Wynonna Judd Admits She’s Still ‘Incredibly Angry’ About Mother Naomi Judd’s Death

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Wynonna Judd is still working through her anger and grief nearly six months after her mother, Naomi, died by suicide.

During a CBS interview, which was her first since the death, Wynonna shared that her mother has been battling depression for much of her adulthood. But Wynonna hadn’t realized that she was suffering enough to end her own life. And now that Naomi is gone, she feels “incredibly angry”

“I did not know that she was at the place she was at when she ended it. Because she had had episodes before, and she got better,” she said. “And that’s what I live in, is like, ‘Was there anything I should have looked for or should I have known?’ I didn’t.”

Naomi passed away on April 30, 2022, at the age of 76. Her death came one day before her band, The Judds, was set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. At the time, the duo was also preparing to head out on a reunion tour. And everything felt exciting and right.

“I got the call. And I went over, and I saw her and I said goodbye to her in the hospital, and I closed her eyes, and I kissed her forehead, and that was that,” shared Wynonna. “And next thing I know, I’m sitting here on the side porch, and I’m just trying to figure out what’s next.”

Wynonna Judd Has Been Leaning on Her Sister and Stepfather

As the months have passed, the Release Me singer has been leaning on her stepfather, Larry Strickland, and younger sister, Ashley for support. The three are neighbors, and as Ashley shared in a separate interview, they have adopted a daily routine that allows them to process their feelings on their own terms.

“One of the things that I think we have done well as a family, meaning my pop, my sister Wynonna and me, is we have really given each other the dignity and the allowance to grieve in our individual and respective ways,” she told CMT. “And yet we’ve been able to completely stick together. So, we can be at the same supper table and recognize, ’Oh, this one’s in anger. This one’s in denial, this one’s in bargaining, this one’s in acceptance. I’m in shock right now.’”

While Wynonna admitted that she may never get over her anger, she is moving forward with her life. And later this week, she will carry on the tradition of The Judds. On Sept. 30, the 58-year-old will leave for the tour that she had planned with her mother.

 “As I walk out on stage that first night, I’ll probably say something like, ‘It’s not supposed to be like this,’ because it’s not, right? It’s supposed to be the two of us. And I’m gonna be angry because she’s not there,” she added. “I wanna come out on stage and sing from my toenails a song that helps someone out in that audience. … It’s about me singing to help someone feel better. That’s always in my spirit.”