I've been a loyal Grey's Anatomy binge-watcher since college, but one thing that has changed over the years is my favorite character.
For so long, I was #TeamCristina all the way. She was smart, bold, passionate and unapologetically herself.
Have you ever heard the saying, "we like people who are like us?" Well, let's just say Cristina and I share that spit-fire, feistiness that other people hate to love. ;)
But in 2014, Cristina left the show and I felt a little lost. The character I saw the most of myself in was gone. After that, Shonda Rhimes, the show's producer, was starting to lose me a little more every episode.
I started paying less attention, I'd put the show on while doing homework or painting my nails. I didn't care as much if I had something else to do when it was on, or if I missed an episode or two.
But then, Shonda hit us with a whammy. (Spoiler alert ahead!)
Derek Shepherd died.
While every character on the show grieved differently, there was a special place in my heart for Amelia Shepherd because we now had something in common.
We had lost an older brother unexpectedly. We didn't get to say goodbye.
Watching Amelia struggle through her grief and all that followed took me back to a place I had fought so hard to get out of.
Watching her struggle with accepting her loss reminded me of the strong, bold Cristina Yang I had once been and the broken, lost Amelia Shepherd that I had become.
Grief is not a linear journey.
There are the worst days of your life and then breakthroughs and then setbacks and then rock bottom and then a glimmer of hope and then rock bottom again.
While many viewers cried along with Meredith Grey, who had just lost her husband, I cried along with Amelia, who had just lost her brother.
A brother who had a smile that made others smile, the charisma to charm the pants off pretty much anyone, and a spark that you really couldn't describe. Just like my own brother.
But what I grew to love the most about Dr. Amelia Shepherd was the path she took out of the darkness. Despite how bent, not broken, she was inside, she saved herself by saving others.
She refused to stay miserable and keep half-assing life. She chose to be brave and to take her own life back.
So did I. And no matter what you're going through right now, so can you.