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Why We Care About Fictional Characters And Why Cote de Pablo's Departure Hurts

This blog post is an article by Huffington Post blogger and columnist, Dianne Lodder. The article is about why we get attached to fictional characters and why so many fans are not coming to terms with Cote de Pablo leaving NCIS. 
When reading a book, when watching TV shows or movies, I always find myself coming to care about the characters. It seems that while reading or watching, you are almost projected into their world, no matter if it's a fantasy world. You, as an invisible companion, live their lives with them. You go on a journey with them and experience every event, every emotion they go through. Strange how that happens while at the same time realising these people don't really exist.
As a huge NCIS fan, recent events have made me all too aware of how attached I can get to fictional characters. The characters on this show have become so important to me that the news about the departure of Cote de Pablo, who plays Ziva David, really hurt. It's safe to say that I have never loved a show more than I love NCIS, nor have I ever before been as invested in one. Losing one of the characters feels like losing somebody close to you. Add to that the fact that the cast of this show are as important to many of the fans as the show itself, and it is a double loss.
In the past few weeks, I have been thinking about this subject a lot. I have started to wonder why it is that people tend to identify so much with fictional characters. Why is it that we care about them?
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