Ashley Judd Speaks Out About ‘Trauma of Discovering and Then Holding’ Her Mom Naomi Judd as She Died

by Shelby Scott

Several months have passed since country music icon Naomi Judd committed suicide. But for her daughter Ashley Judd, that trauma will never fade. In a new statement, Ashley Judd recalled the shock and horror of cradling her dying mother in her arms.

Ashley Judd spoke in a letter in the New York Times about the tragic details of discovering her dying mother. Judd (54) said finding her mother’s still-laboring body prior to her death was the “most shattering day” of her life.

“The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights,” Ashley Judd wrote.

According to the Daily Mail, the soul-crushing situation was only made worse by police. Instead of allowing the younger Judd to comfort her dying mother, law enforcement pressed her with questions.

Instead of spending those final moments with her mother, Ashley Judd became bombarded by police. She said, “I began a series of interviews that felt mandatory and imposed on me that drew me away from the precious end of my mother’s life.”

Rather, she said in the new emotional statement she had wanted to “be comforting her, telling her how she was about to see her daddy and younger brother as she ‘went away home,’ as we say in Appalachia.”

Per the outlet, Naomi Judd—the elder half of the country music duo The Judds, which also featured her daughter Wynonna—died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in April 2022. The country music stalwart’s death came as a major shock. Just two weeks before her death, she made a surprise appearance alongside Wynonna Judd at the 2022 Country Music Awards.

Ashley, Wynonna Judd Recall Naomi Judd’s Mental Health Struggles

Authorities have not yet shared the contents of Naomi Judd’s suicide note. However, her death came after a long battle with poor mental health. The Daily Mail reminds us that before ending her life, Naomi Judd struggled with “significant” anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Following the matriarch’s tragic death, Wynonna and Ashley Judd spoke out about their mother’s mental health.

“We have always shared openly both the joys of being family as well as its sorrows, too,” the Judds began. “One part of our story is that our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe. She was treated for PTSD and bipolar disorder, to which millions of Americans can relate.”

At the time of her death, authorities report Naomi Judd had traces of prescription drugs—intended for use against post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder—in her system.

After the family shared the original statement regarding Naomi Judd’s death, Ashley Judd took to Twitter in her own emotional post about her mother’s suicide.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered [and]…are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by the public.” She concluded, stating, “We are in unknown territory.”