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(WJW / AP) – Ashley Judd has shared details about how her mother died in an emotional interview about mental health and the day Naomi Judd died in an interview that aired Thursday on “Good Morning America.”
Judd said her mother, 76, used a firearm when she died by suicide last month.
She said she was visiting her mother, 76, at her Tennessee home that day. She discovered her in the upstairs of the home after going outside to bring in a friend of her mother.
“She was obviously suffering,” Judd said in the interview, “and as such, her days up until that moment were hurtful to her.”
Judd said it was important for the family, who is very public, to be up front about the loss and to maintain their maternal dignity.
“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important, and to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease,” Judd said in the interview. “It lies. It’s savage. And, you know, my mother, our mother, could not hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. I mean, that is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her because the barrier between – the regard in which they held her could not penetrate into her heart. And the lie that the disease told her was so convincing. ”
Ashley Judd said that her mother shot herself with a gun, but asked for privacy on other details of the death. Naomi Judd wrote openly about her depression and anxiety in her memoir “River of Time” and Ashley said it was because of this that she cherished every moment she spent with her mother.
Naomi Judd’s daughters announced her death in the following statement on April 30:
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness, ”the statement said. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory. ”
The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the day following Naomi’s death, and they had just announced an arena tour to begin in the fall, their first tour together in over a decade.
Daughters Wynonna and Ashley accepted the induction amid tears, holding onto each other and reciting a Bible verse together.
“I’m sorry she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley Judd said of her mother to the crowd while crying. Wynonna Judd talked about the family gathering as they said goodbye to her and she and Ashley Judd recited Psalm 23.
“Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing,” Wynonna Judd said.
Naomi Judd wrote openly about her depression and anxiety in her memoir “River of Time” and Ashley said it was because of this that she cherished every moment she spent with her mother.
“I really accepted the love my mother was capable of giving me because I knew she was fragile,” Judd said. “So when I walked around the back of their house and came in the kitchen door and she said, ‘There’s my darling, there’s my baby.’ And she lit up. I savored those moments. ”
Naomi and Wynonna Judd scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. The red-headed duo combined the traditional Appalachian sounds of bluegrass with polished pop stylings, scoring hit after hit in the 1980s. Wynonna led the duo with her powerful vocals, while Naomi provided harmonies and stylish looks on stage.
The Judds released six studio albums and an EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music. They earned a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love,” and Naomi earned a sixth Grammy for writing “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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