HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicWynonna Judd Discusses Her First Holiday Season Without Naomi

Wynonna Judd Discusses Her First Holiday Season Without Naomi

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

For many people, the holiday season is the happiest few weeks of the year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays are great reasons to gather the whole family around a table to reconnect over good food and good cheer. However, for those who are mourning the loss of a loved one, this can be the hardest few weeks of the year. Country legend Wynonna Judd lost her mother and musical collaborator earlier this year. Now, she’s taking the reins on the family’s holiday celebrations.

Recently, Wynonna Judd sat down with grief expert and founder of Grief.com, David Kessler to talk about healing after losing her mother, Naomi Judd. During the conversation, Wynonna opened up about how she’s dealing with her grief during the holidays.

Wynonna Judd on Thanksgiving

Most families celebrated Thanksgiving on November 24th this year. However, Wynonna Judd and her family decided to celebrate the holiday on a different day. She admitted that Thanksgiving Day “sucked” for her. “I cried, and I cried, and I gave myself permission to do that,” she told Kessler.

Wynonna Judd went on to say that she spent most of Thanksgiving Day in her pajamas. Later in the evening, she pulled out some old scrapbooks and reminisced while dealing with the frustration with her grief.

However, when it came time for Wynonna Judd and her family to gather for the meal, she was on top of things. She started prepping the meal well in advance. The morning of the celebration, Wynonna woke up early and took some time to center herself. The calm she found “lasted all of 38 minutes,” she said. “Then, I went into panic because I realized something and that is that I’m now the matriarch. I think the pressure of that alone was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my mom isn’t here this year. And, I made her favorite foods and I did it really well.’”

As the day went on, Wynonna Judd admits, she started to feel numb. However, when her guests started to arrive, she started to get into the spirit of the celebration. However, that pressure to “be all things to all people” was never far away. At one point, the Country Music Hall of Famer had to step into the bathroom and give herself a pep talk.

“Okay, you’re gonna have to stop this because this is your holiday as well,” she told herself. “I think we forget that it’s our experience as well as being the hostess with the mostess.”

Wynonna Is Learning to Be Honest with Her Family

Currently, Wynonna Judd says she’s learning to be more open and honest about her feelings with her family. For example, Naomi’s widower Larry Strickland invited Wynonna to his Christmas party. However, Wynonna declined the invitation. She said that she felt selfish for not going but finds the idea of celebrating the holiday in her mother’s home “too painful” this year.