Riley Keough has revealed that she’s completed her training to become a death doula following the death of her brother Benjamin last year.
Benjamin – the son of Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough, and the grandson of Elvis Presley – died at the age of 27 after taking his own life.
Posting on her Instagram page at the time, Riley shared a series of photos of her brother. “Mornings are the hardest,” she wrote in the caption. “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.”
On Sunday (March 21) the actress shared an update on Instagram announcing that she has completed her training to become a death doula (a person who assists in the dying process, much like a midwife or doula does with the birthing process).
“Today I finished my Death Doula training, on The Art of Death Midwifery training course by @sacred_crossings so I guess I’m an almost certified death doula now hehe,” Riley wrote. “And I just felt like writing such a deep thank you to this community who are teaching and training people in conscious dying and death work.
“We are taught that its a morbid subject to talk about,” the actress continued. “Or were 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. I think it’s so important to be educated on conscious dying and death the way we educate ourselves on birth and conscious birthing.”
She concluded: “We prepare ourselves so rigorously for the entrance and have no preparation for our exit. So I’m so grateful for this community and to be able to contribute what I can.”
Benjamin’s death was confirmed in a statement released by Roger Widynowski, a representative for Lisa Marie Presley. In it, he said Presley was “completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley”.