Wynonna Judd Says She and Sister Ashley Judd Are "So United" After Mom Naomi Judd's Death

Wynonna Judd shared how she and sister Ashley Judd are supporting one another following their mother Naomi Judd's death at age 76 earlier this year.

By Elyse Dupre Sep 26, 2022 5:43 PMTags
Watch: Ashley Judd Reveals Her Mother Naomi Judd's Cause of Death

Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd have each other's backs.

While the sisters have been open about the ups and downs in their relationship over the years, they're continuing to lean on each other for support following the death of their mother Naomi JuddAs Wynonna recently shared, their grief has brought them closer together.

"We both kind of look at each other like, 'I've got you,' right? And we look at each other and we say, 'Yeah,'" the singer, 58, said on the Sept. 25 episode of CBS Sunday Morning. "We're so united right now. I think more so than we have been in a long time."

Naomi died by suicide in April at age 76, with Ashley confirming in an April 30 Instagram post that she and her sister lost their "beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness." 

Wynonna looked back at the day Naomi died, describing what a blur it all was. "I got the call, and I went over, and I saw her, and I said goodbye to her in the hospital, and I closed her eyes, and I kissed her forehead and that was that," she said. "And next thing I know, I'm sitting here on the side porch and I'm just trying to figure out what's next."

Inside Naomi Judd's Candid Battle With Mental Health

Throughout her life, Naomi spoke publicly about her mental health struggles, including her battle with depression. As Wynonna explained, her mother had "incredibly great days in the middle of the dark days" and described Naomi's death as a "shock."

"I did not know that she was at the place she was at when she ended it because she had had episodes before and she got better," she said. "That's the challenge with mental illness. It's really really mysterious. And that's what I live in is like, 'Was there anything I should have looked for? Or should I have known?' I didn't."

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Wynonna and Naomi weren't just mother and daughter. They were also bandmates, making up the country music duo The Judds. Wynonna reflected on the highs and lows they experienced in their relationship.

"We were incredibly close and then she'd get mad at me and, 'Why did you do that?'" she recalled. "And then we'd not get along and be disconnected. Then we'd come back together and hug and cry. It was incredibly complicated. We tried really hard. And those are the tears because I know that we tried. And we did pretty damn good—most of the time."

While Wynonna said she still feels "incredibly angry" about her mother's death, she noted she's able to remember fond moments from their life together, too.

"She told me one time, she took my hand and she said, 'My life is better because of you,'" she said. "Those are the memories that are starting to come through more and more. I think when you lose your mother, a lot of that crap goes away 'cause it doesn't matter anymore. It just doesn't." 

Both Wynonna and Ashley are continuing to carry on Naomi's legacy. Just one day after their mother's death, the sisters attended the ceremony for The Judds' induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Ashley and Wynonna also paid tribute to Naomi during a televised memorial service in May.

And later this month, Wynonna will carry out a tour she and her mother had been scheduled to do together, which will feature appearances by Brandi Carlile, Faith Hill, Little Big Town and more stars. As Wynonna wrote in an Instagram post, "It may look a little different now, but we WILL continue to honor The Judds' legacy! It's amazing to me, all of the artists who have come forward offering their time and their gifts. I am feeling so grateful."

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.