During Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, viewers said goodbye to Maggie Pierce, Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) half-sister and head of the hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery.

The show bid farewell to Maggie following her last day at Grey Sloan for her new job in Chicago. 

In a new interview with Deadline, Kelly McCreary, who played the series regular, opened up about Maggie’s departure from the show. She also delved into Maggie’s journey over the past nine seasons and whether or not her character will make a guest appearance later on.

According to McCreary, it was time for Maggie to leave Grey Sloan.

“Well, it was a lot of years but specifically at the end of Season 18, Maggie and Winston were at this challenging crisis, and I just kept thinking about how the show really is about people showing up at the hospital and growing up and learning a lot of hard lessons and becoming the best version of themselves and then at some point, for whatever reason, the actors and characters move on, usually after a pretty long period of time,” McCreary told Deadline.

She added, “Maggie came here on a very specific mission; she came to Seattle, to Grey Sloan, to know more about her family — and by extension herself — and every season I asked that question, has Maggie figured out what she wants, does she have a new question? I wondered if the struggles she was facing, the compatibility questions she was having with her husband were really questions about herself and who she really was and what she really wanted, and I thought, maybe that’s a sign that it’s time for her to move on. And so I went to [showrunner] Krista [Vernoff] and I said, ‘I think it’s I think it’s time for Maggie to move on.'”

Maggie's story arc is closed, but this isn't the last time 'Grey's Anatomy' fans are seeing Maggie.

“Maggie will appear again. And she and Winston will talk some more, I’ll put it that way,” McCreary said of her possible return to the show.

She added, “She’s not dead, and she’s still got family and friends in Seattle so if they want me to come, I would humbly and gratefully run over because, like I said, this story arc has closed but she’s still deeply connected to Seattle and to the Grey Sloan family so the door is certainly open on my end.”