(NEW YORK) -- ABC's successful family sitcom The Middle wrapped up Tuesday night after 9 seasons, and with it, Patricia Heaton, who also starred in Everybody Loves Raymond, had to say goodbye to another TV family.
"I feel a bit un-moored," the Emmy winner admitted to ABC Radio. "I love having some free time. But my free time is most enjoyed when I know I have a job to go back to at the end of the free time."
Another side-effect? "[T]he crazy dreams I’ve been having about people kicking me off the Warner Brothers lot!"
Her last day of shooting was tough -- understandable, considering Heaton watched her character's three onscreen kids grow up in front of her eyes. "I was rehearsing the night before going over my lines trying to memorize them and I kept breaking down and sobbing and I thought, 'This is terrible! Because tomorrow either I’m not going to be able to get through it because I’m sobbing or I’m crying so much tonight that I will be as dry as a bone tomorrow.'"
Heaton told Kelly Ripa that it was only when the assistant director had her sign out at the end of her last day that she lost it, sobbing in her car.
Heaton expressed, "You have an enormous amount of gratitude that you get to do this for a living and you get to make people laugh. And, I sometimes think of us as bunch of clowns when there’s other people out there curing cancer and whatever. But so many people come up to me and say things like, 'When my Dad had cancer, your show was the one half hour that we could all just forget everything and laugh our heads off. So you know, I realize everybody has something to contribute.'"
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