Joseph Lannis Lisa Marie Presley and Benjamin Q
Lisa Marie Presley opens up about life after losing her late son Benjamin Keough.
In honor of Tuesday’s National Grief Awareness Day, the 54-year-old singer wrote an emotional post about the bad points she’s faced in time since Keough’s death by suicide in 2020 at the age of 27. Three daughters (Presley shares Benjamin and daughter Riley with ex-husband Danny Keough, and has 13-year-old twin daughters Finley Aaron Love and Harper Vivienne Ann with Michael Lockwood, with whom her divorce was finalized last May).
Read on for Presley’s article, which was shared exclusively with PEOPLE and edited slightly for clarity.
Today is National Grief Awareness Day, and since I’ve been living in the horrific reality of relentless control since my son’s death two years ago, I thought I’d share a few things I should be aware of regarding grieving for anyone concerned. If not to help yourself but maybe to help someone else grieving…
This is not a comfortable topic for anyone, and it is unpopular when talking about it. This is very long, potentially exciting and very difficult to counter. But if we are to make any progress on this subject, we must speak of grief. I’m sharing my thoughts in the hope that we can somehow change that.
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Death is part of life whether we like it or not – and so is grief. There is a lot to learn and understand about it, but here’s what I know so far: One is that grief does not stop or go away in any way, after a year or years of loss. Grief is something you have to carry with you for the rest of your life, despite what some people or our culture would like us to believe. You don’t “recover from it”, you don’t “go forward” period.
Second, grief is incredibly lonely. Although people come in the heat of the moment to be there for you right after the loss happens, they quickly disappear and go on with their own lives and kind of expect you to do the same, especially after some time. This includes “household” as well. If you’re incredibly lucky, less than a handful will still be in touch with you after the first month or so. Unfortunately, this is a harsh reality for most people. So, if you know someone who has lost a loved one, no matter how long it has been, please contact them to find out their status. Go visit them, they will really appreciate it, more than you know…
Third, especially if the loss was premature, abnormal or tragic, you will become somewhat ostracized. You can feel stigmatized and perhaps somehow judge why the tragic loss occurred. This becomes magnetized by a million if you are the parent of a child who has died. Whatever their age. Whatever the circumstances.
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I already fight and beat myself up tirelessly and chronically, blaming myself every day and that’s hard enough to live with now, but others will judge you and blame you too, even in secret or behind your back which is the most cruel and painful thing on top of everything else.
This is where finding others who have experienced a similar loss can be the only way to go. Support groups that share a certain type of loss. I go to them, and bring them to the other bereaved parents in my house.
Nothing, absolutely nothing takes away the pain, but finding support can sometimes help you feel a little more alone.
Your old “pals” and even your family can run into the hills.
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The relentless truth is that you are forced into this terrible “membership”, if you wanted to, you never wanted to be in it or part of it, and you are forced to, for lack of a better term, you must go and look for your new people now .
I now truly cherish the few who stayed there with us throughout this nightmarish process from the start. I have now also come to love and cherish my new friends who are in this same “club”.
If I’m honest, I can understand why people might want to avoid you once a terrible tragedy strikes. Especially a parent losing their child because it is already your worst nightmare. I can remember many times in my life where I have known parents who lost their children, and while I could have been there for them when that happened, I avoided them afterwards and didn’t bother to follow up with them because they literally became representatives of my biggest fear. I also judged them calmly, swearing I would never do anything I felt they either did or neglected in their parenting actions and choices with their child.
However, here I am now living what it’s like to be the same representative of other parents… Obviously no parent chooses that path, and fortunately not all parents will be a victim of that – and I mean VICTIM here. I hate that word. Now I know why. I have dealt with death, grief, and loss since I was nine years old. I’ve had more than a fair share of anyone in my life and somehow, I’ve made it this far. But this is the death of my beautiful, beautiful son? The sweetest and most wonderful being I had the privilege of knowing, who made me feel so proud every day of being his mother? Who was so similar to his grandfather on so many levels that he actually scared me? What made me worry more about it than I would normally feel? No just no… no no no no…
RELATED VIDEO: Lisa Marie Presley Shares a Sweet Photo with All Four of Her Babies: “Mama the Lion with the Cubs”
It’s a real choice to keep going, one I have to make every day and one that’s always challenging to say the least…but I keep working for my girls. I keep working because my son made it clear in his last moments that looking after his younger sisters was at the forefront of his mind. He absolutely loved them and they are.
My daughters’ lives and the lives of my three daughters were completely blown up and destroyed by his death. We live in this all. Not connected. day.
I say all of this, on this very day, National Grief Awareness Day, in the hope that I can help raise awareness of grief and loss. Just know that after this day passes, for all your friends who have a loved one, every day is a day of grief awareness. I say this, in the hope that it will help someone who is suffering as my children and I do. Hoping that maybe today or as soon as possible, you can reach someone who is grieving over someone you loved and lost. Whether they lost a child, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a fiancé, or anyone.
Ask them how they are doing, ask them to talk about their person, yes! We want to talk about them. That’s how we keep them alive in our hearts, that’s how they don’t forget, and that’s what keeps us alive too. And do me a favor, don’t tell them “you may’t think about” their ache. The reality is, sure you may, you simply do not wish to.
Thanks for studying all this. I understand how laborious and thrilling it’s. However perhaps let him push you to achieve out to somebody who wants him proper now as a substitute of simply teasing one thing dangerous.
For assist and knowledge on what to say, go to Grief.com and switch up.
Written with all my love and ache sincerely ~ LMP
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