Karen David reveals what's next for Grace after suffering a devastating loss on Fear the Walking Dead. Spoiler warning for Season 6 Episode 12, "In Dreams." When Grace goes into labor while en route with Morgan (Lennie James) to the hospital being built by June (Jenna Elfman), the couple is attacked by cultist Riley (Nick Stahl) and Grace is rendered unconscious by a car bomb. She dreams of a happy future where her 16-year-old daughter Athena (Sahana Srinivasan) gave hope to Morgan's group when they needed it most, but it's just a dream: in reality, baby Athena is stillborn after absorbing radiation her mother was exposed to as a power plant worker.
"Grace is going to face her toughest journey yet. I think her biggest question is explaining to herself, reasoning with herself, questioning her existence and her validity," David told the AMC Blog. "Why is she here and not her child? What else does she have to live for? Living with the loss of a child I can't imagine is ever possible. It made me do a lot of thinking, like my aunt and my uncle lost two of my cousins in an accident when they were very young, and I felt like they just aged overnight and you never get over that loss. You just have to find some sort of way to try and live with that loss every day."
"I don't know if Grace is capable of it right now... And when I was talking to [showrunners] Ian [Goldberg] and Andrew [Chambliss], and Mikey [Satrazemis, director] and [executive producer] Scott Gimple too, I was just saying how incredibly proud I was of them and for our show and our universe to be talking about these subjects," David continued. "There are so many, so many people... that have suffered through miscarriage, infancy loss, stillborn, and yet they're so afraid to openly talk about it and a lot of them grieve in silence. And the whole subject of post-natal depression, I'm just so glad that we're talking about such a sensitive subject, and I'm very honored to be able to be a part of the story and to tell Grace's story in this way."
Grace urged Morgan to hand over the key Riley was sent to find for Teddy (John Glover), leader of the underground group behind "the end is the beginning," not knowing the serial killer mortician intends to unlock and unleash a nuclear apocalypse on the zombie apocalypse. The real loss was Athena, whose existence as a healthy 16-year-old survivor was possible only in a dream.
"I'm not going to lie — that last scene that we did, that really did break me. We only did one take and that's all we needed," David said about the tragic ending scene. "I think in that moment when I was holding the baby — and special effects, oh my gosh, they did such a phenomenal job on the baby — but when I held the baby, I just thought of all the women in my life who have been through this and I cried so hard for them that it just wasn't even acting anymore. I cried because my heart just ached so much for their loss, and I'll never forget that moment... It's something that'll stay with me for the rest of my life."
She added, "You have to snap yourself out of that moment because it's so deep, but you have to, as an actor, allow yourself to go into places that you don't know and it was quite daunting. But to just cry for those that have been through this, it's something I'll always remember."
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.