Diane's condition outside her room.
  • Meredith apologizes for not following up on their date and he says it'll happen.
"God It's Late" Aron Wright
  • Bailey talks to Diane about her possible side effects.
  • Diane goes through the trial and has many side effects and reactions.
  • Meredith tells Richard the treatment is killing Diane faster, but it's what Maggie wants.
  • Diane works in the kitchen.
"Devil's Sugar" MishCatt
  • Diane tells the others about Maggie's childhood.
  • Diane asks to pay her respects to Ellis.
  • She learns they dumped her ashes down a drain.
"10,000 Miles" Sleeping at Last
  • Diane says she doesn't want to die.
  • Maggie tells Diane she's calling some people in Boston, but Diane stops her.
  • Maggie doesn't want Diane to quit, but Diane tells her to sit down so she can talk to her.
  • Maggie leans against the wall in the hallway and cries.
  • Richard asks her if she's okay and she says no.
  • She says she wishes her dad were there.
  • Maggie looks at Diane's scans.
  • Nathan comes in and Maggie tells him Meredith doesn't understand.
  • Maggie says she can't give up because she just got started.
  • Nathan hugs her.
  • Meredith finds Maggie in the dark room and Maggie says her mom's going to go and she's not ready.
  • Meredith tells her you're never ready. You just do it.
  • Meredith tells Maggie to record her mom's voice in her mind and memorize everything.
  • Amelia sits down with them and Maggie turns off the monitors showing Diane's scans.
"Closer" Kyle Neal
  • Bill gets off the helicopter.
  • Richard greets him.
  • They take the elevator and Bill offers to reimburse Richard for the cost of the helicopter. Richard says that's not necessary.
  • Richard takes Bill to Diane's room, where Maggie is still hugging her mother while Amelia and Meredith sit with her.
  • Bill thanks Richard as he enters the room.
  • Maggie hugs her dad.
  • Meredith follows Nathan and tells him Maggie's not great.
  • Meredith says Maggie's going to need her and she doesn't know for how long. He knows. Their timing is just off.
  • Richard sits int eh gallery and looks down into an empty OR.
  • Bailey comes in and sits next to him.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 13x18 Promo "Be Still, My Soul" (HD) Season 13 Episode 18 Promo

Grey's Anatomy 13x18 Promo "Be Still, My Soul" (HD) Season 13 Episode 18 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the hymn Be Still, My Soul.
  • This episode scored 7.62 million viewers.
  • This episode is directed by Ellen Pompeo, making her the third main cast member of the show to direct an episode, following Chandra Wilson and Kevin McKidd. It is her directorial debut.
  • This episode was followed by a PSA about inflammatory breast cancer by Ellen Pompeo.
  • This is the first-ever episode of the series to show characters wearing hijabs, albeit only background characters. The first actual prominent character to wear a hijab would be introduced later: Dr. Dahlia Qadri.
  • Justin Chambers, Kevin McKidd and Jason George appear without lines.
  • The scene where Maggie and Diane get out of the ambulance mirrors the flashback of Meredith and Ellis in Only Mama Knows.
  • Marika Dominczyk filmed for this episode, but her character was cut from the episode.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Diane: I'd like to pay my respects to Ellis. I'm here, I'm staying in her house. It's the right thing to do.
Meredith: Oh, that's very nice, but you don't need to do that.
Diane: But I want to. Where is she buried?
Richard: Uhm, a place that she loves...
Meredith: We dumped her ashes down the scrub sink in OR 2.
Richard: ... by the water.
Meredith: It was her favorite OR and it seemed like the right thing at the time. We're terrible people.
Diane: I love it!

Miranda: I should do the EGD. You're too close. Go take care of Maggie. Let me do this for you.
Richard: Don't pretend you're doing this for me. You've made it very clear for some time that my well-being is the lowest of your priorities.
Miranda: Hey, I'm just trying to help.
Richard: If I needed help, you'd be the last person I'd call.

Richard: Diane, you don't have to keep putting yourself through this. Not if you don't want to.
Diane: I was born in a two-room shed with an outhouse, six brothers, not a lot of food or love or anything. Getting out of there was... When that social worker put this little baby in my arms, when I looked down at my Maggie... Maggie's the universe giving me a gift. She is a happy person. She's cheerful. Maggie is rare. She's special. This will give her darkness. How can I do that to the most special person in the whole world? When I die, she needs to know that she did everything that she could.
Richard: Diane, she has. Maggie's done everything there is to do.
Diane: I can't stop. I can't do that to her.
Richard: She can take it. You may not see it because you've known her since she was a little girl. I mean, I didn't. I only know the woman you raised. And that woman is smart, and strong as iron, especially for the people she loves. Now, well... now I see where she gets it.
Diane: I don't want to die.

Meredith: We are only doing her harm.
Maggie: You don't get it! You wouldn't. Meredith, I love my mother enough not to say "screw it" and throw her down a damn drain!

Maggie: She's gonna go. And I'm not ready. Not ready.
Meredith: You're never ready. You just do it. Listen to her. Talk about whatever she wants to talk about and record her voice in your mind and memorize everything. And just keep sitting there.

Meredith: She's gonna need me now. For how long, I don't know.
Nathan: Yeah, I know. Our timing's just off, I guess.

Richard: Ellis never forgave me. She went to her grave without forgiving me. It robbed me of so many things. So many things. Let's not do that to each other.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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