Last night I had the oddest thought: When person A feels a sense of longing for person B, perhaps deep down it is not actually person B who is being longed for.
Rather, somewhere inside the mind of person A, they have labeled a part of themselves “residing within person B”. In some important emotional sense, person A has placed a portion of their sense of self into the identity of another soul, to be worn like a phantom limb. A common way among lovers of describing this feeling is “I am yours”.
If person B reciprocates this operation, the resonance can create a tremendous mutual sense of euphoria. Each lover perceives a part of their essential self within the person of the other, which creates a feeling of heightened existence for both.
Alas, either A or B might one day drift away, for whatever reason. This leaves the other person feeling that a part of their own self has been severed. The resultant loss can bring about a sense of mourning, as though there has been a death.
Yet within mere months following such a loss, these phantom limbs of the soul will, of their own accord, fade away.