The daughter of music legend Elvis Presley wrote an essay for People on National Grief Awareness Day on Tuesday, Lisa described how she was “destroyed” by the loss of her son, Benjamin Keough, who took his own life at age 27 in 2020.
In an exclusive essay Lisa wrote for People Magazine, she discussed how she was affected in dealing with grief after the passing of her son.
“Today is “National Grief Awareness Day,” and since I have been living in the horrific reality of its unrelenting grips since my son’s death two years ago, I thought I would share a few things to be aware of in regard to grief for anyone who is interested. If not to help yourself but maybe to help another who is grieving.”
“This is not a comfortable subject for anyone, and it is most unpopular to talk about. This is quite long, potentially triggering and very hard to confront. But if we’re going make any progress on the subject, grief has to get talked about. I’m sharing my thoughts in the hopes that somehow, we can change that.”
“Death is part of life whether we like it or not — and so is grieving. There is so much to learn and understand on the subject, but here’s what I know so far: One is that grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss. Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, in spite of what certain people or our culture wants us to believe. You do not “get over it,” you do not “move on,” period.”
“Two, grief is incredibly lonely. Despite people coming in the heat of the moment to be there for you right after the loss takes place, they soon disappear and go on with their own lives and they kind of expect for you to do the same, especially after some time has passed. This includes “family” as well. If you’re incredibly lucky, less than a handful will remain in contact with you after the first month or so. Unfortunately, that is a cold hard truth for most. So, if you know someone who lost a loved one, regardless of how long it’s been, please call them to see how they are doing. Go visit them. They will really really appreciate it, more than you know …”
Three, and particularly if the loss was premature, unnatural, or tragic, you will become a pariah in a sense. You can feel stigmatized and perhaps judged in some way as to why the tragic loss took place. This becomes magnetized by a million if you are the parent of a child who passed. No matter how old they were. No matter the circumstances.