I truly am at a loss for words. This loss cut me to my quick. When I saw the news the other day that she had been rushed to the hospital with a possible full cardiac event, I was emotional, but not upset. I think that’s because I read the post from Priscilla saying she was receiving the best care at the hospital. Later that evening, my aunt texted me right as I was getting ready for bed saying my other aunt had received a news alert that Lisa Marie had died. My response back was, “Oh shit. Let me go look.” I jumped out of the bathtub, started pulling up my trusted news sources, and there it was, along with another heartbreaking statement from Priscilla, that Lisa Marie was, in fact, gone.
I sat for a second, collecting my thoughts. It was evening time, and I was needing to figure out what I should do. Should I go to Graceland NOW, or should I wait until this weekend? I made a social media post sharing the awful news, threw on some clothes, grabbed Mia, and shot down to Graceland. I don’t know what I was expecting. Fuck that, yes I do. I was expecting a crowd of mourners. After all, Elvis’ birthday was JUST this past Sunday, and many folks had travelled from near and far to be here to celebrate and catch a glimpse of Lisa Marie in person. It was a huge crowd Sunday. (I was not in attendance.) What struck me the most was that Lisa Marie took the time to take pictures, sign autographs, and do quick video shoutouts for the crowd after she spoke. I guess just enough time had passed since Sunday that the majority of those people had begun their travels back home, because when I pulled up to Graceland, it was blocked off, but there were only local media cars in the little front drive through portion by the wall. I parked and walked around the barricades right up to the gates.
I did a couple of live videos for my followers around the world, and just stood, taking it all in. It was brutally cold and extremely quiet, which only added to the sadness. The guards sitting in the shack looked like they were or had been crying. There were very somber. There were a few people walking around who, I guess by the direction they walked off, were staying at The Guest House at Graceland, but once they left, it was just me, Mia, and the media folks for a bit. I took pictures and tried to stay out of the way of the live shots because at this point it was 10 pm and the evening news was starting, and waited until they were done so I could walk up to the gates and take pictures and videos. Someone had left a bouquet of flowers on the gates themselves; a bouquet had been placed inside the gates, and a candle sat, unlit, on the ground near the gate.
I just stood there, looking up at Graceland from across the wall, and all I could think was, “This is actual history. This is the daughter of Elvis Presley.” I was thinking back to all the pictures from when the news broke that Elvis had died. Thousands flooded the street in front of Graceland to pay their respects. Yet here I stood at the gates, with my dog, paying my respects alone, to his one and only child. It was a very surreal moment to be in. One that was heavy with sorrow and heartache. I’m sure there will be plenty of mourners over the weekend and coming weeks. This was just one of those rare moments where her sudden death caught the world off guard.
She was just 54. Her birthday is February 1st. She managed to outlive the ages her father and paternal grandmother were when they both died of heart failure. But still, way too young to die. She was never the same after Benjamin’s death, and she was very vocal about her struggles with grief, as well as addiction. Lisa Marie is only 5 years older than me, and so I’ve had a front row seat to her life. I remember her as a wild teen. I remember her being so young having her babies in her first marriage. I remember the media circus that happened when she married Michael Jackson.
I’ve struggled to finish this post because this death has really rattled me, as it follows behind so many others we’ve tragically lost recently. My heart goes out to the Presley family. I’m glad they are burying her at Graceland. may she find the peace in death she never could find in life.