Wynonna Judd Pens Heartbreaking Letter to Sister Ashley: ‘We Will Do This Piece Differently’

The Judds.

Getty Images Ashley Judd opens up about her mother's death.

Naomi Judd died on April 30, 2022. Her daughters, Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd, confirmed the devastating news on social media in a joint statement that was also give to the Associated Press.

“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,” Ashley and Wynonna’s statement read.

The sisters did not go into detail about what happened to their mom, and only shared that she had been suffering with “mental illness.”

During an interview with ABC News that aired on May 12, 2022, Ashley confirmed that her mother died by suicide.

If you are struggling yourself, please be aware that help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Or text TALK to 741741. Help is available 24 hours a day in multiple languages.

Here’s what you need to know:


Ashley Confirmed That Her Mother Shot Herself Using a Firearm

Ashley candidly opened up about her mother’s death during the interview.

“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real … it lies, it’s savage,” Ashley told Diane Sawyer.

Ashley explained that she wanted to be the person to talk about the events that happened on April 30, 2022, before news of the autopsy, for example, would be made public.

“Because we don’t want it to be part of the gossip economy I will share with you that she used a weapon; my mother used a firearm. So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it, someone else is going to,” Ashley said.


Ashley Was at the Home & Discovered Her Mother’s Body

Ashley told Sawyer that she spent time with her mom each and every day when she was home in Tennessee. In recalling the day that her mother died, Ashley called it “a mixed day.”

“I was at the house visiting as I am every day,” she told Sawyer. “Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will,'” she explained. Ashley stepped outside for a few minutes. When she came back inside, she went upstairs and found her mother’s body.

“I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” Ashley said.


Wynonna Wrote a Letter to Be Read During Ashley’s Interview With Sawyer

Ashley’s sister, Wynonna, has not done any interviews following her mother’s death. She appeared at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, where The Judds were inducted.

Both Wynonna and Ashley will be a part of a live tribute to their mom that will be held in Nashville on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The celebration of life will air on CMT, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Ashley told Sawyer that she and her sister talked about doing the ABC interview together, but Wynonna ultimately decided against it. She did, however, write a letter that Ashley read aloud.

“I’m thinking a lot about you today. I love you!!!! I’ve been looking at photos of us when we were little. LOL GOOD LORD. You were such a cutie pie. I laugh and I cry and I thank God we have each other. I need to take some time to process. And I need this time to myself. I’m not ready yet to speak publicly about what happened, so I know you understand why I’m not there today. We will do this piece differently. We have each other, and I’m grateful we’re connected as we walk together through this storm. I just can’t believe she’s gone. I’m here. This will take time. I love you dear sister. I’m proud of you. And I’m here, whenever you need me,” the letter read.

READ NEXT: Wynonna Judd Makes First Public Appearance Since Naomi Judd’s Sudden Death (WATCH)

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