In fact, according to Riley, safeguarding that legacy is her grandmother’s “whole life.”
“It’s a big responsibility she has tried to take on,” the Terminal List actress added. “None of that stuff has really ever been a part of our relationship prior. She’s just been my grandma.”
Riley went on to deny any reports suggesting that Priscilla’s final resting place would not be at her ex’s famed estate, whom she was married to for six years until their divorce in 1973.
“I don’t know why she wouldn’t be buried at Graceland,” she noted. “Sharing Graceland with the world was her idea from the start. I always had positive and beautiful memories and association with Graceland. Now, a lot of my family’s buried there, so it’s a place of great sadness at this point in my life.”
In addition to her grandfather and mother, Riley’s brother Benjamin, who died in July 2020, was also laid to rest at the Memphis property following his passing. And though Riley shared she feels like “her heart has exploded” given the tragic circumstances, she also has another perspective on life.
“When I lost my brother, there was no road map whatsoever, and it was a lot of big emotions that I didn’t know what to do with,” she told Vanity Fair. “When I lost my mom, I was familiar with the process a little bit more, and I found working to be really helpful.”
And that focus on her professional life proved to be a crucial part of her healing process.
“I find it triggering when people say happiness is a choice,” she added, “but in that moment, I did feel like there was a choice in front of me to give up and let this event take me out or have the courage to work through it. I started trying to move through it and not let it take me out.”