Full name: Kira Eleanor Shepard
Kira is a Sole Survivor and a Colonist. "Loss" is a word which holds real meaning to her. As a result Kira developed a deep sense of empathy. She can very easily identify with the suffering of others, and is hugely prone to helping people. I would have liked to be able to say she does so out of pure altruism. And while Kira is natually a good person, part of it is simply that she has come to define herself in terms of what difference she can make in another person's life, rather than truly value herself for who she is. Reaching out and helping Talitha, that's the kind of role Kira feels she was born for. When she was very young she stumbled on The Collective Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Obviously, she didn't understand half of it, but one particular line really stuck: "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." It stuck, primarily because she instinctively, but immediately, recognized herself in it. And it really is her. When she successfully talked down Talitha, she was walking on air afterwards. Not from pride, but from a deep sense of having fulfilled her purpose, as it were; she had given a portion of herself that day, and had received it tenfold back -- just as the book had said. And if Lieutenant Girard and his men hadn't been there to debrief her, she would have cried on the spot.
As for her Love Interest, when she first found Liara on Therum, this gentle blue creature appeared rather -- I was going to say 'needy,' but the term has taken on too many negative connotations -- a person she could give to, in bounds. While her intellectual superior many times over, still, Liara seemed to breathe a deep, and only superficially hidden, inner need for love and appreciation. All of which Kira had to give, in heaps. So they grew close real fast. Liara obviously fared well by the relationship. No longer overshadowed by her overbearing and estranged Matriarch mother, but engulfed inside a gentle light of kindness and appreciation, Kira's inluence did Liara a world of good. And because of that, as I explained, Kira thrived in return. She felt more human and complete in those days than ever before.
Then she died. And when she met Liara again, two years later, things were radically different. Liara had grown colder, it would seem. At the time she didn't understand why (for more on that see: "I died."). And Liara appeared to be a lot tougher, too -- callous, almost, in her business dealings. This confused Kira, and she thought it best not to take things too fast with Liara for a while. However, the true reason for their disconnect, to call it that, was deeper... Liara simply didn't seem to need her any more. :( Her psychological profile being the way it is, this really threw Kira in disarray. All of a sudden, no longer being able to reach out and make that obvious difference, like before, she felt she had lost purpose again. And one day, when Liara had sent her on an errant to hack a few terminals on Ilium, and she had gotten to the third, I believe, all of a sudden something broke inside Kira, and she simply returned to the Normandy, heartbroken, convinced she had lost Liara for good.
What Kira experienced is what, in some form, all mothers undergo at some point: reach the day when your kids are all grown-up and really don't need you any more. It's a bittersweet irony: you raise them in love; which, if you do it well, will inevitably lead to their independence from you. What Kira didn't realize, at the time, is that this is only half the truth; while your children may not need you any more, financially, or in an otherwise material sense, they still need you for simply who you are. Same with Liara. Poor Kira just didn't 'get' that Liara had always loved her, for simply who she was, and not for what she could do for her -- even though she liked what she did for her. As a result of not understanding this, Kira botched the LoTSB romance. :(
See, give my Kira a tangible task: from getting better ingredients for the galley to saving the universe whole, and you'll find her in her element; but ask her to love herself, just for who she is, and she'll feel pretty helpless and lost. I've explained things a bit to her, and Kira is now determined to reconnect with Liara -- but it will take time for Kira to survive the impact of her survival, as it were. It's a good thing Asari have a long lifespan.