A few weeks or so ago, a gamer acquaintance said he couldn't fathom why in the world someone would save a dead character sheet. I've heard of games in which a DM collects a player's character sheet when their character dies, makes them tear it up, etc. I wouldn't cooperate with that, personally. If I put work into that character, creating and playing it, I like to hang onto it for nostalgia. Every now and then, I go through my book and have some good laughs, remembering old campaigns and stories. I'm proud of the things I've created, and I'd like to remember them.
Maybe it's like the people who destroy their old bad writing, versus saving it? Some people like to forget that old stuff, but others like to look back on it and see how much further they've gone, and occasionally still find some inspiration in the old stories.