Riley Keough Speaks Out About ‘Hard Days’ Following Brother’s Death Last Year

by Matthew Wilson

Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough remembers her late brother, Benjamin, getting candid about her grief. Benjamin passed away last July from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 27-years-old at the time of his death.

In the aftermath, Keough and her mother Lisa Marie wrestled with their grief. The days following her brother’s death were difficult for Keough and her family.

“I’m really consciously trying to be present, and not use anything as any kind of escape, and be cognizant of when I’m doing that,” she told InStyle.

Keough learned to appreciate life and every moment that she has left on this world.

“I’m just generally trying to be grateful for everything at the moment, trying to operate in love, and keep my heart open, and give and receive love. And not in a woo-woo way, because I definitely have hard days, and all kinds of pain and suffering and all that. But I think when you realize that’s part of it, and your expectation isn’t to just be feeling joy, that’s been a real shift for me in finding those moments and things to smile about.”

Riley Keough Got a New Tattoo

Back in March, Keough revealed that she wanted to become an end-of-life doula. The position helps people who have terminal illnesses and other ailments. Keough completed a training course for the position and detailed why she decided to pursue the learning. For the actor and singer, she’s learned to live by embracing dying.

“We are taught that [death is] a morbid subject to talk about. Or we’re so afraid of it that we’re unable to talk about it… then of course it happens to us, and we are very ill prepared,” she continued. “I think it’s so important to be educated on conscious dying and death the way we educate ourselves on birth and conscious birthing. We prepare ourselves so rigorously for the entrance and have no preparation for our exit.”

Last year, Keough also got a permanent reminder of her brother and his role in her life. Keough got a tattoo to commemorate her brother and so she could carry him through life with her. On Instagram, the actor got emotional about her brother in the days following his death.

“I forget you’re gone. I can’t cry because of the fear that I will never stop. A pain that’s new to me.
You. There are no words for you. Angel is the closest I could think of. Pure light. Baby brother. Best friend. Wild man. Intellectual. Witness to my life. Twin soul. Protector. Too sensitive for this harsh world,” she wrote at the time. “I hope you give me strength to endure the giant hole you’ve left in my heart.”