How Lisa Marie Presley Honored Her Late Son Years After His Death

This article includes references to mental health issues and suicide.

In July 2020, Lisa Marie Presley suffered a tragic loss when her son Benjamin Keough died by suicide. "She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated, Lisa's manager told TMZ at the time. "She adored that boy. He was the love of her life." Benjamin was 27 years old.

Among those mourning Benjamin was also his grandmother Priscilla Presley, the ex-wife of late rock 'n' roll icon Elvis Presley. She shared a statement on Facebook that read in part, "These are some of the darkest days of my family's life. The shock of losing Ben has been devastating. Trying to put all the pieces together of all the possible whys has penetrated my soul." Priscilla further revealed that she was keeping other heartbroken loved ones in her thoughts, including Benjamin's father, Danny Keough; his older sister, actor Riley Keough; and his younger twin sisters, Finley and Harper, whose father is Lisa Marie's fourth husband, Michael Lockwood.

A year after Benjamin's suicide, an insider gave The Sun an update on Lisa Marie's emotional state. "Ben was her whole world and she's struggling to see sense in what has happened, it's going to be a long time before she feels any better," the source said. Lisa Marie revealed just how strong her bond with Benjamin was on the two-year anniversary of his death by sharing a sweet tribute to her son on social media.

Lisa Marie Presley's lasting reminder of Benjamin Keough

Lisa Marie Presley shared a rare, intimate detail about her late son on Instagram on July 12. "Several years ago, on Mother's Day, my son and I got these matching tattoos on our feet," Lisa Marie wrote. "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." Her post included a photo of the intricate, circular designs on their right feet. Per a 2012 tweet, she and Benjamin Keough got the meaningful ink in 2009.

Lisa Marie received an outpouring of love and support from her followers, including Elvis Presley's ex-girlfriend Linda Thompson. After Elvis and Priscilla Presley separated, he dated Thompson for four years. "Your beautiful baby boy is only one heartbeat ... one breath away ... & eternally in your heart & soul," read Thompson's touching response to Lisa Marie's post. "I am always sending you love."

Riley Keough also helped keep her brother's memory alive with her own Instagram tribute. "Not an hour goes by where I don't think of you and miss you," she wrote. "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." The photo she chose for her post was taken at her 2015 wedding to Ben Smith-Petersen. According to Hello!, her musically gifted brother actually performed at the event.

Benjamin Keough reportedly struggled with his grandfather's fame

When Lisa Marie Presley shared a family photo with her Instagram followers in June 2019, fans were quick to note Benjamin Keough's uncanny resemblance to Elvis Presley. Keough also seemed to be following in his grandfather's footsteps by recording music. When he was just 17 years old, the Daily Mail reported that Universal had offered him $5 million to record multiple albums. Keough purportedly made it clear he was not interested in becoming an Elvis impersonator, with the outlet quoting him as saying, "The music will be nothing like Elvis, nothing like him at all." However, Universal told People that the reports about a rumored record deal were untrue, and when HuffPost asked Lisa Marie if her son was pursuing a career as a singer in 2013, she replied, "He's doing his own thing right now. I'm going to let him decide when he wants to go out and do what he wants to do."

Brandon Howard, a close friend of Benjamin's, told People that Elvis' legacy loomed large over his grandson. "It's a tough thing when you have a lot of pressure with your family and living up to a name and an image," he said. "It's almost like you're pressured into having to be a musician, having to be an actor." Howard also revealed that Benjamin had experienced bouts of depression and suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic might have had an adverse effect on his friend's mental health.

Lisa Marie Presley believes her son would have enjoyed the Elvis Presley biopic

While Benjamin Keough reportedly struggled with the pressure he felt to be a performer like his grandfather, Lisa Marie Presley is convinced that her late son would have loved watching actor Austin Butler portray Elvis Presley on the silver screen. As reported by the New York Post, Lisa Marie stopped making public appearances for nearly two years after Benjamin died, but she attended the Graceland premiere of the "Elvis" biopic in June 2022. She also got to see a preview of the Baz Luhrmann film, and she gave it her full-throated approval one month prior. "It breaks my heart that my son isn't here to see it. He would have absolutely loved it as well," she wrote on Instagram.

At the time, Benjamin's father, Danny Keough, and Lisa Marie were reportedly residing in the same home and grieving together. However, an insider stressed to the New York Post that the exes were just friends. 

Per People, Danny was making a living as a bass guitarist when he met Lisa Marie at the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Center in the '80s. The couple wed in 1988 and divorced in 1994. While speaking of the terrible tragedy that brought them closer together, a source told The Sun, "It's been an extraordinarily difficult time and he's been a rock for Lisa."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​. If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.