This thought came to me through the experience of my last grandparent passing away.
Death is a peculiar thing. It is a very personal thing. The only person who truly experiences death is the individual dying. The rest of us are left with a fading presence that eventually becomes that emptiness reminding us that someone who used to be there is no longer.
When death comes slowly through sickness or great age, it is like the presence fades away and one day disappears completely. When it comes quickly by accident or otherwise, it is like the person blinks out of existence. Either way it is like one moment someone stands beside you and you turn away for one moment and when you look back there is no one to be seen.
All that is left is the emptiness of a space once filled.