Many “When Calls the Heart” fans are still reeling from Jack’s (Daniel Lissing) death during the season 5 finale in April, but the show’s cast and crew are ready to move on and begin filming Season 6, which will continue to tell the stories of the Hope Valley residents during the start of the 1900s.

Brian Bird, executive producer and showrunner of the Hallmark series, and Elizabeth Yost, SVP of Development the network’s parent company, Crown Media, discussed at Variety’s Tune In! TV Summit on Wednesday Lissing’s decision to not renew his contract with the show.

“As happens on television shows these days, when there’s so many opportunities out there, sometimes you have cast members that choose not to come back and not to renew their contract,” Bird said about Lissing leaving the series. “So, we had finished five seasons on the show and we had our main love interest, great young man named Daniel Lissing had decided he wanted to pursue other opportunities in his life.”

daniel lissing wcth brian “When Calls the Heart” creator Brian Bird opened up about Daniel Lissing, pictured here as Jack in Season 5, leaving the series. Photo: Crown Media / Ricardo Hubbs

Because the relationship between his and Erin Krakow’s (Elizabeth) characters “was the big love story” over the course of the first five seasons of the show, “it was quite a Heartie apocalypse there for a few weeks after the season finale.” Though he knows it’s hard for fans to grieve for a character and a relationship they loved, he truly believes that “the show is built around the community, not just around one relationship.”

Bird knows it caught viewers by surprise, but he knows they’ll eventually realize that the “star of the show is the community and the values and great virtues that exist there.” That’s why he felt confident in making that choice to kill of Lissing’s character when he decided to leave the series. Plus, he said, “the last time I checked, the Hallmark stores, this great American brand, they have a big bereavement section in their cards store. So, it happens.”

Yost added that it was also a very emotionally compelling storyline and that it helped mimic viewers’ real lives. “I mean, there are good times and bad times in anyone’s life and in any community,” she said. “And this is the time when the community has to rally around and they do grieve and they do move on.”

“When Calls the Heart” Season 6 will air in 2019.