Death should have a meaning that goes beyond the transient nature of life. It should matter that a life has been cut short; yet in our games it is as meaningless as dying in Call of Duty. Certainly you put forth more effort as you cobble together your next character with desperation, hate, and regret but the end result is the same. The old character is tossed in the trash - yesterday's news.
I think back on characters that I've played over the years and I find that so often I can't even remember their names. There was the fighter who I fed to a Hydra after coating him in oil. Who knew that the ranger would miss with his bow and set the wagon on fire instead? Then there was the thief who snuck into the palace while the fighter and barbarian hired hookers. He was crushed to death by a statue; forgotten by his companions as they went from bar to bar, sucking and fucking their way across town.
Once I played fighter who held the gates of Hrothor Pass so that his allies could make it to the palace and warn the king of the oncoming horde. How was he to know that the vizier would have them executed? Then there was the wizard. Oh, but I've told you about him before. I was a mutant in the not too distant future creeping about an apartment building while my compatriot got high in the dumpster. He didn't know what hit him when the threw my body off the roof.
Then there were the thieves. One died while picking a guard's pocket. One died when a chest decided to eat his head. Another was poisoned, and his replacement was set on fire when I missed the tripwire. This one was eaten by a dragon, that one by an ogre, and I remember another being used by a troll as a back scratcher.
And I even played a paladin once. I should really tell you all about that one sometime . . .