Wynonna Judd reflects on mom Naomi's death by suicide: 'This cannot be how the Judds story ends'

·3-min read
Wynonna Judd opens up about her grief and
Wynonna Judd opens up about her grief and "personal healing work" following mom Naomi's death by suicide. (Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

With Monday marking one month since Naomi Judd's death by suicide on April 30, her daughter and singing partner Wynonna Judd is reflecting on the loss and the lessons she learned as she navigates grief.

On Sunday, the country star, 57, took to Instagram to "check in" and reflect on losing her mother to mental illness. Naomi, 76, died just one day before the Judds were due to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and on the heels of a farewell tour which Wynonna is now carrying on solo. The cause of death was suicide, the music legend's younger daughter, actress Ashley Judd, later confirmed.

Noting that "there is so much happening in the world right now," Wynonna wrote that her life coach inspired to share the things she knows.

"I DO know, that the pain of losing Mom on 4/30 to suicide is so great, that I often feel like I’m not ever going to be able to fully accept and surrender to the truth that she left the way she did," the singer wrote. "This cannot be how the Judds story ends."

Judd, a mother of two whose daughter Grace has been in and out of prison in recent years on drug-related charges and parole violations, also opened up about the "personal healing work" she is undertaking as she welcomes her first grandchild and works to "break the cycle of addiction and family dysfunction." Judd's granddaughter Kaliyah was born on April 13 — just two weeks and she days before Naomi's death, she notes.

"I DO know, that in order to be a healthier grandparent to my firstborn grandchild Kaliyah ... to break the cycle of addiction & family dysfunction, that I must continue to show up for myself {first} and do the personal healing work," she wrote. "I know that it is a simple steps program, and those steps are not easy to take at times. Therefore, I’ve made a commitment to keep doing the 'next right thing,' and schedule weekly appointments so that I continue with the ongoing work, even when I have good days.

Wynonna and Naomi Judd at the CMT Music Awards just two weeks before the country music matriarch's death. (Photo: REUTERS/Wade Payne)
Wynonna and Naomi Judd at the CMT Music Awards just two weeks before the country music matriarch's death. (Photo: REUTERS/Wade Payne)

"I DO know, that I feel so helpless — right now especially," she continued, adding that she has found herself humming the Judds hit "Love Can Build a Bridge" to herself.

"I really DO know, that I’m not able to do this grieving thing all by myself, and that it’s OK to reach out for help," she wrote. "I will continue to fight for my faith, for my SELF, for my family, and I WILL continue to show up & sing."

Judd ended the note by writing, "thank you all for your love and support. Let’s check in more often."

Wynonna and Ashley paid tribute to their mother at the Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, which aired on CMT earlier this month. "We've had counseling," big sister Wynonna revealed during the show, prompting Ashley to shout out their family therapist.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.