Ashley Judd Speaks Out Ahead of Naomi Judd’s Public Memorial

by Lauren Boisvert
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Ashley Judd has been sharing her grief for her mother publicly on social media after Naomi Judd’s tragic death on April 30. Recently, she shared news that the family held their private memorial for the country music legend.

“Our family service was breathtaking, with Appalachian mountain spirituals Mom wanted, like ‘Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down,'” Ashley wrote on Instagram. “Mom also wanted one for the fans, whom she loved so much. So this one is for you. ‘NAOMI JUDD: A RIVER OF TIME CELEBRATION.'”

Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” refers to the public memorial for Naomi Judd, airing on CMT Sunday, May 15 at 6pm eastern. The special event will be a celebration of Naomi Judd’s life and achievements as a woman in country music. The event includes tribute performances from Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, Little Big Town, and The Gaithers. It will air live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Naomi Judd’s Private Ceremony With Family and Friends Took Place Last Saturday

Ashley Judd has shared parts of the family’s grieving process with the world, posting images and videos on Instagram of intimate celebrations of Naomi Judd’s life. Saturday, May 7 marked the family’s private ceremony for Naomi in Nashville, which included tributes from close friends like Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, and Ricky Skaggs.

Dolly Parton opened the ceremony with a speech. “We are family. And when it’s family, you forgive them, for they know not what they do,” she began. “When it’s family, you accept them because you have no choice but to accept them. 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.”

Reports say that Naomi Judd had planned her memorial long before her death, so the services were to her parameters. The private ceremony included many renditions of gospel songs, such as “Ain’t No Grave” sung by Naomi’s pastor Dan Scott; “Talk About Suffering” from Ricky Skaggs; “Farther Along” and “Amazing Grace” from the Oak Ridge Boys; and “Mama’s Teaching Angels How to Sing,” “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” and “It Is Well With My Soul” from the Isaacs.

Ashley Judd Spoke About Her Late Mother Naomi Judd in Recent Interview

Ashley Judd has dong most of the speaking on her family’s behalf in the wake of her mother’s tragic passing, and in an interview with Good Morning America, she explained why.

“Both Sister and Pop have sort of deputized me, in certain ways, to speak on behalf of the family at this early time,” she said. Ashley explained that the family wanted to break the news on their own terms, before “things about the 30th of April become public without our control. Whether it’s the autopsy or the exact manner of her death. So, that’s really the impetus for this timing.”

Ashley Judd spoke about her mother in this interview with such grace, it’s hard to believe it has only been two weeks since her death. She spoke of Naomi’s suicide with a deep understanding of the importance of mental health, and honored her mother with her words.

Outsider.com