Lisa Marie Presley on Unrelenting Grief and 'Blaming Myself Every Single Day' Since Son Benjamin's Death

Lisa Marie Presley is opening up about the raw realities of her experience with grief. Two years after her son, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide at 27 years old, Lisa Marie has penned an essay in honor of National Grief Awareness day in the hopes of helping others who may be going through a similar experience.

"I can understand why people may want to avoid you once a terrible tragedy has struck. Especially a parent losing their child because it is truly your worst nightmare," she writes in a first-person essay published by People. "I can recall a couple of times in my life where I knew parents who lost their child and while I could be there for them when it happened, I avoided them after and never bothered to follow up with them because they quite literally became a representative of my biggest fear. I also low-key judged them, and I swore I'd never do whatever it was that I felt they either did or neglected in their parental actions and choices with their child."

Lisa Marie notes that she's seen experienced "more than anyone's fair share" of grief and death in her lifetime, beginning with the death of her father, Elvis Presley, when she was only nine years old. She also comments on how her "beautiful, beautiful son" was "so much like his grandfather on so many levels that he actually scared me."

She urges readers to understand that grief doesn't diminish over time, calling the experience "lonely" as well-meaning friends and family often fade away in the months following a tragedy. She says that she not only attends support groups for those who have experienced a similar loss, but hosts them for bereaved parents in her home.

"I already battle with and beat myself up tirelessly and chronically, blaming myself every single day and that's hard enough to now live with, but others will judge and blame you too, even secretly or behind your back which is even more cruel and painful on top of everything else," she writes.

If you haven't personally experienced a similar loss, but want to show up for someone who has, Lisa Marie has some pointers.

"Ask them how they're doing, ask them to talk about their person, yes! We DO want to talk about them. That's how we keep them alive in our hearts, that's how they don't get forgotten, that is what keeps us alive as well," she says. "And do me a favor, don't tell them that 'you can't imagine' their pain. The truth is, oh yes you can, you just don't want to."

In addition to son Benjamin, Lisa Marie is also the mother of three daughters: Riley Keough, 33; and twins Finley Aaron Love Lockwood and Harper Vivienne Anne Lockwood, 13. They are the reason, she says, that she continues moving forward.

"It's a real choice to keep going, one that I have to make every single day and one that is constantly challenging to say the least ... But I keep going for my girls," she admits. "I keep going because my son made it very clear in his final moments that taking care of his little sisters and looking out for them were on the forefront of his concerns and his mind. He absolutely adored them and they him."

She continues, "My and my three daughters' lives as we knew it were completely detonated and destroyed by his death. We live in this every. Single. Day."

Last month, on the anniversary of Benjamin's death, Lisa Marie revealed the matching tattoos she and her son had received prior to his passing.

"Several years ago, on Mother's Day, my son and I got these matching tattoos on our feet," she wrote, alongside a photo of the tattoos. "It’s a Celtic eternity knot. Symbolizing that we will be connected eternally. We carefully picked it to represent our eternal love and our eternal bond."

Riley also paid tribute to her brother on that day, sharing a throwback shot of the siblings arm-in-arm.

"Not an hour goes by where I don’t think of you and miss you," she wrote posted to Instagram. "It’s been two years today since you left and I still can’t believe you’re not here. You are so loved my Ben Ben."

At the time of his death, a rep for Lisa Marie told ET: "Lisa Marie is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter, Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life."


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