The Ego and the Id (1923: 29), for example, Freud explicitly
insisted on the permanent traces left by losses, a point Laplanche
(1999) has made central to his work on Otherness. Freud conceptualised the healthy ego not merely as an autonomous object free
to love but as always ‘a precipitate of abandoned object-cathexes’.
In short, our losses remain with us as accumulated internal objects,
which, in the case of melancholia, lead to an identification with the
dead. For the melancholic, the lost person is then ‘transformed into
an ego-loss’ (Freud