Ashley Judd Honors Late Mom Naomi Judd in Heartbreaking Post
Ashley Judd is remembering her late mom Naomi Judd, days after her shocking death.
On Monday, Judd posted a series of photos from the Judds’ induction ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, as well as a flashback photo of herself, her sister Wynonna, and Naomi “on Little Cat Creek in Lawrence County, Ky.”
Ashley had a message for her late mom, writing, “Be free, my beautiful mother. Be free.”
She also showed her appreciation for all the outpouring of love and support since Naomi’s sudden passing, writing, “Your outpouring is reaching me. Thank you for every thought, prayer, message, text, email, post, expression. We each are alone and we are in fellowship, broken and held, protected from nothing and sustained in everything. It’s the beginning of an old story, life and death, loss and life.”
Judd ended her post with “#honorthymother” and “#honorthymusic.”
It has been reported that Naomi died by suicide.
Multiple sources told People magazine that Judd took her life after a long battle with mental health.
On Saturday, in a statement on social media, her daughters Ashley and Wynonna said, “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness."
Without going into detail as to a specific cause of death, the statement went on, "We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory."
Following her death, Ashley and Wynonna bravely appeared together at an induction ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
The Associated Press reported that Wynonna and Ashley held each other and recited Psalm 23 while accepting the Judds' induction into the hall.
Tearfully, Ashley reportedly apologized for her mom, saying, "I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today."
Wynonna, also crying, said, "Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing."
In 2018, Naomi opened up about her struggle with mental health in an open letter for Mental Health Awareness Week.
She told People magazine, “For everyone mourning the death of someone who committed suicide, an inevitable question arises: Why did this happen? Unfortunately, we don't have very good answers. We do know that suicidal behavior accompanies many behavioral brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Suicide is actually one of the leading causes of preventable death among these mental illnesses."
Naomi went on, “To understand this issue better, we have to bring the study of suicide into mainstream neuroscience and treat the condition like every other brain disorder. People who commit suicide are experiencing problems with mood, impulse control and aggression, all of which involve discrete circuits in the brain that regulate these aspects of human experience, but we still don't understand how these circuits go haywire in the brains of suicide victims."
Years before, Judd spoke out about her struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.
The singer admitted she had contemplated jumping from a bridge near her home in Tennessee in 2013, calling that period in her life a challenge in spite of receiving medication and attending therapy sessions.
The depression, anxiety, and panic attacks were too much for her. She told People magazine at the time, “Nobody can understand it unless you've been there. Think of your very worst day of your whole life — someone passed away, you lost your job, you found out you were being betrayed, that your child had a rare disease — you can take all of those at once and put them together and that's what depression feels like.”
The pain began after she returned home from the Judds' Last Encore tour. It was at the time where she became so weak, she considered suicide, thinking it would be easier to end her pain. "It's so beyond making sense but I thought, 'Surely my family will know that I was in so much pain and I thought they would have wanted me to end that pain [through suicide].'”
Naomi’s death came just weeks after she attended the 2022 CMT Awards with Wynonna.