Bye, It Was Nice Knowing You!
This has happened to me several times (twice by one particular person). I'll look at my circle (which I do frequently) and realize mmm, someone is missing, then I'll realize whom. I'll search to see if they just left my circle (which is fine, especially if we haven't interacted lately). Only found 2 that slipped away from my circle quietly, everyone else deleted.
Then there are some that haven't logged in for a very long time. I wonder what they're up to, though I don't fear the worst. Actually I'm happy for them that they are having a busy productive life away from EP. Maybe they started a new business and don't have time to chat on the internet anymore. Maybe they got a new job that required them to work or commute very long hours so no time left over for EP. Its okay if they've found a better outlet. When they need EP they'll be back. 2 different friends did this recently.
Some people are more expressive than others. Maybe if they tell someone, they think they may try to convince them to stay. Which may happen. On a few occasions I've had a friend say they were going to delete (in advance). I told them I was surprised, I'll miss them, though I support their decision. Whom am I to decide what's best for them, really.
Though when they leave and delete, so does all their gifts, gestures, whiteboard comments, story comments - everything. Like they never existed. If you must remove your profile, so be it. Though there is an option to save a portion of your contribution or make a public statement on your profile, then leave. Eventually delete. I don't know, who I am to say how they go. It's hard that's all. On EP and in real life.