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Grey's Anatomy's Kelly McCreary on Maggie's healing process

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BC/Richard Cartwright

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!

The Grim Reaper visited Grey Sloan once again during Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy as Maggie’s mother succumbed to her cancer.

After Maggie (Kelly McCreary) was only just clued in that her mother (LaTanya Richardson Jackson) actually had breast cancer, the doc fought long and hard to keep her alive, even pushing Diane into an arduous clinical trial that ultimately led to her death as Maggie ignored the advice of her fellow Grey Sloan doctors. Now that Maggie’s mother has passed, what will that do to the doc? EW turned to McCreary to find out.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does the death of Maggie’s mom change her moving forward?
KELLY McCREARY: Maggie is unmoored by the loss of her mom. She reaches all around for the obvious things that might ground her again. She does throw herself back into work, and she reaches out to her sisters, who are her family; those are essential parts of her life that without them she would absolutely drown in grief. But still, she has to look for another strength within herself. It calls upon her to find some new reserves of resourcefulness and strength.

Maggie really pushed Mer away during this episode, but what does their relationship look like moving forward?
Maggie pushed Meredith away because she was scared of the truth of what Meredith was saying. Faced with the reality that, in some ways, Meredith was right and that her mother’s death is irreversible, bygones will be bygones between Maggie and Meredith, and Maggie will really lean into that relationship.

Mer has sidelined her relationship with Riggs for Maggie. How do you think Maggie would feel about that?
Maggie doesn’t know about Meredith and Riggs at this point, so I think if Maggie knew, she would wonder why Meredith can’t find a balance and figure out if what she really wants in her life is love or romance, and go after that if she wants that in addition to being able to support her sister.

RELATED: The Evolution of Meredith Grey

Might it lessen the blow of learning that Meredith and Riggs had been keeping their romance secret?
Well, okay, that’s a different question. [Laughs] When Maggie finds out — if/when — about Meredith and Riggs, Maggie’s mom has just been lying to her about her health in a way that made Maggie feel very powerless. That was traumatic for her. Meredith withholding the truth will not help in healing that trauma. The fact that Meredith had chosen Maggie over Riggs is kind of irrelevant, it’s kind of a moot point in the conversation of whether Meredith should’ve told Maggie or not.

What’s next for Maggie outside the loss of her mom? Could love be in her future?
Yeah, I think Maggie really takes to heart her mother’s dying words. She says to go and have fun, take risks, be naughty, wear lipstick, and just give herself some freedom to have a little bit more fun. I hope Maggie does take that to heart. I hope she lets her hair down and sees what new adventures might come once she’s able to do that.

Might she get herself into trouble in doing that?
You know what? I really hope so. I hope she does get herself into some trouble. Sometimes in grief people do get a little reckless. Maggie is not going to put herself in harm’s way or anything, but I do hope she gives herself permission to be a little bit less sensible, logical, and reasonable.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.