Country singer and “Dancing With the Stars” season 16 alum Wynonna Judd and her sister actress Ashley Judd wrote emotional Mother’s Day tributes to their late mother, country legend Naomi Judd, who died by suicide less than two weeks ago.
Wynonna & Ashley Honored Their Mother’s Memory on Mother’s Day
In an Instagram post of the three of them when the girls were young, Wynonna posted a simple message: “I miss her.”
And Ashley wrote a tribute for the USA Today opinion section about honoring Naomi’s legacy “by making motherhood safe and healthy.”
“My mama was a legend,” wrote Ashley. “She was an artist and a storyteller, but she had to fight like hell to overcome the hand she was dealt, to earn her place in history.”
She continued, “It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to visit her on Sunday, to give her a box of old-fashioned candy, our family tradition. We were supposed to have sweet delight in each other’s easy presence. Instead, I am unmoored. But my heart is not empty. It is replete with gratitude for what she left behind. Her nurture and tenderness, her music and memory.”
When Naomi died, the “Dancing With the Stars” family was quick to offer words of support and condolences to her family.
“So sad at the loss of my friend and music legend @thenaomijudd. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. As a fellow Kentuckian my hats off in honor of the legacy of music she shared with the world and the doors she opened for so many others like me,” wrote season four contestant and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus on Instagram.
Naomi Judd Was Open About Her Mental Health Struggles
On April 30, just one day before the Judds singing duo was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Naomi Judd died by suicide. Wynonna and Ashley wrote on social media at the time, “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. 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.”
Her daughters appeared at the hall of fame induction ceremony the next day and gave emotional speeches honoring their mother.
“I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” said Ashley. Wynonna added, “[My] heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed.”
Over the years, Naomi had been candid about her struggles, telling “Today” in 2017 that she was “dangerously depressed” for two years.
“I didn’t get off my couch for two years,” said Naomi. “I was so depressed that I couldn’t move … My husband (Larry Strickland) and my girlfriends and Ashley would come over and I would just go upstairs and lock the door to my bedroom … You become immobilized.”
She added, “We don’t make enough of the good neurochemicals in the brain. It’s a disease. It has nothing to do with our character … I was dangerously depressed.”
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for season 31 in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.