Cycnus, the son of Sthenelus witnessed this marvel, who though he was kin to you Phaethon, through his mother, was closer still in love. Now, though he had ruled the people and great cities of Liguria, he left his kingdom, and filled Eridanus’s green banks and streams, and the woods the sisters had become part of, with his grief. As he did so his voice vanished and white feathers hid his hair, his long neck stretched out from his body, his reddened fingers became webbed, wings covered his sides, and a rounded beak his mouth. So Cycnus became a new kind of bird, the swan. But he had no faith in Jupiter and the heavens, remembering the lightning bolt the god in his severity had hurled. He looked for standing water, and open lakes hating fire, choosing to live in floods rather than flames.
From Book II of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Cycnus (mourning the death of Phaeton)
I feel cold, useless and old I wish I was no one"
— True Love - Elliott Smith (via thursdaysatthearcade)
Even when denied introjection, not every narcissistic loss is fated to incorporation. Incorporation results from those losses that for some reason cannot be acknowledged as such. In this special cases the impossibility of introjection is so profound that even our refusal to mourn is prohibited from being given a language, that we are debarred from providing any indication whatsoever that we are inconsolable. Without the escape-route of somehow conveying our refusal to mourn, we are reduced to a radical denial of the loss, to pretending that we have absolutely nothing to lose. There can be no thought of speaking to someone else about our grief under these circumstances. The words that cannot be uttered, the scenes that cannot be recalled, the tears that cannot be shed – everything will be swallowed along with the trauma that led to the loss. Swallowed and preserved. Inexpressible mourning erects a secret tomb inside the subject. Reconstituted from the memories of words, scenes, and affects, the objectal correlative of the loss is buried alive in the crypt as a full—fledged person, complete with its own topography. The crypt also includes the actual or supposed traumas that made introjection impractical. A whole world of unconscious fantasy is created, one that leads it own separate and concealed existence. Sometimes in the dead of night, when libidinal fulfillments have their way, the ghost of the crypt comes back to haunt the cemetery guard, giving him strange and incomprehensible signals, making him perform bizarre acts, or subjecting him to unexpected sensations.
N. Abraham and M. Torok: Mourning or Melancholia: Introjection versus Incorporation