I've had a lot of friends leave in WoW, whether they transferred servers, switched factions, rerolled, dropped out of contact, or quit all together. Some I still talk to, some I have a hard time getting a hold of, and some I've never heard from again. It's always a little depressing for me, as I play WoW for the people. I have alts on so many servers I just cannot visit them all the time. Or much at all, really.
Recently, I logged on and decided that I hadn't seen one of my friends online in a while, so I'd send them a mail for when they did log on. I bought a black rose, pulled open the mailbox, wrote "I miss you" as the subject, put in the rose, added a short message (mostly just a joke on how the rose was black like my emo soul without them) and hit send.
"Mail recipient not found."
...What? I pounded send again and again, checked to make sure I had written the name right, and then opened my friend's list in confusion. Name gone.
Just another reason I hate that message "Player removed from friend's list because the character no longer exists." It never says who it is, so you kind of have to mentally guess at times.
I pulled up armory; his name was pretty rare. His character was gone. I looked up his arena partner (also with a rare name); he had server transferred and had no one of the class and race of my friend on his arena teams. It was...depressing. Perhaps more so because my friend, at the last time I talked to him, told me he would tell me if he was ever quitting the game.
So, Magroo, I don't know if you ever knew I had a blog, so I don't know if you'll even see this. I don't know why your characters are gone or why you didn't say anything before leaving. But I want to let you know you were one of the best tanks I've ever had the pleasure of raiding with. You were fun to talk to and I enjoyed being in your group for every raid, even though I couldn't always give you my aura. Thank you for talking with me when I was bored, and thank you for taking time out of your play to let me duel you so I could practice CCing and kiting a warrior. Thanks for always being helpful, even when I was as scrubby as could be.
And, if you're around, drop me an e-mail or an IM sometime, as you are sorely missed.