Naomi Judd Remembered During Private Funeral She Had Planned Herself
Several hundred of Naomi Judd’s friends and family gathered in Nashville on Saturday (May 7) to say goodbye to the country music legend who passed away a week before.
According to Country Insider, the private service was music-filled with performances from country, rock and gospel singers who sang songs Judd had chosen for them to sing. According to Naomi’s daughter Ashley, the late singer had planned her funeral ahead of time.
“This is very much the service she wanted. She had it all written down, and so she took the guesswork out of it for us, which we thank her for,” Ashley said of the funeral that had an underlying theme of “earthly pain, turmoil and uncertainty contrasted with the waiting mercies, peace and understanding of Heaven,” per the publication.
Dolly Parton welcomed the crowd saying, “We are family. And when it’s family, you forgive them for they know not what they do. When it’s family, you accept them because you have no choice but to. When it’s family, they’re a mirror of the worst and best in you. You’re always trying to do your best, and they always put you to the test, and you pray for God to do the rest.”
Other artists in attendance included Ricky Skaggs who sang “Talk About Suffering,” The Imperials, who were joined by Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland to sing “Sweet, Sweet Spirit,” and the Oak Ridge Boys who shared stories of touring with The Judds before singing “Farther Along” and “Amazing Grace.”
U2 lead singer Bono appeared via video to recite a poem, and gospel greats The Isaacs sang three songs, “Mama’s Teaching Angels How to Sing,” “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,” and “It Is Well With My Soul.”
“I’m grateful I don’t have to sing ‘Go Rest High on That Mountain’ today,” Vince Gill reportedly told the crowd before singing the Stanley Brothers’ “Drifting Too Far From The Shore,” per Naomi’s request.
The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir performed “Ripple,” followed by gospel singer Guy Penrod, who sang “Knowing What I Know About Heaven.”
Naomi’s younger brother Mark offered a eulogy prior to Naomi’s daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, taking the stage together to honor their mom.
“I’m just so mad she didn’t hang on so we could dance together one more time,” she said before confirming that she plans to honor the tour dates she and her mother had planned for later this year. “You know me. I will keep singing. It’s going to be lonely, but I will sing.”
The service concluded with a performance of “Love Can Build a Bridge” from Brandi Carlile who was scheduled to perform that song live at The Judds’ Country Music Hall of Fame induction the day after Naomi’s death. But, Carlile tested positive for COVID and was unable to attend the ceremony.
Naomi Judd passed away April 30 at the age of 76. Her daughters made the announcement on social media saying that their mom had “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief…”
View this post on Instagram