Lisa Marie Presley Says Benjamin’s Death ‘destroyed’ Her but She Keeps ‘going for My Girls’!

Lisa Marie Presley is discussing her life since the death of her son Benjamin Keough. In observance of “National Grief Awareness Day” on Tuesday, the 54-year-old singer wrote an emotive essay on the low times she’s experienced since Keough’s suicide at age 27 in 2020.

She is very candid about maintaining her strength for her three girls (Presley shares Benjamin and daughter Riley with ex-husband Danny Keough, and she has 13-year-old twin daughters Finley Aaron Love and Harper Vivienne Anne with Michael Lockwood, from whom her divorce was finalized last May).

Lisa Marie Presley Says Benjamin's Death 'destroyed' Her but She Keeps 'going for My Girls'!

The following essay was shared exclusively with PEOPLE and has been gently altered for clarity.

Today is “National Grieving Awareness Day,” and as I’ve been living in the horrifying reality of its merciless grips since my son’s death two years ago, I thought I’d share with anyone interested a few things to be aware of regarding grief. If not to help yourself, then perhaps to aid another in grief…

No one feels comfortable discussing this topic, as it is extremely unpopular to do so. This is fairly lengthy, perhaps upsetting, and challenging to confront. However, in order to make headway on the matter, we must discuss grief. I’m giving my opinions in the hope that we may change that in some way.

Death is a part of life, whether or not we like it, and so is grief. There is so much to study and comprehend about the topic, but here is what I am aware of thus far: One is that grieving does not cease or diminish in any way a year or more after a loss.

In spite of what certain individuals or our culture would have us believe, you will have to carry your grief with you for the rest of your life. You do not “get over it” and you never “move on.”

Secondly, grieving is profoundly isolating. After a period of time has gone, they want you to move on with your own life, despite the fact that they were there for you in the immediate aftermath of your loss. This also includes “family.” If you’re extremely fortunate, less than a few will continue in contact with you after the initial month.

Unfortunately, this is a harsh reality for the majority. Therefore, if you know someone who has lost a loved one, regardless of how long it has been, please call them to inquire about their well-being. Visit with them. They will enjoy it more than you can imagine…

Three, and especially if the loss was premature, unnatural, or traumatic, you will essentially become a pariah. You may feel branded and possibly judged over the cause of the unfortunate loss. This becomes one million times more magnetic if you are the parent of a deceased child. Regardless of how old they were irrespective of the conditions,

Others will judge and blame you, even in secret or behind your back, which is crueler and agonizing than my own self-criticism and daily self-loathing.

Finding people who have endured a similar loss may be the only option at this point. There are support groups that share your exact type of loss. I travel to them and host them at my home for other grieving parents.

Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, can take away the anguish, but occasionally finding support can make you feel a little less alone.

Your former “friends” and even your family will flee from you. You are FORCED into this horrible “club,” if you will, that you never wanted to join, and you are FORCED to, for lack of a better term, go and find your new friends.

I now genuinely value the few individuals who have been with us since the beginning of this nightmare. And I’ve also grown to love and cherish my newfound “club” buddies.

Sincerity compels me to admit that I can understand why people might wish to avoid you after a terrible tragedy has occurred. Especially a parent, because losing a child is certainly your worst nightmare.

A couple of times in my life, I knew parents who had lost a kid, and while I was there for them when it happened, I avoided them and never tried to follow up with them because they became a physical manifestation of my greatest dread. I also subtly evaluated them and swore I would never do whatever I felt they did or neglected in their parenting actions and decisions with their child.

Yet, here I am, experiencing what it is like to serve as that same representation to other parents… Obviously, no parent chooses this path, and happily, not every parent will fall victim to it – and I do mean VICTIM in this case. I once despised this word. Now I get why. I’ve battled with death, loss, and sadness since I was 9 years old.

I’ve got more than my fair share of it throughout my lifetime, yet I’ve managed to survive. But this one, the death of my lovely, lovely son? Who was the kindest and most extraordinary person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and who made me feel so privileged every day to be his mother?

Who resembled his grandfather in so many ways that he genuinely frightened me? Which made me more concerned about him than I would have been otherwise? No. Just no … no no no terrible …

It is a true choice to continue, one that I must make every day and that is, to put it mildly, perpetually difficult… But I keep going for my girls. In his final moments, my son made it abundantly obvious that caring for and protecting his younger sisters were at the forefront of his thoughts and concerns. They really adored him, as did them.

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His death absolutely detonated and devastated mine and my three daughters’ lives as we had known them. We inhabit this every day. Single. Day.

I’m stating all of this on “National Grief Awareness Day” in the hopes of raising awareness of grief and loss. For all your friends who have lost a loved one, every day is grief awareness day once this day passes.

I mention this in the hope that it will help someone who is suffering as much as I and my children are. With the hope that you can reach out to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one today or as soon as possible. Whoever they lost, be it a kid, parent, spouse, sibling, or fiancé.

Lisa Marie Presley Says Benjamin's Death 'destroyed' Her but She Keeps 'going for My Girls'!

Ask them how they’re doing and how they feel about themselves. Yes! We DO wish to discuss them. This is how we keep them alive in our hearts, how we ensure they are not forgotten, and it is also what keeps us alive. And please don’t tell them “you can’t comprehend” their suffering. The truth is that you can, but you choose not to.

Thank you for reading everything. I know how hard and triggering it is. However, rather than merely triggering something negative, perhaps you should use it as a catalyst to reach out to someone who needs assistance right now.

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