According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, when we are dying or have suffered a catastrophic loss we all move through five distinct stages of grief. We go into denial because the loss is so unthinkable we can't imagine it's true. We become angry with everyone, angry with survivors, angry with ourselves. Then we bargain. We beg, we plead, we offer everything we have. We offer up our souls in exchange for just one more day. When the bargaining has failed and the anger is too hard to maintain we fall into depression, despair. Until finally we have to accept that we have done everything we can. We let go. We let go and move into acceptance. In medical school we have a hundred classes that teach us how to fight off death and not one lesson on how to go on living.

Good Mourning is the first episode of the sixth season and the 103rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

The hospital staff is left to deal with the aftermath of George's passing. Hitting the staff hard, they all find unique ways to get through the various stages of grief. George's mom returns, faced with the difficult task of deciding what to do with his organs.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

Meredith's voice over talks about the stages of grief. Owen, Derek, and Meredith are still trying to save George's life in the OR, while Richard, Bailey, and Cristina are trying to resuscitate Izzie. Callie watches in horror how George's condition deteriorates. Alex is crying as Izzie still hasn't been revived yet, until she finally opens her eyes after another shock. George on the other hand dies on the table as he brain swells. Owen asks if anyone knows if George's a donor, while Callie backs away and begins hyperventilating.

Day One

While the doctors in Izzie's room prepare to take out the intubation tube, Meredith appears in the doorway. She calls for Dr. Bailey.

Owen tries to help a hyperventilating Callie to calm down. Richard and Bailey enter the OR, where every doctor has started mourning the loss. Owen brings up that they don't have a lot of time before his organs become unsuitable for donation and asks Richard if he knows if George was a donor. Richard doesn't know, but he called his mother. She's on her way, so he wants to have George's body transferred to the ICU in case she wants to see him. While Callie has finally calmed down, Bailey watches George's body in shock.

Amanda bumps into Mark in Lexie and asks them who George is, because everyone is crying and keeps on saying that John Doe, who threw himself in front of a bus to save her, was George. Lexie and Mark rush off.

Outside of Izzie's room, Alex asks Meredith and Cristina not to tell her about George yet. He will do it when she gets stronger. Izzie calls him into the room and tells him about the dream she had, with George in his army uniform. She says George will die if he joins the army and asks for her phone, because she wants to stop him.

While Owen and Derek work to make George's body presentable, Lexie and Mark join Callie and Miranda in the scrub room. Lexie sees the patient's legs and asks why they think that's George. Because Meredith said it, Callie replies. Lexie thinks it's not George, because the man is way taller than George. They all watch the body in doubt.

George's body is in a room in the ICU. Outside of the room, Meredith explains to her colleagues why she thinks it's George. They don't believe that the writing in her hand is enough proof and start yelling at her. Richard asks if anyone's tried calling George. They all try to, but he's not answering. Callie then says George has a freckle on his hand that's shaped like Texas. She used to tease him about it. She walks into the room to check. With everyone watching, she finds the freckle and starts crying, confirming it is indeed George. Mutliple pagers go off, but nobody moves. Richard reminds them that George did what he did to save a life, so he won't allow the doctors to just stand here. There are lives on the line, lives they can save. One by one, they return to work.

Residents and nurses are crying the ER, where Arizona is examing the only patient there. Their doctor said Andy had growing pains, but she thinks this is more than that. Arizona says it's a good thing they came and Andy admits everything hurts. While Arizona does a quick exam, Pam notices that everyone is crying. 

Callie and Bailey watch Richard talking to George's mother. It doesn't feel real to them. A crying Louise then sees Callie. Callie wants to leave, but Bailey urges her to stay. Louise says that in God's eyes, Callie is still George's wife, so she should decide about his organs. Louise can't do it, as telling George's brothers is hard enough already. She also can't see George like this and begs Callie to do this for her. Callie agrees to it.

Owen and Cristina are waiting in the ambulance bay. He takes her hand and only lets go when the ambulance arrives. The patient is Clara, who had a speedboat accident, resulting in amputated arms and a leg that's barely hanging on. While Clara is taken inside, two girls drive into the ambulance bay. One of them says she has Clara's arms. She found them in the water. Cristina promises the two girls to do everything they can. The girls are happy, thinking they saved Clara's life.

Callie's in the ER with Arizona, who advises her to go home, cry, scream, and eat a lot of doughnuts. Meanwhile, Pam watches how a crying and shaking Steve is trying to stick a needle into Andy's arm. Callie tells Arizona she has to decide about George's organs, because his wallet got lost so they don't know if he's a donor. Callie can't decide about it, because they only were married for a couple of months. Arizona comments that in those months, Callie was the most important person in George's life. "No, I wasn't," Callie says. Arizona returns to her patient, whose mother asks if she needs to take Andy to another hospital. She noticed everyone is crying and asks what's going on. Arizona explains there was an accident and one of their people died. Pam says Andy is her only person, so she repeats her question. Arizona says no and promises to make Andy her person too.

Outside Izzie's room, Alex and Callie are arguing about whether or not Izzie is strong enough to handle the news. Callie thinks she's strong enough and they can't wait because George's organs won't be viable anymore for long. Callie needs Izzie to help her decide and the other reason is that Izzie will never forgive him if they unplug George without letting her say goodbye. Alex watches his wife.

Owen, Cristina, and Mark are working on Clara in the trauma room. Mark says they can reattach the arms, which makes the girls cheer. Cristina asks them about Clara's allergies and meds, but they don't know about that. They're not really friends, just travelling mates. They do know her name and hometown. Cristina asks them to get her backpack from their car and wait in the waiting room.

Larry Jennings approaches Derek. He is sorry for his loss, but the board is meeting soon and he needs to know if Derek would like to be the next Chief of Surgery.

Izzie is leaving George a voice mail message. Alex enters the room and says he needs to tell her something and he needs her to stay alive after he does so. She agrees to it. Alex then tells her George got in an accident and is brain dead now. "I'm sorry, what?" Izzie asks. Callie is going over all of George's organs. Izzie says George would give them all, even his eyes. Callie seems to agree.

Arizona sits down next to Bailey on a bench outside the hospital. She starts talking about her patient. She needs Bailey to go through it all with her because she can't figure it out on her own. Bailey asks if she did not hear about George. She did. It's incredibly sad. Bailey says she can't work right now. Arizona hears that, and she doesn't mean to be insensitive, but this kid is still alive. She needs Bailey to talk through this living patient with her. Bailey co-operates.

Derek finds Meredith working. She doesn't want to cry, nor go home. Him just being there for her helps. Alex appears in the doorway. They need her.

Meredith and Alex wheel Izzie to George's room, where Amanda is by his bedside. While Izzie's eyes tear up upon seeing her friend like this, Meredith asks Amanda to leave. A crying Amanda apologizes for what happened and leaves the room. Izzie takes George's hand and breaks down.

Arizona tells Pam she thinks it's growing pains too, but worsened by a previous condition. She'll try a treatment and if that's doesn't help, they'll run more serious tests in a few weeks. Arizona admits she's not sure about this, but she gives them a prescription and says she's always here if they need her. 

Derek finds Richard in the gallery. Richard leaves to check up on Torres' decision, but Derek has something to say. He knows it's the worst time possible, but he reveals to Richard that the board is planning a coup. They think he dropped the ball and the rankings aren't coming up. They want to oust him and they want Derek to support them, and eventually take his job. He said he'd think about it in order to buy Richard some time, but he tells Richard he needs a plan. Richard then gets a page from Callie, who's made her decision.

Cristina finds that Clara's travelling mates are not in the waiting area. Lexie comes over with Clara's backpack and she tells Cristina that the girls left to catch a plane, because they didn't want to miss a concert in Vegas. Cristina says that Clara has a dozens of surgeries coming up if she survives this one, so she's gonna need a support system. Until they find Clara's family, Lexie will have to be her support system. Cristina then sees that at the other side of the hall, George is being wheeled to the OR, with Alex, Izzie, and Meredith following the gurney. Cristina returns to surgery.

In the OR, Bailey is watching the surgeons from different hospitals that came to pick up George's organs. Bailey would like each one of them to tell her which patients the organs are going to. She finds every patient is deserving of the organs.

Day Seven

Owen and Cristina are making it out in an on-call room, even though his shrink has set a rule that he can't have sex. Cristina calls her a prude and kisses him again, but he says his shrink wants them to get to know each other and for him to get to know himself. He's not allowed to bury himself in her, which he'll do if they have sex. She eventually realizes it's not a good idea for him to quit therapy. Owen says they have to get to George's funeral anyway. Cristina hates funerals, so she suggests they push up "ceviche"'s debridement to have a good excuse. Ceviche, chopped up fish food, is her nickname for Clara. "It's sick," Owen says. He insists they go to the funeral.

Lexie is reading a postcard from Clara's travelling mates in Clara's room. Clara hates them. Lexie tears up the postcard and tells her to forget about these morons. Lexie tells her to focus on the day, the day where they'll perform her what they believe to be the last debridement and then they'll get the physical therapist to get her arm moving. Lexie saves a piece of the postcard so Clara can tear it up herself then. Now Lexie asks her one more time if she doesn't want to call her mom before her next surgery, but Clara refuses. Not yet, but they could write her another e-mail. Lexie gets behind the computer and writes the e-mail that Clara dictates, telling a fake story as if she were still travelling.

A priest is speaking at George's funeral. Amanda is there too, crying. Suddenly, Izzie walks away, seemingly crying. Alex follows her, and so do Meredith and Cristina. 

At a distance, they sit down. Turns out Izzie was laughing about the whole situation, especially the redhead crying harder than George's mother while she never even met George. Cristina comments Izzie is far more twisted than she ever realized. They then all laugh about the post-it wedding, Alex and Izzie's wedding, Izzie's cancer, and the fact that George got hit by a bus. Just as they calm down, a crying Amanda walks by, causing them to all start laughing again. Now that they are more relieved, they return to being serious.

Everyone is getting drinks at Joe's after the funeral, including Richard. Derek sits down with Richard, who's been avoiding him for a week. Derek says he's buying Richard time. Richard says he has no idea what he's given and sacrificed for this hospital. For every miscalculation Derek thinks he sees, there have been a hundred things that he's gotten right and where nobody knows about. Derek assures Richard he's on his side. Richard asks him to back off then and give him time to think. He needs a minute to grieve. Derek hears him and leaves.

Mark finds Lexie in the locker room, staring at George's locker. She was going to clean it out and give the stuff to his mother, but she now realizes she was a bad friend to George, as bad as Clara's "friends". She completely abandoned him by moving out and having stopped talking to him. She questions if she did that because he didn't love her back. Mark realizes it's bad timing, but he has to ask: what did George have? He wasn't really a guy to look at, yet hot women dated him. He asks if George was... hung, because he was kind of a dorky little dude. Lexie laughs, but starts crying again when she realizes he died. Mark comforts her.

Day Ten

Bailey is doing exams on Izzie. Izzie can go home. She has to take it easy, because she's still a patient, but not a surgical patient. Izzie hugs and thanks her, but Bailey fails to hug her back. Bailey reminds her to sign her discharge papers and leaves.

Arizona enters the ER, where Alex is with Pam and Andy. Andy's pain has gotten more serious and his temp's up to 101, and he's been throwing up all night. Pam now has no more doubt that this is not growing pains.

Owen and Lexie are watching Clara's hand, but she still can't move her fingers. Owen says it's only three days after the surgery; the swelling will go down. She's doing great, he says, but she doesn't seem to believe it. Lexie then returns to writing Clara's e-mail from her pretended visit to the Grand Canyon, but Owen overhears it. He says she got a long road ahead and her mother would want to know and help. Clara says her mother always tells her that she made Clara from scratch when Clara hurts herself. She then resumes to dictating her e-mail.

Callie takes a deep breath before entering the Chief's office. She hasn't heard anything from her application for attending. Richard says Dr. Chang is putting off his retirement, so there's no job available for her. Callie wants to make clear that Chang is just a figure head. When people want the best, they page her, which is why she's basically been running Chang's department. She says that Chang is a dinosaur. "So am I!" Richard yells. She says he's going to regret this and yells that she's excellent. Any other hospital would be thrilled to have her.

On the bridge, Derek tells Jennings he's flattered by the offer, but he needs a little more time to consider it. Jennings can't give him that. Then Callie walks by, with Richard following her, calling that's she's a superstar with a scalpel. He calls her name, but she doesn't allow him to do that anymore, as she's too big a star. She calls she builds arms and legs, like God, and she assures him he'll rue this day when she wins the Harper Avery and every other prize there is. Richard stands frozen as she continues walking away from him. "Tight ship you're running here, Webber," Jennings comments.

An angry Callie gets on an elevator with Bailey. She stars crying, but Bailey just keeps on staring in front of herself. 

Day Eleven

Meredith finds Amanda in the ER. She can't fall asleep anymore because she sees George's face all the time. A sweet, smililng face, and then she sees him the way he ended up, so that even his best friends couldn't recognize him anymore. She asks if Meredith can sleep, but Meredith simply writes her a prescription for anti-anxiety medication because sleep deprivation can be quite harmful. 

Arizona is about to do a 3D MRI on Andy, but Richard comes in. She sees he's mad, but explains that with the mother's insurance, it could take weeks to get an MRI. Richard asks her who's going to pay for the scan then. He yells at her to discharge the patient and refer him back to his physician. He walks out and she uses the intercom to tell Alex that there's a change of plans.

Day Thirteen

Mark is hammering on Callie's door. As she doesn't immediately open the door, he sees that there are construction workers in the apartment across the hall. She then finally answers, crying about George's death, the fact that she has to find a new job, never will see her friends again, and Arizona constantly bringing her doughnuts. He takes her into his arms to comfort while he asks if the place across the hall is for sale.

Alex and Izzie come home, finding Meredith and Derek having sex on the stairs. Meredith runs upstairs while Derek covers up. From upstairs, Meredith uses the newlyweds excuse. Derek says they're newlyweds too, so they're gonna need their own place. He throws them the keys to his trailer. Their new home, he says.

Louise finds Owen at the hospital. She's having trouble understanding why George would join the army. That's nothing like the boy she raised. She's trying to understand why he was on his way to her house that day to tell her about the army and Dr. Webber referred her to him. Owen then says George had tremendous potential as a trauma surgeon. He was fast on his feet, he could think and act simultaneously under immense pressure, and he wanted to save more lives. He was good, thoughtful, and generous, and in the end, heroic and noble. Owen liked him very much and he thinks George gave her a good reason to be very proud.

Lexie walks by Louise and Owen, into Clara's room to say goodnight. Clara says goodnight to and moves her fingers while doing so. Lexie comments it's huge that she just waved goodbye, but Clara doesn't think so. Clara's clearly depressed. Lexie points towards Louise and tells Clara they buried her son this week. He had an accident, wasn't even as bad of as she was, yet, he didn't make it. Lexie knows it doesn't feel like it, but it's a miracle that she lived. Lexie says she should call her mom because she'd want to know the truth. Clara calls her a stupid little bitch and says they shoul've let her die. She has one working hand and may never walk again. She claims that they had no business saving her life and that George and his mother are better off than she is. While Clara keeps on yelling to let her die, she starts bleeding from her incisions. Lexie urges her to stop and calls for help. Owen rushes into the room while Bailey is standing outside, frozen.

Cast[edit | edit source]


Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

George O'Malley[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Brain death
  • Treatment:
    • Organ harvest

George's, 29, brain swelled in surgery and he was declared brain dead. His organs were harvested for transplant.

Izzie Stevens[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stage IV metastatic melanoma
  • Treatment:
    • IL-2

Izzie was able to be resuscitated. After being examined, she was cleared to go home. She still had to return for her chemotherapy, but she didn't have to live in the hospital anymore.

Andy Michaelson[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Scoliosis
  • Treatment:
    • Muscle relaxants

Andy, 15, came into the ER with severe back pain. Arizona examined him. His mother said that their doctor had said it was just growing pains, but she didn't believe that. Arizona couldn't figure out what was wrong, so she talked it out with Bailey. After that, Arizona told Andy's mom that he had a mild case of scoliosis and she believed that that combined with the growth spurt was what was causing the pain and clumsiness. She wrote a prescription for muscle relaxants to help. She wanted to wait to see it improved and said she'd run more tests if it didn't. He came back later with a fever and more severe pain and vomiting. She ordered an emergent 3D MRI, but Richard told her she couldn't run it because his mom's insurance wouldn't cover it and the hospital couldn't afford it. She was told to discharge him.

Clara Ferguson[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Traumatic amputations
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery
    • Arm re-attachment
    • Debridement

Clara, 19, had both arms cut off by the propellers of a speedboat and one leg was hanging on by a thread. Her arms were recovered and brought in by her companions. Mark determined that her arms could be re-attached. A week later, she had her final debridement and they said they could get the physical therapist in there to get her arm moving. Three days after her final surgery, she was still unable to move her arms at all. Eventually, she was able to move her fingers to wave. When Lexie said that was huge, Clara said she'd rather have died. She struggled and started bleeding at her incision sites.

Molly Kemper[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Hypoplastic kidney disease
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Kidney transplant

Molly, 8, had hypoplastic kidneys. She received George O'Malley's kidneys.

Terry Class[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Cystic fibrosis
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Heart/lung transplant

Terry, 22, had cystic fibrosis. He got a heart/lung transplant from George O'Malley.

Amanda[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Insomnia
  • Treatment:
    • Anti-anxiety meds

Amanda came into the ER and told Meredith she couldn't sleep because she kept seeing George. Meredith wrote a prescription for anti-anxiety meds to help her sleep.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Wade in the Water"

Sweet Honey in the Rock

  • Izzie is revived while George dies on the table.
  • Owen tells Louise about George's qualities.
  • A depressed Clara yells at Lexie to let her die as her arms start bleading.
  • Bailey stands frozen in the hallway.
"The Fox"


  • Izzie says George would give every organ he has. 
  • Arizona convinces Bailey to talk through Andy's case with her.
  • Derek wants to comfort Meredith, but all she needs is his presence.
  • Meredith and Alex take Izzie to go say goodbye to George.
  • Amanda apologizes for what happened.
"Speaking a Dead Language"

Joy Williams

  • Derek tells Richard about the impending coup.
  • Cristina orders Lexie to be Clara's friend, as Jasmine and Jo took off.
  • Bailey interrogates the transplant surgeons before George's organs are removed.
"This Sweet Love"

James Yuill

  • Cristina tries to make out with Owen, but he can't because of his shrink's orders.
  • He orders her to go to George's funeral.
"Wade in the Water" - Sweet Honey in the Rock
"The Fox" - O+S
"Speaking a Dead Language" - Joy Williams
"This Sweet Love" - James Yuill

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]


Grey's Anatomy 6x01 NEW Promo


Grey's Anatomy 6x01 Good Mourning Promo 2



  • This episode's title originated from the song Good Mourning, originally sung by Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek.
  • This episode scored 17.03 million viewers.
  • The prep dates for this episode were from July 6, 2009 to July 14, 2009.
  • Filming for this episode was scheduled from July 15, 2009 to July 24, 2009.
  • James Pickens, Jr. makes his 100th appearance as Richard Webber on Grey's Anatomy.
  • Jessica Capshaw joins the main cast as Arizona Robbins as of this episode.
  • This is the first episode in which T.R. Knight does not appear as George O'Malley. However, George's body does appear, but this is not T.R. Knight.
  • Izzie laughs at George's funeral. She stated in earlier episode that she always laughs at funerals.
  • In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shonda Rhimes has said that she requested T.R. Knight to return for the Season 6 premiere, to see George's last day, from when he left the hospital to when he would later return as John Doe. Source
  • A deleted scene shows Callie, Owen and Cristina in the scrub room. Callie reveals she couldn't make it to George's funeral because she had surgeries then.
  • Property master Angela Whiting made an actual program for George's funeral. Alex holds it throughout the scene.
  • GOOF: In the scene where Lexie and Mark are talking in the resident's lounge while they discuss clearing out George's locker, a stethoscope can clearly be seen. However, this particular model was clearly not the one used by George as it is the wrong model and color. It is actually the same model and color as what Alex would later wear.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]


Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]


Quotes[edit | edit source]

Richard: You people answer your pages! George O'Malley jumped in front of a bus today. He knew what he was doing and he did it anyway. And he did it to save a life. So, I'm not gonna allow you doctors to stand here. There are lives on the line. There are lives we can save. So, if George O'Malley can jump in front of a bus, we can answer our damn pages. So, lets go. (To himself) Damn it. Damn it O'Malley.

Owen: Mrs. O'Malley, I didn't know him like you knew him. I didn't know him long. But, he had tremendous potential as a trauma surgeon. He was very fast on his feet. He could think and act simultaneously under intense pressure. He had tremendous potential. And, you know, he was impatient. He wanted to become better, faster. He wanted to save more lives. He was good. And he was thoughtful and generous. I think in the end, I think he was heroic and noble. And I liked him very much. And I think he gave you a good reason to be very very proud.

Callie: (crying) My ex husband died, he died. He actually got hit by a bus. George got hit by a bus. And now... now I have to get a new job and I'm never gonna see my friends anymore and Arizona keeps bringing me doughnuts!
Mark: Is this place for sale? It's nice.
Callie: What?
Mark: Oh, nothing. Shh.

Callie: I am excellent! I am excellent and any other hospital would be thrilled to have me! Yes, I am! I'm a superstar! A superstar with a scalpel!
Richard: Torres...
Callie: No! Don't say my name. Do not. I am too big a star for you to say my name. I build arms out of nothing! And legs. Like God! And when I win the Harper Avery and every other prize there is, you will rue this day, Chief Webber. That's right. I said rue!

Arizona: I'm so sorry, I just heard. I don't know what to say. Go home, you need to go home. You need to cry and scream and... When my brother died I ate doughnuts. I ate a lot of doughnuts and that helped some but, god. I don't... I don't know what to say.
Callie: His mom wants me to decide about his organs. He lost his wallet in the accident. They don't know if he's a donor and now his mom wants me to decide, and I can't. I can't tell her no, but I can't decide. I mean, we were only married for a few months.
Arizona: Okay. But, during those months you were the most important person in George's life.
Callie: No... No, I wasn't.

Izzie: George would give everything. His skin, his eyes, he would give everything.

Arizona: I have a kid in there, 15 years old, previously healthy. Has back pain bad enough to cause vomiting. Can you talk it through with me, cause I can't figure out what it is and I think best out loud.
Miranda: Did you not hear about George O'Malley?
Arizona: I did. It's incredibly sad.
Miranda: I cannot talk to you right now. I cannot work right now.
Arizona: Dr. Bailey, I hear that, and I don't mean to be insensitive but, this kid... this kid's still alive. And I don't know what's wrong with him, not a clue. So, I need you to work. I need you to talk through this living patient with me Bailey. Please.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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

The Grey Matter blog post on this episode can be found here.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.