I realize I'm not the best lj friend - sometimes I don't know what to say in comments, sometimes I don't comment, I am in a comment deficit that I'm trying to improve on but life gets ahead of me.
some of the people had tragic things happen to them, their last entry public is something like "I'm sorry I'm going through a lot right now and need my livejournal closed off to the closest people" and those are tough, I wish I knew more because some of those are people who I genuinely cared about. but I can take a hint and left them alone, and left them in my friends list for years just so they'd know I had no hard feelings and they could come back. but they didn't ever want me back. you can tell from the "last updated" on their profile that they've posted this year, but not for me... so it's like okay, seriously spacefem, drop the torch.
others are people I just friended during my enthusiastic friending phase earlier this year and I've learned not to do that, much better to meet people who are looking for friends, at their request, than to randomly say "hey we're both in the same community surely this person will be thrilled to see me!"
Livejournal emails you whenever you lose a friend, at least that's how mine is set up. I wonder what the world would be like if those emails also let the person add a sentence for why they unfriended you? honesty day! would that be better or worse?