Riley Keough Says She Became a 'Death Doula' In Wake of Brother Benjamin's Suicide
“That’s really what’s helped me, being able to put myself in a position of service.”
Riley Keough revealed she became a “death doula” to help her cope with the suicide of her brother Benjamin, who died in July 2020 at just 27.
The “Zola” actress described the aftermath of the shocking news of his death as “a year of feeling like I was thrown into the ocean and couldn’t swim” during a recent interview with The New York Times.
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“The first four or five months, I couldn’t get out of bed,” she explained. “I was totally debilitated. I couldn’t talk for two weeks.”
The daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and granddaughter of Elvis Presley went on to say how she found it “complicated” to process the tragedy.
“If I’m going through a breakup, I know what to do with that and where to file it in my mind, but suicide of your brother? Where do you put that? How does that integrate? It just doesn’t.”
After laying down some ground rules for herself to make sure she wasn’t “running from anything,” the star eventually studied to become a “death doula,” where she provides comfort and support for people at the end of their lives, much like a birth doula helps at the beginning of the life cycle.
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“That’s really what’s helped me, being able to put myself in a position of service,” she explained. “If I can help other people, maybe I can find some way to help myself.”
Earlier this month, Riley honored Benjamin with a sweet Instagram tribute one year to the day she last saw him alive.
“A year ago this morning was the last time I got to see you,” Keough captioned the post. “I didn’t hug you properly because I thought you had covid. I wish I’d hugged you properly.”
She added, “I miss you every day.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.
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