When Shortland Street's resident mother figure Wendy Cooper died, it wasn't just audiences shedding a few tears.
It has been a major grieving process for actress Jacqueline Nairn, who stepped into her scrubs every week for the past six years.
The process was made a little easier through the promise of a new challenge - this time behind the camera, she revealed to Women's Weekly.
Nairn recently took on a role as trainee director with her first efforts to be revealed in May across five episodes.
"It's exciting, I could have spent another year playing Wendy Cooper, but now I'm training as a Shortland Street director," she said. "Who knows what else might happen?"
Wendy was killed off in the hospital drama's first week back for 2016, after a Christmas cliffhanger which saw gunman Gareth Hutchings let loose on a room full of hostages.
She died days later from a stroke caused by a bullet wound to the head.
As she uttered her final lines on the show: " I think I've been shot," the tears she cried were very real.
"When we were rehearsing before we filmed that final scene, Amelia, who plays Bella, was kissing my forehead saying, 'this is from Jasmine' and 'this is from Evan'. I had tears streaming down my face," Nairn told Women's Weekly.
"Amelia was saying 'you can't do that!' I told her, 'if I get it all out now, I can concentrate on just trying to play dead in the take'."