We were bereft.
We felt this way when Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night and then Studio 60 vanished after their short visits, too. We kept the characters around, whether the television was on, or not. We watched live sports and wondered what Dan might have to say on the subject, as if the fictional talking head might appear at any moment on our screen.
Well drawn characters do this to us, and they always have. Just ask TBG about his burial plan; you can read the description he recites from memory in Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter:The Martian Series. In the actual event of his death, wiser minds will surely prevail. Still, I have no doubt that someone will mention the marble slab and the door, bolted only from the inside.
Jo March's adventures in writing sit in a small corner of my brain every time I type to you. I see her, long dark hair pinned up, fingers blue with ink, knees to her chest in the corner, scribbling furiously. I can sometimes channel that energy. My fingers fly over the keyboard, trying to catch up with themselves as my mind smiles at the words appearing on the screen. I'm as happy to press Publish as Jo was to mail off her manuscript; she's often with me as I hit the final Enter.
And I remember how sad I was at the end of Little Women. Sure, there were others in the series, but I wanted more of the very same. And so, in the 6th grade, a friend and I started reading it in a continuous loop. Three times.... six times.... over and over and loving it more with every iteration. When the Cuters were small and requesting the same book over and over and over again, I took a deep breath, remembered the March girls, and started again... "Pickle things you never see....."
Right now two 30-somethings are intoning ".....like pickles on a Christmas tree!" and that's exactly the point. Good characters become part of the ongoing story line of our lives, even if those characters are green and knobbly.
Waiting for FlapJilly to come back and read it, too!