By Becca Longmire.

Lisa Marie Presley had been talking about the future before her unexpected death at age 54 on Jan. 12.

In the latest issue of People, Presley’s friend, David Kessler, revealed how the pair had a chat the night before what would have been her father Elvis Presley’s 88th birthday on Jan. 8.

Presley took Kessler to Graceland’s Meditation Garden, where both her father and her son Benjamin are buried, after staff and fans had left the Memphis, Tennessee property for the day. Presley’s son Benjamin died from suicide at age 27 in July 2020.

Kessler, an author and grief expert who became friends with Presley after Benjamin’s tragic death, recalled, “We sat there mostly in silence by Ben’s grave. She showed me where she’d be buried someday, right across from her father’s grave.

“I said, ‘Not for a long time,’ and she was like, ‘Nope, I got a lot to do still.’ She was very excited about what was coming up. She had such a challenging first and second act of life, and she was about to take on this third act that was so much about helping people.”

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Kessler explained how, behind-the-scenes, Presley had been co-leading grief support groups with him.

“She had x-ray vision for other people’s pain,” Kessler told the mag. “When you were in her gaze, no one else existed. She was focused on you. She talked about turning her pain into purpose.”

Kessler shared how during her most recent trip to Graceland, “she sat down with [a newly bereaved mother] for two to three hours and told her what to expect on this journey.

“I just sat there watching how far she had come in her own pain. Her heart was still broken around Ben, but her heart was also healing around Ben.”

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Presley is set to be honoured at Graceland on Sunday, Jan. 22 with a public memorial service.

In a statement shared Monday, the late star’s rep told ET that a service had been arranged on the front lawn of the family’s estate at 9:00 a.m.

Her rep also shared the Presley family’s gratitude over the support they’ve received in the wake of her death, adding, “Riley, Harper, Finley, and Priscilla are grateful for the support, well-wishes, and outpouring of love honouring their beloved Lisa Marie.”


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Ellen Bullock