Back in February, I wrote about how the characters (and actors portraying said characters) did a tribute for Carol Ann Susi (who played Mrs. Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory). They essentially dedicated an entire episode to Susi, referring to her actual death along with her on-screen death. You can refer back to the piece to see exactly how they broke it down.
The cast certainly rallied around Carol, and they proved that they are truly a family, even though Susi's character was mostly an off-screen presence whose voice was more iconic on the show than her face. She of course passed from cancer, and was written off the show delicately and perfectly.
Carol Ann Susi passed in November of 2014 after a fierce battle with cancer, and the show's producers weren't prepared - they had absolutely no plan to write her character Mrs. Wolwitz off of the show. They were in full production mode at the time of her death and had to improvise - and boy did they do a good job at it!
The cast of a TV show bonds with each other even more-so than the cast of a film, simply due to the fact that each year they come back and work together towards the same common goal. A show like Big Bang, which has been incredibly successful and has stayed on the air for what is now going on eight years, probably starts to feel like a family. I mean, look at this cast photo... It looks like they are legitimately happy to be together.
We kind of realized that the show had to go on... in the same manner that life must. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't respect those who leave us and do so in a way that would make them feel very proud and happy.
Once again, I would like to say R.I.P. to Carol Ann Susi. We'll always have your episodes to look back to as a reminder of how great you were and how many lives you touched.