Actress Ashley Judd is sharing her feelings regarding her mom Naomi Judd‘s death. Ashley spoke with grief expert David Kessler on his podcast about how she understood that her mother was in pain and had done her best and fought as long as she could.
The Judd family revealed that Naomi had died from suicide, and during the interview, Ashley spoke about this aspect of her death. She revealed that her “most ardent wish” is that Naomi was “hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame that she carried” before her death.
Ashley and Kessler also spoke about the negative language surrounding suicide and the negative views many people have about it. She and her sister, Wynonna, have also honored their mother’s memory and impact on their lives several times.
Read on to find out more.
Ashley Judd Shared New Perspective On Mental Health
During her interview with Kessler on his “Healing with David Kessler” podcast (via People), Ashley shared how she has changed her perspective on mental health since she lost her mother Naomi to suicide.
The 54-year-old actress said that she has come to understand that her mother’s pain was simply a product of her fatal disease. She said, “I look back on my childhood and I realize I grew up with a mom who had an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness.”
She continued, “There are different behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy, choices that she made that I understand were an expression of the disease and I understand that and know that she was in pain and can today understand that she was absolutely doing the best she could, and if she could have done it differently, she would have.”
She Hopes Her Mother Experienced Peace
During her conversation with Kessler, Ashley also shared that over the years, she slowly realized that she wasn’t the cause of her mother’s sickness, that she “couldn’t control it” or even cure it. “The Kiss the Girls” actress explained that she hoped her mother’s death had finally brought her a sense of peace.
She said, “My most ardent wish for my mother is that when she transitioned, she was hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame that she carried for any shortcomings she may have had in her parenting of my sister and me. Because certainly on my end, all was forgiven long ago, all was forgiven long ago.”
They Spoke About The Negative Language Surrounding Suicide
Ashley and Kessler also spoke about the negative language surrounding suicide and how people should stop using the word “committed” because it implies that suicide is a crime or sin. Instead, they suggested that people pick up phrases like “died by suicide.”
Ashley said,” ‘Committed’ [suicide] comes from this hierarchy of punitive transgressions, committed to an institution or an asylum. And I believe that the person who suffers from mental illness, they are trying to have some relief or escape from something that perhaps we cannot fathom or conjure or imagine for ourselves, and how fortunate are we.”
The “Double Jeopardy” actress also reflected on a memory of her mother giving up her first class seat for a young girl, whom they later learned was making a Make-A-Wish trip. She also said, “She managed to keep a lot going for herself even while I saw what was going on behind the scenes at home. And it was exceedingly torturous for her.”
Ashley And Wynonna Continue To Honor Naomi
The day after confirming their mother’s death, Ashley and her sister Wynonna attended the ceremony to induct their music duo- The Judds, into the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame. During their speech, the two sisters gave a composed but very emotional speech.
Wynonna said, “I’m gonna make this fast because my heart’s broken — and I feel so blessed. I mean, it’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.” The 58-year-old later announced that she would go on with the final tour she had planned to do with her mother.
She said, “I’ve made a decision, and I thought I’d share it on national television that, after a lot of thought, I’m gonna have to honor her and do this tour. The show must go on, as hard as it may be, and we will show up together, and you will carry me as you’ve carried me for 38 years … So we will continue this spectacle. That’s what she would want, right?”