When working on a backlog, you define epics and break them down into user stories. Epics are estimated and kept on the backlog as epics until they become important enough to be planned into one of the next sprints.
But once an epic is split into sprintable units, what do you do with the original epic? Do you keep it with the stories until all are done? Do you retire them into some kind of epic archive? Do you just delete them?
They seem like unnecessary balast once the splitting is done.