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Eight months after the death of her brother Ben Keough, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley has announced that she just completed her training to become a “death doula”.

The actress took to Instagram to thank the community of people who taught her “conscious dying and death work.”

“We are taught that it’s a morbid subject to talk about. Or were so afraid of it that we’re unable to talk about it… then, of course, it happens to us, and we are very ill-prepared,” she wrote.

“I think it’s so important to be educated on conscious dying and death the way we educate ourselves on birth and conscious birthing. We prepare ourselves so rigorously for the entrance and have no preparation for our exit. So I’m so grateful for this community and to be able to contribute what I can.”

Riley noted she’d gone through the Art of Death Midwifery Training Course by Sacred Crossings, an institute offering workshops and classes in conscious dying and home funerals.

The community experience is part of a movement that approaches death through an old-fashioned lens.

“When a body is whisked away moments after death, this window closes, often permanently, leaving families feeling helpless, unsure and wishing they had a little more time,” the Sacred Crossings website reads.

Riley lost her brother in July of 2020, which could point to her decision to want to support others in their experience of death.

“For folks who do this work, often it is in response to experiences with significant loss… who can respond by helping other people,” Dawn Walsh, a death doula and co-founder of the Lily House said.”It is the case with me,” she says, adding that she essentially felt like “a spectator” during the rituals that followed. “It’s a calling, end-of-life work… It’s not something that you just do casually.”

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