The dictionary defines grief as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. As surgeons, as scientists, we’re taught to learn from and rely on books, on definitions, on definitives. But in life, strict definitions rarely apply. In life, grief can look like a lot of things that bear little resemblance to sharp sorrow. Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone. It isn’t just death we have to grieve. It’s life. It’s loss. It’s change. And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime. That’s how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can’t breathe, that’s how you survive. By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won’t feel this way. It won’t hurt this much. Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way. So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty. The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can’t control it. The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes. And let it go when we can. The very worst part is that the minute you think you’re past it, it starts all over again. And always, every time, it takes your breath away. There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.

Goodbye is the second episode of the sixth season and the 104th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

Time has passed... Everyone is struggling after losing one of their own and are turning to any distraction they can find. Meredith and Derek seem to be consummating their marriage anywhere and everywhere, while Cristina and Owen have been instructed to abstain from sex by Dr. Wyatt.

Full SummaryEdit

Day 20

While the voice over again talks about grief, Meredith walks past Amanda on her way to the hospital's entrance.

Lexie is charting in Clara's room. Clara is asleep.

Cristina and Owen are lying in an on-call room bed, dressed and just staring each other.

Day 21

Clara is reading a postcard from NYC from the travelling mates that she still hates. Clara says Lexie can go home. She's feeling better now, so they can call off the 24 hour suicide watch. Clara suspects Lexie is using her as an excuse in order not to move in with her boyfriend. Clara proposes a deal: Lexie moves in with her boyfriend, then she calls her mother. Bailey, who's now an attending, and Cristina walk in. Bailey informs her an infection that she most likely picked up in the water has formed an abscess, which means she needs surgery. Clara refuses to have another surgery. Bailey walks out to give her time to let it sink in. There's no other option but surgery, and Cristina says it's a fairly easy procedure. Nevertheless, Clara wants to hear the worst case scenario. That would be a colostomy bag. Even though there's only a small possibility, Clara refuses to get a "poop bag" and thus the surgery. 

Alex, Arizona, and Richard are discussing Andy's case. Andy's back in the ER. Alex and Arizona propose the 3D MRI again, but then Richard will need $5,000 from any of them. Otherwise, they can come with him to his board meeting and explain why they're running this hospital like it's a charity. He walks away and Arizona starts crying. She tells Alex she has authority issues and tells him to walk away.

Bailey is angry at Cristina for talking Clara out of the surgery, thus killing her. Cristina doesn't think she did that. Clara had questions, Bailey left the room, so she answered them. Bailey yells that she left the room to give Clara time to accept what's being asked of her and then she would've explained the risks, certainly with more tact than Yang has ever displayed. Bailey says that if Clara asks more questions, Cristina is only allowed to say "Let me ask my attending".

Day 22

Cristina and Meredith sit down with Izzie while she's getting IL-2 treatment. Cristina says Bailey is on some sort on rampage and guesses it's Post O'Malley Stress Disorder. The others don't laugh at her joke and Meredith says Cristina's not dealing with her grief. Owen's shrink is withholding sex, so Cristina is grumpy and inappropriate. Izzie says Alex is withholding everything. It's like he's afraid, Izzie says, but she has no idea what he's afraid of. Cristina makes inappropriate cancer sex jokes, angering Izzie.

Lexie is helping Mark to move stuff into his new apartment, the one across Callie's. Mark is still trying to convince her to move in, but she's reluctant to even put some of her basic stuff in there and she's more concerned about becoming a second year resident that day. Callie then appears in the hallway with two dresses. It's her first day at Mercy West today and she wants to look nice. Mark picks a dress for her and Callie changes in front of them. Even though she's confident, Mark wishes her luck. As Callie goes back into her apartment, Lexie asks Mark why he forgot to mention that his former sex friend lives right across the hall.

While driving his car, Richard is practicing a speech about how he's been good for the hospital. He doesn't notice the red light and drives onto a crossroads. Another car crashes into him.

Richard is being wheeled into the Mercy West ER. He claims he only has sprained ankle and that he is fine. Present in the ER is Callie, who takes on his case. Richard asks her to make it quick so he can catch his board meeting. Callie takes a look. Richard needs stitches, but Callie, still thinking about how Richard treated her, allows an unexperienced intern to do it. Richard asks for a certain type of sutures, but Dr. McKee says there have been budget cuts. He then starts asking McKee about this program.

Day 23

Meredith passes by Amanda, sitting on a bench outside the hospital, once again.

In Dr. Wyatt's office, Cristina is doing her best to show that she knows things about Owen's life. Katharine explains that she doesn't want them to just get to know each other. It's her goal to make Owen feel comfortable around her. Cristina thinks that already is the case. With Owen's permission, Katharine makes Cristina realize that Owen doesn't talk to her about his trauma, nor the war, nor the choking incident. Owen's PTSD is fed by his avoidance of talking about the war. In order to improve to heal, he's going to have to start talking about it. If Cristina keeps on getting lost in the lust of it all, he won't have any reason to start talking about it. He'll feel like he has everything he needs, until he doesn't. So Katharine asks Cristina to wait with sex a little while longer.

Clara has dictated another e-mail, but as Lexie reads it back to her, it turns out that Lexie wrote an e-mail that contains the actual truth, including the fact that Clara is refusing a surgery and that she'll die because of that. Lexie says she can either hit send or the call button to have the nurses come in to prep her for surgery. Clara says she'll sue her and the hospital, but Lexie points out she'll be dead before she can do that. Lexie then hits the call button.

Callie has been called to the ER by Pam and Andy. Arizona referred them to her, and Callie now understands he's the kid with the thing no one can diagnose. Pam gives her copies of Andy's paperwork from Seattle Grace. Pam's feeling like a terrible mother because she can't do something about his pain. All they do is go to doctors, but they can't really help them either. They can't sleep anymore. Robbins sent them to Callie because she needs them to give them a 3D MRI of his spine, even though there's no indication. Pam begs Callie not to be useless.

Bailey, Cristina, and Lexie are in surgery. Bailey keeps on bitching about how this could've been a way more easier procedure had Cristina not talked to Clara about the colostomy bag. 

After the procedure, Cristina follows Bailey into the hallway and says that she only did her job by answering Clara's question. She's required by law and her oath to do so. She'd like to hear Bailey's way to sugarcoat a colostomy bag. Bailey would like to hear a more respectful way to talk to an attending surgeon. Until Cristina finds that way, Bailey doesn't want her to talk to her anymore. She throws Cristina off of her service. "What is your problem?!" Cristina yells after her.

Mark and Derek watch Richard in a meeting with the board. Mark's heard rumors about Richard jumping ship. Derek makes Mark believe that Richard's retiring and that he'll become the next Chief. They have no idea what is going on.

Arizona is about to light a cigarette. Callie comes home and Arizona explains she smokes occasionally when she knows she's in trouble, like now. Callie says what Arizona did was inappropriate, manipulative, and stupid. Arizona defends herself and says she was out of options. Callie yells that Webber turned her down for a reason. She did do the MRI, but no thanking yet: it didn't show anything. They sit down with wine and go over the case together.

Lexie comes home and walks into the kitchen, only to find Meredith and Derek having sex on the counter. They all apologize. Derek uses the newlyweds excuse again for their constant sexual adventures. Lexie understands that post-it was for real and goes upstairs while Meredith and Derek return to what they were doing.

Day 30

Izzie sits down with Alex on the deck of the trailer. He's trying to diagnose a patient. Izzie urges him to take a break, because she's been missing him. He continues working. Izzie blurts out she's wishing for a brain tumor. Then she could hallucinate George, so they could laugh and talk again. She misses him so much and she wants to feel better. She doesn't have any distractions. She misses George and she's sad so begs him to come inside and make her feel better. "I miss George. Nice. Real seductive," Alex snaps, before turning to his work again. Izzie angrily goes back inside.

Day 36

Callie enters Mark's apartment and asks Lexie if Mark's around. Lexie replies in the shower. Callie then walks into the bathroom and starts talking to him about the rumors of Richard coming to work at Mercy West. Mark promises to check with Derek. Lexie watches from the doorway how Callie hands Mark the shampoo. Callie walks out and Lexie follows her. She asks Callie if she's really gay, because Callie just walked into the bathroom with Lexie's hot, naked boyfriend in the shower. Callie apologizes, but Lexie says there's been more stuff like the shower thing and since Mark's not gay and since Callie is hot... Callie then says Mark doesn't look at her boobs anymore, which he used to do any time she walked in somewhere. He doesn't do that anymore since he's met Lexie. This satisfies Lexie.

Richard finds Derek waiting in his office. Derek brings up the rumors of Richard going to work at Mercy West. Also, Jennings is not answering Derek's calls anymore. Richard is angry when he hears that Derek's been calling Jennings behind his back, but Derek replies he's having Richard's back. He warns him not to forget that.

Arizona finds Derek and talks about her suspicions that her patient has a tethered spinal cord, even though there are no indications. It should've shown up on the MRI, but it didn't. so Arizona was thinking about doing a more specific test. He tells her to order the test, but she says she'd get fired if she did. He understands the Chief denied her request. He tells her not to worry about the Chief.

Lexie and a physical therapist are helping Clara to make her first steps. She soon sits down. The therapist says he knows that this is where the hard part begins, which only discourages Clara even more.

While Andy is having the scan taken, Arizona tells Derek she now finally gets the whole McDreamy thing. She clarifies she's not coming on to him, because she's involved and she heard he got married, for which she congratulates him. Alex interferes and says that they wrote some crap on a post-it, which he does not consider a real wedding. Derek brings up he consumates his marriage all the time and asks how that's going for Karev. "Girls talk. You might want to consider that next time you judge my post-it," Derek says.

In the residents locker room, Meredith tells Cristina that she hasn't cried yet because she's using sex as a distraction. She also brings up Amanda, but Cristina interrupts her and says that she misses sex. Meredith then walks out. Lexie comes in and tells Cristina that Clara is a whole new level of depressed. Cristina asks if she's talking about ceviche. Lexie calls it rude and storms off. "Anyone else I can offend?" Cristina asks.

Derek and Arizona tell Pam and Andy that the tethered cord is what's wrong with him. Derek can fix it with a microsurgery. Pam cries in relief and hugs Arizona. Andy is a little embarrassed, but Derek assures him it's a normal mom. In Swender's office, Izzie and Alex find that Izzie's case has been handed over to an oncology resident. Bailey says that's a good thing, because it means the cancer is not so severe anymore. The protocol is working very effectively. Izzie doesn't react enthusiastically, so Bailey reminds her this is about as good as the news gets. The resident explains how they'll proceed with the treatment. Alex is looking for a timeline, but the oncologist can't give him one. The fact that a cancer as aggressive as Izzie's has stopped growing is a stunning success. They'll watch, wait, and hope it doesn't start to grow again. That's it.

Day 37

Derek and Arizona are operating on Andy. Derek wants Arizona to make the cut, because Andy owes his entire future to Arizona. She's flattered and makes the cut.

Owen is talking to Clara about the importance of physical therapy. He understands what it feels like to want to wish that you had died, that you lost everything, that you don't want to call your mother. He's been there, but he's back now, even though it felt impossible. He believes she can do it too, but she has to do the work. As she still doesn't react, Owen tells Lexie they'll have to get her committed to psych. Lexie then blurts out to Clara that people are calling her ceviche. She can't go out being called that. It's chopped up fish, Lexie explains. This makes Clara laugh. They both laugh and agree it's horrible.

Day 39

Izzie and Meredith are sitting on a bench outside the hospital. Izzie talks about her cancer. She didn't expect this. She then sees Amanda. Meredith says she sits there every day, all day. Izzie gets up and walks up to Amanda and tells her to get up and go get a life. Amanda replies she can't. Izzie says George's purpose was to save lives, and now he doesn't get the chance to do that or anything else anymore. "But you do," Izzie says. She urges Amanda to go do something with her life. She yells that Amanda lived and George didn't. She knows that that feels horrible and shocking and terrifying, but she lived. Amanda doesn't know how to live her life. Nobody knows that, Izzie, but she wants Amanda to have enough respect for George to figure it out. If Izzie sees her on the bench again, she'll kick Amanda's ass. Amanda takes her bag and leaves.

Owen and Cristina are talking about work in Wyatt's office. They discuss ceviche. Wyatt says it's pretty dark, to which Cristina replies that she's not the one choking people in their sleep. She and Owen laugh about it. They stop laughing and he opens up about the dream he had when he did that. He was fighting for his life. Wyatt points out they made a start.

Also making a start is Clara, who back on her feet. Lexie and the physical therapist are supporting her as she takes her first step with her prosthesis. Clara asks Lexie to call her mom. Lexie will, but they now continue to take more steps. 

Lexie knocks on Mark's door. He opens the door and she shows him her toothbrush and a panty. He lets her in, and she rolls a suitcase inside with the rest of her stuff.

Alex comes home. Izzie has made the trailer more romantic with candles. She asks him to take of his pants and to be her husband and come hold her in bed. She doesn't know what he's so scared of because he won't talk to her, but she's scared too. If they're gonna have a chance of a life together then they need to talk. He stops her from touching his face and says she died in his arms. She died and then left instructions that he wasn't allowed to save her life. He's scared of everything. He can't lose her, because he won't survive and that's her fault. She made him love her, she made him let her in, and then she dies in his arms. She takes his head in her arms and starts kissing him.

Bailey ends up in an elevator with Derek. He stops the elevator and stares at her. She says she's an attending. And she's a single mother and she lost O'Malley and she can't care anymore. Stevens is not her child. O'Malley was not her child. She has to stop caring so much. She can't keep feeling like this, not at work. She has to save the feeling for her son, who needs it. So she can't keep giving it away at work. He restarts the elevator and comforts her.

Owen and Cristina are about to get intimate in the bedroom. He stops and says he doesn't want to hurt her anymore. His problems are real and this makes them real. It makes his problems her problems and that scares him. You can sleep in the bathtub, she jokes, and then kisses him. He returns her kisses.

Meredith is finishing up in the locker room. A janitor comes in to clear out George's locker because they need the space.

Callie meets Arizona in at Joe's. She was stuck with a really clumsy intern that reminded her of George in his early days. She shakes off the work stress when she sees Arizona and starts relaxing.

Meredith is sitting in front of George's locker. She's finally crying. Derek comes in and sits down with her to comfort her.

Cristina and Owen are lying in bed after the sex. Cristina stares at the ceiling and it suddenly hits her that George O'Malley died, which makes her emotional.

Day 40

Richard takes the stand on the stairs in the lobby. The staff has gathered there. Richard says he knows they've all heard a lot of rumors and he's sorry about that. What he's about to say will be heard and he's sorry about that as well. They all know what the economic climate is. In the coming weeks, Seattle Grace Hospital will be merging with Mercy West. He wishes he could tell them they'll all survive the merger, but there are only so many jobs. He and the board have some tough choices to make. He's on their side and rooting for every one of them. All he can do is to ask them to be at their very best. As the staff starts talking about it, he walks off with Derek watching him. 


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Lexie Grey
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Katharine Wyatt
  • Pam Michaelson
  • Amanda
  • Larry Jennings
  • Clara Ferguson
  • Andy Michaelson
  • Oncology Resident
  • Hank McKee
  • Janitor Mike
  • Jon

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Clara FergusonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Small bowel infection
    • Abscess
  • Treatment:
    • Bowel resection

Clara was still in the hospital 20 days after her accident. She had a CT for abdominal pain, which revealed an infection in her small bowel and abscess. She was told she'd need surgery, but she refused. When Lexie threatened to call her mother if she continued to refuse surgery, so she agreed to have it. Unfortunately, because she delayed it, they had to remove a portion of her bowel to treat her. 36 days after her accident, she was able to stand up and try walking. After a brief time standing, she sat back down. When the physical therapist told her this is where the hard part begins, that discouraged her even more. She refused her physical therapy after that, so Owen told Lexie to get a psych consult, but Lexie just told her she can't go out like this, with people calling her ceviche. Clara eventually got up and took a step on a prosthetic leg. She asked Lexie to call her mom and started taking more steps.

Andy MichaelsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pyelonephritis
    • Tethered spinal cord
  • Treatment:
    • Microsurgery

Arizona was still working to find the cause of Andy's pain. Richard wouldn't approve a 3D MRI, so Arizona sent him to Callie at Mercy West to get the scan he needed. Unfortunately, the scan didn't show anything. Arizona then said she sat up in the middle of the night and thought "tethered spinal cord." She went to Derek in order to get the scan she needed to confirm it. When it did, they took Andy into surgery, where Arizona clipped the cord, which would relieve his pain.

Izzie StevensEdit

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

Izzie was back at the hospital for her IL-2 treatment. Later, when she had another scan, her case was passed to an oncology resident because her mets had shrunk and there were no new ones. They were going to continue her IL-2 and continue monitoring her cancer.

Richard WebberEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Sprained ankle
    • Ankle laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Richard was in a car accident when he ran a red light. He had a sprained ankle and an ankle laceration. She left Dr. McKee, the intern, to do his stitches.

Owen HuntEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • PTSD
  • Treatment:
    • Talk therapy

Cristina attended one of Owen's sessions with him. Dr. Wyatt told Cristina that in order for Owen to move forward, he needed to start talking about the war and the choking. At a subsequent session, he started to tell her about what precipitated the choking incident.


Song Performer Scene
"Ghosts" Fanfarlo
  • Meredith walks past Amanda as she enters the hospital.
  • Lexie is charting next to a sleeping Clara.
  • Cristina and Owen are lying in on-call room.
"Hologram" Katie Herzig
  • Callie and Arizona go over Andy's case together.
  • Lexie finds Meredith and Derek making out in the kitchen. Derek explains they're newly-weds now, so they have more sex in all possible places.
"Gravity" Lucy Schwartz
  • Derek allows Arizona to make the cut.
  • Owen and Lexie try to get through to Clara, who refuses physical therapy. Lexie informs people are calling her ceviche, which makes Clara come around.
"Today Has Been Okay" Emilíana Torrini
  • Bailey tells Derek she has to stop caring too much at work, although she clearly still does.
  • Owen finally opens up to Cristina about his PTSD. They have sex afterwards.
  • A janitor comes to clean out George's locker. 
  • Callie and Arizona have a drink at Joe's. 
  • Meredith cries in front of George's empty locker. Derek comforts her.
  • After having had sex, Cristina realizes George died.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 6x01 NEW Promo

Grey's Anatomy 6x01 NEW Promo

Grey's Anatomy 6x01 Good Mourning Promo 2

Grey's Anatomy 6x01 Good Mourning Promo 2

  • This episode's title originated from the song Goodbye, originally sung by at least two dozen different artists.
  • This episode scored 17.03 million viewers.
  • The last scene of this episode takes place on July 19 or July 20, 2009, as George died 40 days before it.
  • In the scenes at Mercy West Hospital in this episode, no one is wearing the orange scrubs that are later seen after the merger.


Episode StillsEdit


Alex: (to Izzie) You died in my arms. You died in my arms, you freakin' died and then you left instructions that I wasn't allowed to save your life. You wanna know what I'm scared of? I'm scared of everything! I'm scared to move! I'm scared to breathe! I'm scared to touch you! I can't lose you. I won't survive. And that's your fault. You made me love you, you made me let you in, and then you freakin' die in my arms!

Izzie: I didn't expect this. They say cancer, they say stage 4, you expect to die. And then you start thinking, well maybe I can kick it. Maybe I'll be the miracle.
Meredith: Well, you are the miracle.
Izzie: I'm still living with the cancer, y'know, I just... you don't expect that. (looks over and sees Amanda sitting on a bench) Isn't that the girl George saved?
Meredith: Oh. Amanda. Yeah.
Izzie: What is she doing here?
Meredith: She sits there, every day, all day.
Izzie: For God's sakes. (stands up and walks over to Amanda)
Meredith: Where... where... what...?
Izzie: (to Amanda) Get up. I mean it, get up. Get up! Now go get a life.
Amanda: I can't.
Izzie: George was a surgeon. He had a purpose. He wanted to save lives, and now he doesn't get the chance. Now he doesn't get the chance to do anything anymore, but you do. You could go to medical school, you know? You could hang out with your freaking friends. I don't care what you do. Just go do something with your life, because you have one! You lived! You lived, and George didn't, and I know, I...I know that, that feels horrible, and shocking, and terrifying, but you lived. ... So go live your freaking life.
Amanda: (tears streaming down her face) I...I don't know how.
Izzie: Nobody does! Nobody knows how. But God, have enough respect for George to figure it out, because if I see you sitting on this bench ever again, I will kick your ass from here to Sunday! 

Cristina: Do they sell these in the cafeteria?
Izzie: No, those are the cancer pops.
Cristina: Why do cancer people get all the fun?
Meredith: How do you feel, Iz?
Izzie: I'm not looking forward to the hurling that's about to happen, but I feel okay.
Cristina: Bailey is on some sort of rampage. I think it's post-O'Malley stress disorder.
Meredith: (to Izzie) She's not dealing with her grief.
Cristina: You sound like Owen's shrink.
Meredith: Owen's shrink is withholding sex, so she is grumpy and inappropriate.
Izzie: Is Derek doing that too? Withholding sex?
Meredith: Why would Derek withhold sex?
Izzie: Alex is withholding everything. It's like he's afraid, but I don't know what he's afraid of.
Cristina: He's afraid of the cancer sex.
Meredith: Cristina!
Cristina: He doesn't want end up with a cancer pop.
Meredith: Cristina!
Izzie: Just shut the hell up! I'm not contagious, Cristina.
Cristina: I know that! I would totally have sex with you.

Richard: I know you all have heard a lot of rumors, and I'm sorry for that. What I'm about to say will be hard to hear, and I'm sorry for that as well. The economic climate is... Well, you all know what it is. In the coming weeks, Seattle Grace Hospital will be merging with Mercy West. I wish I could tell you you'll all survive the merger, but there are only so many jobs. And the board and I have some tough choices to make. I'm on your side people. I'm rooting for every one of you. All I can say is please, be at your very best.

Bailey: Look, I am an attending. And, I am a single mother. And I lost O'Malley. And um, I just can't. I can't care anymore. Stevens is not my child. O'Malley was not my child. I have to stop treating them... I just have to stop caring so much. 'Cause I can't keep feeling... feeling like this. Not at work. I have to save the feeling for my son, who needs it. I just can't keep giving it away here. I can't. I won't.

Lexie: Are you really gay? Like, how gay are you? On a scale of 1 to gay? 'Cause that's my boyfriend in the shower. My hot, hot, naked boyfriend and I... How gay are you?
Callie: I'm sorry. It's... I've known Mark a while and... But, I'll try not to do that again. The naked in the shower thing.
Lexie: Or, the you half naked in the hallway thing. Cause, cause even if you really are gay. He's not, and you're hot.
Callie: He doesn't look at my boobs anymore. The first thing he used to look at when I walked into anywhere, was my boobs. He doesn't look anymore. Not since he met you.

See AlsoEdit

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

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

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