Hundreds celebrate Lisa Marie Presley’s life at Graceland ceremony

Hundreds of people gathered on the front lawn of Graceland on a gray, chilly Sunday morning in Memphis to mourn the death and remember the life of Lisa Marie Presley, who died earlier this month.

Some mourners held flowers as they waited for the service to begin under the tall trees on the lawn of Graceland, the home where Lisa Marie lived as a child with her father, Elvis Presley. The mansion, which Lisa Marie Presley owned, has been turned into a museum and tourist attraction that hundreds of thousands of fans visit each year to celebrate the life and music of Elvis, who died in 1977.

The property in south Memphis was a place of sadness and somber memories on Sunday. Presley, a 54-year-old singer-songwriter dedicated to her father’s legacy, died Jan. 12, hours after being hospitalized for a medical emergency.

The service began with the singing of “Amazing Grace” by Jason Clark & The Tennessee Mass Choir.

“We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the love, compassion and support you have shown our family during this difficult time,” said a message from the Presley family written on the program for the service. “We will always be grateful.”

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Fans visit the grave of Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland during her memorial on Jan. 22, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Fans visit the grave of Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland during her memorial on Jan. 22, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Lisa Marie Presley’s mother, Priscilla Presley, read a poem written by her granddaughter called “Old Soul,” according to CBS Memphis affiliate WREG

“The old soul in 1968, she entered our world — born strong but was delicate, filled with life,” the poem read. “She always knew she wouldn’t be here too long. Childhood passes by in the glimpse of a green eye. She then grew a family of her own. She then lost her second child, an angel of suspicion, she knew it was close to the end.” 

“Now she is home where she always belonged, but my heart is missing her love,” the poem continued. “She knew that I loved her. I fear I’ll never touch her, but the old soul is always with me. She doesn’t drift above.”

Lisa Marie Presley’s eldest daughter, actress Riley Keough, did not speak but her husband, Ben Smith-Peterson, read a statement on her behalf.

“Thank you for being my mother in this life,” Keough’s message began. “I’m eternally grateful.”

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“I remember how it felt to be loved by the most loving mother I’ve ever known,” the eulogy continued. “How safe it felt to be in your arms. I remember that feeling as a child and I remember it two weeks ago on your couch.”

“I hope I can love my daughter the way you loved me, the way you loved my brother and my sisters,’ Keough added. 

Former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, were among the speakers who paid tribute to Presley, while singers Alanis Morissette and Axl Rose honored the late musician with performances of the songs “Rest” and “November Rain.”

Following the service, mourners made a procession through Graceland’s Meditation Garden, where Presley was laid to rest. 

Lisa Marie Presley’s son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020, is also buried at Graceland. 

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