In a candid new interview with the New York Times, Riley Keough opens up about her brother Benjamin, who died by suicide in July 2020 at just 27.
Keough describes “a year of feeling like I was thrown into the ocean and couldn’t swim.”
“The first four or five months, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was totally debilitated. I couldn’t talk for two weeks.”
The “Zola” star, who is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and grandchild of Elvis Presley, says she still finds it hard to accept the tragic loss.
“It’s very complicated for our minds to put that somewhere because it’s so outrageous,” she says. “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.”
Thankfully, Keough had her husband — stunt performer Ben Smith-Petersen — for support. She also set some rules for herself.
“I wanted to make sure that I was feeling everything and I wasn’t running from anything,” she says, adding that she recently became a death doula, helping guide others through losses.
“That’s really what’s helped me, being able to put myself in a position of service,” Keough explains. “If I can help other people, maybe I can find some way to help myself.”
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.