Lisa Marie Presley didn’t want to be memorialized with tears and heartache.
The singer-songwriter’s death on Jan. 12 at the age of 54 came as a shock to family, friends and fans, but Presley had already made her wishes known in the event of her untimely passing.
According to her longtime friend and Elvis Presley Enterprises managing partner, Joel Weinshanker, her memorial service at her father's iconic Graceland estate, was always intended to be “about celebrating her life" rather than mourning her death.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, which took place prior to the Jan. 22 event, Weinshanker noted, “Graceland is about celebrating Elvis’ life, and we’re gonna do the same for Lisa. She had many thoughts about what her funeral would be like. There was no question she wanted to be buried at Graceland. Since her son passed away, there was no question she wanted to be buried next to her son."
Lisa Marie Presley's son, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide in July 2020 at age 27. In the wake of his loss, she had one request in particular when it came time for her own service.
"The one thing she said was, ‘Just don’t make it sad,'" Weinshanker recalled. "She (wanted) it to be a celebration, and that’s what it’s going to be,” he said of the woman he called “one of the most kind, earnest souls” he’d ever met.
The memorial service held on the front lawn of Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, honored Lisa Marie Presley’s life and legacy with tributes from those closest to her, including mom Pricilla Presley and fellow musicians, including Alanis Morissette and Axl Rose.
In his chat with Entertainment Tonight, Weinshanker went on to share a fact that fans may find comforting — that Lisa Marie Presley's last week of life was one filled with joy.
"It was by far the best week of her life since Benjamin passed," he said. "She was happy. I was with her for several days at Graceland leading up to her dad’s birthday on the Sunday the 8th. She had a great time. She stood for hours after the ceremony signing autographs, taking photos. She wouldn’t leave until the last person was satisfied."
And he added that she "had an amazing time at the Golden Globes," where "she was so happy" actor Austin Butler won an award for his portrayal of her father in Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis."
This article was originally published on TODAY.com
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