HomeEntertainmentAshley Judd’s Mother’s Day Letter Following Naomi Judd’s Death Prompts Moving Responses From Fans

Ashley Judd’s Mother’s Day Letter Following Naomi Judd’s Death Prompts Moving Responses From Fans

by Suzanne Halliburton
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

It’s been a week since her mother died. And now the country is celebrating Mother’s Day weekend. Ashley Judd, the youngest daughter of Naomi Judd, wanted to use her Mama’s memory as an example of how this country needs to better care for its mothers.

Ashley, channeling her raw grief, wrote a column for USA Today lauding her mother for what she did outside the stage or recording studio. Her point in writing the editorial was to say that Naomi also was forced to be a mother at a young age. For so many years, Naomi Judd raised Wynonna and Ashley as a single mom, working long hours to feed and clothe her two daughters.

“Motherhood happened to her without her consent,” Ashley Judd wrote in the USA Today colum. “She experienced an unintended pregnancy at age 17, and that led her down a road familiar to so many adolescent mothers, including poverty and gender-based violence.

“Forgive me if my grief isn’t tidy,” Ashley wrote. “When I think about my mother, I am awash in the painful specifics. It’s a little easier, this Mother’s Day, to think about mothers in the collective, to wonder whether we value them.”

Fans of Naomi Judd Applauded Daughter Ashley for Powerful Column

How did fans of Ashley Judd, those who also loved Naomi or Wynonna, react to the column? They shared her grief and gave her a collective warm hug.

Connie Schultz, a columnist for USA Today, posted Ashley’s op-ed on her Twitter feed. Schultz noted: “Her mother’s death has left her “unmoored,” Ashley Judd writes, and her grief is “untidy.” In this moment of unbearable sadness, she summons the strength to fight for other women. Her habit, for which I am grateful.”

While Naomi and Wynonna Judd could lift others through their music, Ashley Judd took a different career route. Her gifts were acting. She’s earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations throughout her career. And she’s used her voice to speak up for women around the world as a United Nations Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador.

A fan of The Judds wrote: “In the midst of her grief, I thank Ashley Judd for her continued advocacy for all women around the world. I pray for strength, peace, comfort and blessings for the family.”

Another wrote: “What a beautiful, heartbreaking piece. Sending prayers for comfort.”

Theis family of women were blessed with many gifts. Ashley Judd acted, Naomi and Wynonna Judd sang. Here they are in happier times. (Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.

Ashley Said Her Mother Fought Hard to Share Her ‘Gifts’

Ashley Judd wrote that “motherhood should always be a choice. Does that sound radical to you? Does that sound like I wish my sister and I hadn’t been born? If that’s what you think, I will gladly direct my incandescent rage at you.

“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 mentioned statistics, noting that top causes of death among pregnant women in the United States were “homicide, suicide and overdose.”

A fan replied: “When she writes my heart hurts or feels such joy. We, as women, are lucky to have her battling for us. Thank you to all three Judd women.” Still, another replied “her grace and moral clarity…What a force Ashley Judd is.”

And Ashley Judd asked for all daughters and sons “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. (And) honor her by demanding a world where motherhood, everywhere, is safe, healthy – and chosen.”