‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Didn’t Addison Show Up For Derek’s Funeral?

Few things trigger Grey’s Anatomy fans more than talking about Derek’s death. From missed CT scans to non-stop wondering “Why hasn’t Meredith called his mom or sisters?”

It seemed like the writers were trying to keep us talking about it for years out of sheer frustration.

While there are a lot of things worth discussing, one thing we can’t get over is the fact that Addison wasn’t at Derek’s funeral.

Kate Walsh as Addison on Grey's Anatomy
Kate Walsh (Addison) | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Derek and Addison

When we first met Derek back in the pilot episode, he was immediately head-over-heels for Meredith following their Joe’s Bar hookup. Even after the two of them realize that he’s her boss and should be off-limits, he still wanted to continue seeing her.

Eventually, she let herself fall for Derek and, as we all remember, Addison showed up soon after with her iconic introduction to Meredith, “You must be the woman who’s been screwing my husband.” Still gives us chills.

After that, Derek and Addison tried to give their marriage another go. But ultimately, Derek could never get over the fact that she had cheated on him with his best friend, and they got divorced.

After the divorce, the two remained on pretty good terms.

They continued working together at Seattle Grace until Addison decided to move to California for a new start. She came back to Seattle a few times throughout the next few seasons whenever someone needed her skills and she and Derek remained friendly each time.

Derek’s funeral was missing several key characters

Fans of the show have discussed on platforms like Reddit why the writers decided to leave so many characters out of his funeral scene. Commonly mentioned are Christina, Addison, Derek’s mother, and his three sisters besides Amelia.

It’s implied that Christina is there, in the form of a back-of-the-head shot sitting next to Meredith, but it would have been nice to see an interaction more than that from Sandra Oh, not just a lookalike. Derek’s mother should have gotten some screen time as well as his sisters, especially since Derek had stated in the past that he helped raise them after their father died.

But Addison missing from the funeral is one of the most confusing. In Private Practice, Addison is shown breaking down when she got the news of Mark Sloan’s death. Private Practice was over by the time Derek died, but it stands to reason that she would have been just as affected by his death as Mark’s.

She loved them both at different times of her life and was married to Derek for over a decade. Feelings like that don’t just go away because of a divorce.

We have to assume that because the episode focused more on Meredith trying to cope with the loss of her husband than it did on Derek’s death, the writers simply didn’t want to bring old cast members back for such short appearances. After all, Derek’s funeral scene was only about 30 seconds long. If characters like Christina and Addison had popped up for just a few lines each, it may have overshadowed some of the bigger emotions at play in the episode.

What Kate Walsh has been up to

Since Kate Walsh’s departure from the Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice universe in 2013, she has had a number of TV roles, proving that she’s still a queen on the silver screen.

She has starred in Netflix’s hit shows 13 Reasons Why and The Umbrella Academy as well as FX’s Fargo and NBC’s Bad Judge. While she’ll always be Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd to us, it’s great to see her still killing it after all these years.