Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977 from a heart attack on the toilet, but was 42 years old. The king was found on the floor of his Graceland bathroom above his ex-girlfriend Ginger Alden. When the tragic news spread, friends and family found out and flew to Memphis for the funeral.
Among them was Elvis’ ex-girlfriend, Mindi Miller, with whom he dated for a time between 1975-6.
The king’s private jet, the Lisa Marie, was supposed to transport family and friends based in Los Angeles, but it was full, so Memphis Mafia member Joe Esposito arranged a seat for her on an American Airlines flight.
Speaking to Elvis expert Billy Stallings Spa Guy, Mindi shared how she was picked up on landing by one of the King’s inner circle before being driven to Graceland on the eve of his death.
The 71-year-old shared: “I will never forget the way the streets look. There were just hordes of people deep, you could not even see the street. And everywhere I looked it was just masses of people. “
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Inside the gates of Graceland stood a ton of cars belonging to friends and family outside.
Mindi recalls: “We went in front of the house and it was just a bunch of people … and yet it was very quiet. That night Elvis’ body was brought back into the house.
After spending a night in a hotel, on the morning of August 17, Mindi returned to Graceland, where everyone had the opportunity to have their own time to view Elvis’ body in private.
The king’s coffin was kept in the music room, which had drawn curtains to give everyone their quiet moment to say goodbye.
Mindi continued: “I told him I loved him and that I missed him and had a private conversation with him. I said I would come back as many times as I could the next few days to see you.”
Elvis’ hands were covered in the coffin so she could not hold one but found another way to say goodbye.
She said, “I put my hand on his right arm and then I knelt over and kissed his forehead and then I said goodbye and that I would see him later in the day.”
After going back and forth many times to see him that day, Mindi went out to dinner the night before the funeral with everyone where she shared Elvis stories and her love for The King.