Earlier this year, country music fans from all over were devastated to learn Naomi Judd took her own life after a long battle with mental issues. Five months after the heart-breaking loss, her daughter and country music star in her own right Wynonna Judd is speaking out about the grieving process.
While looking back on the loss of her mother in a piece for People Magazine, Wynonna reflected on the silent struggles that come with mental health battles.
“I can’t quite wrap my head around it and I don’t know that I ever will. That she left the way she did,” Wynonna said. “That’s how baffling and cunning mental illness is. You have to make peace with the fact that you don’t know. Sometimes there are no answers.”
She said her mother “was always so determined. No matter what happened to her.” Even through being fired, forgotten, and left to raise two daughters on her own. Wynonna said her mother “never gave up.”
“So think about that and apply it to every stinking part of life, including death,” Wynonna said. “With the same determination she had to live, she was determined to die. It’s so hard to comprehend how someone can be so strong and yet so vulnerable.”
But through the grief, Wynonna knew she had to return to the music that defined her and her mother. This included going out on tour with some of the biggest female names in country music with The Judds: The Final Tour.
“Just go to the next step. Then go two more. Sometimes that’s enough,” Wynonna said. “I have to celebrate the joy as much as I can. That’s part of the reason I’m doing the tour.”
Wynonna Judd Remembers Naomi’s Final Weeks
She recalled being on tour in the weeks leading up to Naomi’s death. Wynonna said it was “incredibly painful” for her mom because her favorite place to be was on the road together with her daughters.
“She was by herself a lot. And so we were disconnected,” Wynonna said. “One of my regrets is that I was so busy. She often talked about how lonesome it is in that house without us.”
The last time Wynonna got to share the stage with Naomi was during the CMT Awards on April 11th. Together, they sang their hit song “Love Can Build a Bridge.” She said the last thing she said to her mother was “I love you” and she’s “so grateful” for those words being their last interaction.
“I’ve accepted it as much as I possibly, humanly can,” Wynonna said. “Acceptance and then surrender, and what comes after is finding meaning.”
Wynonna hopes her mother’s story will help others by reminding them there’s always a way out of those thoughts that bring people into depression.
“There is not one person on this planet that is not susceptible to some form of depression,” Wynonna said. “The ones who need or want help, some will ask for it and some won’t.”