Wynonna Judd Says She’s Trying to ‘Find Meaning’ in Naomi’s Death

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

People deal with grief in different ways. Most people choose to go through the emotional process in private. However, that wasn’t a choice for Wynonna Judd. When her mother and musical collaborator died by suicide in April, all eyes were on the duo. The Judds had just announced their Final Tour and were hours away from their Country Music Hall of Fame induction. As a result, Wynonna attended the induction ceremony and carried on the tour in memory of her mother.

Wynonna Judd is sharing her grief and memories with fans on the Final Tour. At the same time, the fans are helping her heal. That exchange is helping her get past her mother’s passing while building a deeper connection with the fans.

In a recent interview with 20/20, Wynonna Judd opened up about how she’s grieving and healing in the public eye. During that conversation, she also discussed how she’s finding meaning in Naomi’s death.

 “When you lose somebody you love, there is no manual,” Wynonna Judd said. “If it takes you six months or six years, that’s okay. Don’t be surprised [by] how intense it is. I think sometimes we think, “Oh, snap out of it. It’s not that big of a deal.’ No, it is a big deal and it’s okay to take time.”

Wynonna is still working through the loss of Naomi Judd. “People want to say, ‘She’s in a better place.’ I don’t want her to be in a better place, I want her to be here with me.”

Wynonna Judd Finds the Sixth Stage of Grief

We’ve all heard about the five stages of grief. After losing a loved one someone will normally go through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before reaching acceptance. Wynonna Judd, on the other hand, believes that there is another step in this process. “There are five stages of grief, they say. There are actually six. The sixth stage is finding meaning in all of it,” she explained.

“When I ask ‘Why?’ the thing that comes to me is, ‘No ask what. What can you do?’ I can be honest and tell my story and hopefully, someone will listen to the words.”

Wynonna Judd went on to say that being on stage and celebrating her mother’s legacy is how she’s finding meaning in the loss. About sharing the experience with the fans, she says, “I just feel lifted up and it’s the greatest feeling. It’s the highest of high. I think I come off the floor, it’s like being zapped by the Holy Spirit. It literally is the closest thing to being in Heaven. It’s like Heaven on Earth.”

Later in the interview, Wynonna opened up about what she thinks Naomi would say about the tour. “I think she would say that she’s proud of me for showing up. I think she would say ‘In the face of my death you’re still willing to show up.’”