“The size of the loss is the size of the love,” noted Sawyer, early in her conversation with Judd. Judd referred to her mother’s mental condition prior to her “choosing to not continue to live” as related to a “catastrophe going on inside of her.”
“Sister and Pop deputized me in certain ways to speak on behalf of the family at this early time before details about the 30th of April become public (“a part of the gossip economy”) and are out of our control — whether it’s the autopsy or the exact manner of her death. That is the impetus for this, otherwise, it’s way too soon.”
“My mother was seen and heard in her anguish. She was walked home,” stated a distraught Judd.
Naomi Judd’s obituary:Grammy-winning matriarch of The Judds duo, dies at 76: ‘We are shattered’
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Wynonna Judd also shared via a note Ashley read on air that she would “need some time to process (her mother’s death).” She added that she was not yet ready to publicly speak about what happened and that she “just (couldn’t) believe she’s gone.”
The sisters previously said they “lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”
“We are shattered,” they said in a tweet on May 1. “We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
One day after her death as The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Wynonna Judd addressed the passing of her mother.
During The Judds’ May 1 Country Music Hall of Fame induction, Wynonna Judd said her mother died at 2:20 p.m. on April 30, and that she kissed her mother “on the forehead and walked away.” She also stated that the last act she and her sister Ashley and unnamed other family members did together was praying the Bible’s 23rd Psalm.
‘My heart is broken’:Wynonna Judd tearfully honors Naomi Judd at Country Music Hall of Fame induction
Ashley and Wynonna’s statement:What it said about their mother Naomi Judd’s death, and what it did not
“It’s a strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed … But though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing,” she said.
In 2016, Naomi opened up about her battle with depression, telling “GMA” in an interview that she had been diagnosed with severe depression and had spent time in psychiatric hospitals. She said she was confronting lingering issues from her childhood as part of her therapy, including being molested by a relative when she was 3.
The Judds achieved 14 No. 1 hits over three decades, splitting as a performing act in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi Judd with hepatitis. Between 1984 and 1991 alone, the Judds had 20 Top Ten hits, and tallied five Grammys, nine CMA Awards, and seven ACM Awards.
Since arriving in Music City in 1979, Naomi Judd — and her family — were foundational staples of country music’s continued pop evolution through the 1980s and beyond.
Ashley Judd, in her own words:Honor my mother, Naomi Judd, and her legacy by making motherhood safe and healthy
Contributing: Marcus K. Dowling, The Nashville Tennessean; Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY