A day after word came that the upcoming 12th season would be the last for CBS’ top-rated comedy series The Big Bang Theory, star Jim Parsons took to Instagram to pen a lengthy ‘thank you’ to fans, his fellow cast members, crew and writers.

Parsons posted his note with a photo of himself and his fellow cast members Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, as they began work Wednesday on the first episode of what would be the show’s final run.

As Deadline reported, the decision to end the series followed Parson’s decision not to return after the upcoming season.

You can read Parson’s note in full below:

“It is hard (really impossible, actually) to really accept that this is a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory. I feel very fortunate that we have another 23 episodes to shoot this season because I am hopeful that with each and every one, my level of REALLY accepting this fact will sink in. Something else I feel grateful for – and this gratitude needs no time to “sink in” or become more “realized”; this grateful-feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of us announcing our final season – but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives.

I feel grateful to our crew – many, many of those who have been with us since day one – and who are the people who bring a sense of steadiness and dependability, who are so warm and kind and always quick to say hello and smile at us every time we come to the set and who, even though you don’t see them on TV, are in many ways the real and steady heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing while we, like flailing arms and legs, act like jackasses and fools in attempt to make someone laugh.

I am grateful to all the writers of our show – those with us now and those that have come and gone, because without them, there would literally be no Big Bang Theory at all, ever. The writers thought of this show, the writers created these characters, the writers are the ones who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going which is a task much, much more challenging than anyone other than them will ever know or understand. And while I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again: I am so terribly grateful for the cast in this picture and the cast members who aren’t pictured here – whether they were in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off. You are my playmates when we don’t feel like playing but have to because it’s our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we’re these other fictional people and we look into each other’s eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will ever fully understand.

I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”