As Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, actress Ashley Judd has her mother, Naomi Judd, on her mind more than usual after she passed away last Saturday. Both of Naomi’s daughters are mourning the loss of their mother at 76 years old due to suicide. As they continue to grieve during their first Mother’s Day without their mom, Ashley has written a heartfelt essay dedicated to their mother.
Naomi Judd was set to be honored this past Sunday for her iconic music career with her daughter Wynonna. Their induction ceremony into the Country Music Hall of Fame would’ve been a celebration of The Judds’ legendary career. However, it had a much more somber feeling to the event considering Naomi’s passing just one day prior. Now, one week later, Ashley Judd has penned a Mother’s Day essay published by USA Today on Friday night.
“This Sunday is abruptly, shockingly, my first Mother’s Day without my mama,” Ashely Judd wrote in USA Today about Naomi Judd. “She died just hours before her peers at the Country Music Hall of Fame could demonstrate to her how much they esteem her. She died just days before my sister and I could show her again how much we love and honor her.
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to visit her on Sunday, to give her a box of old-fashioned candy, our family tradition. We were supposed to have sweet delight in each others’ easy presence. Instead, I am unmoored. But my heart is not empty. It is replete with gratitude for what she left behind. Her nurture and tenderness, her music and memory.”
Ashley Judd ‘Honors’ Naomi Judd This Mother’s Day Weekend
As Ashley Judd’s essay continued, she addressed her mother’s various struggles that dated back to her teenage years. She also addressed Naomi Judd having a long history of mental illness. Ashley didn’t shy away from her mother’s painful past in the essay.
“Perhaps it’s indecorous to say, but my heart is filled with something else, too. Incandescent rage,” she wrote. “Because my mother was stolen from me by the disease of mental illness, by the wounds she carried from a lifetime of injustices that started when she was a girl. Because she was a girl.
Ashley shared that her mother experienced an unintended pregnancy at 17 years old. With no resources to help her, the pregnancy sent her down a path of “poverty and gender-based violence.” Naomi Judd’s life wasn’t always the glitz and glamour that surrounds a country music legend. Her early days were filled with struggles, and her fight with mental health issues were prominent throughout her life. Yet Ashley Judd said, “My mama was an extraordinary parent under duress.”
“My mama was a legend. She was an artist and a storyteller, but she had to fight like hell to overcome the hand she was dealt, to earn her place in history. She shouldn’t have had to fight that hard to share her gifts with the world,” Ashley Judd continued her essay.
“This Mother’s Day, I choose to honor my mama for the person she was, a mother and so much more,” she added. “And I ask you to honor your own mother, if you are lucky enough to have her. Honor her for more than her labor and sacrifice, honor her for her talents and dreams. Honor her by demanding a world where motherhood, everywhere, is safe, healthy – and chosen.”