Ashley Judd Remembers Mom Naomi 1 Year After Her Death
Naomi Judd / Facebook
Naomi Judd’s Daughters Remember Her After Her Passing
Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, 2022. She was 76 years old.
Her passing came just one day before she and her daughter, Wynonna, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as The Judds. Wynonna and her younger sister, actress Ashley Judd, put up a united front at the ceremony that day.
Since then, both Wynonna and Ashley have been open about the grief they’ve experienced since losing their mother. Ashley recently celebrated her first birthday without Naomi. She shared her emotions on that day:
“I think of her constantly. I am looking at my baby announcement & sitting with her tender joy in sharing about me. I am recalling her annual rite of recounting to me the day of my birth, all the details that were so precious to her…” Ashley wrote in a post on social media.
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Ashley Judd Publishes Essay On One-Year Anniversary Of Naomi’s Death
Ashley continued to express her feelings in an essay she wrote for TIME, which was released on the one-year anniversary of her mom’s death. She opened up about her ongoing grief, saying:
“My mother died by suicide one year ago. Earlier this month, I walked through my first birthday without her, a rite of passage everyone experiences with the death of their parents. At the shop where Mom and I always selected our cards, I read the “To Daughter” birthday cards and imagined which one Mom would have given me: she always chose the gooiest and most expressive, underlined the parts she thought most meaningful, and of course, wrote by hand her own message addressed to ‘Sweetpea.’ I felt her love as I read the card I imagined she would have picked. A beautiful ouch.”
Ashley said she wants to exhibit Naomi’s “hallmark grit” by serving as a champion for laws that protect the privacy of families who have lost loved ones to suicide. She said:
“It is neither ethical nor decent to publish the kind of invasive details about death by suicide that appeared in print and on the internet after her death,” Ashley said. “All reporting on suicide needs to be medically accurate, evidence-based, cautious about contagions that activate and increase further self-harm ideation in readers and viewers, and informed by the guidelines established by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I will continue to fight for this…”
Ashley and Wynonna will soon be accepting the Lifesaver Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Presentation. They are receiving the award because of their commitment to destigmatizing mental illness:
“This is an award I would never have wanted to be given, yet one I will accept on my knees, bloody as they are from a year of falling, crawling, and getting back up again,” Ashley said.
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How Naomi’s Legacy Continues
Ashley is also touched by the knowledge that Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, Tennessee, is naming their new mental health facility after Naomi:
“Mercy focuses on underserved folks and offers sliding-scale payments where necessary,” Ashley explained. “It hurt Mom that people hurt and that they could not access the care she could. This would be a balm for her distressed mind and sweet soul.”
Ashley ended her essay by writing:
“The Bible also says, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ And indeed I have been comforted, by the work I’ve done to commemorate my mother, and by the many who also walk in and with grief and have shared theirs with me. Though no one can do our grief for us, it is also true that none of us need do it alone.”
You can read Ashley’s full essay here. Also, look below to see the Instagram post she shared after the essay was published.
Our hearts and prayers remain with Ashely, Wynonna, and all who loved Naomi.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental-health crisis or contemplating suicide, call or text 988. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental-health provider.