Ashley Judd Hopes Her Late Mom Naomi Found Peace in Death: ‘She Was in Pain’
Naomi Judd's lifelong battle with mental illness took its toll on her two daughters — her the Judds duet partner Wynonna and actor Ashley Judd — but in a new interview with grief expert David Kessler on his podcast, Ashley says that she's at peace with the often-tumultuous family dynamic she knew growing up.
"I look back on my childhood and I realize I grew up with a mom who had an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness," Judd reflects.
"And there were different behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy, choices that she made that I understand were an expression of the disease," she continues. "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."
The actor also explains that she has come to terms with the fact that she "didn't cause," "couldn't control" and "couldn't cure" her mother's illness, also saying that she carries no anger or resentment toward Naomi for the ways the disease impacted her behavior. Now, after her death, Ashley says she hopes her mom was able to let go of any self-blame she may have felt.
"My most ardent wish for my mother is that when she transitioned, she was hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame she carried for any shortcomings she may have had in her parenting of my sister and me," Judd relates. "Because certainly on my end, all was forgiven long ago, all was forgiven long ago."
Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, just one day before the Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Both Wynonna and Ashley Judd were on hand at the ceremony to speak to their mother's many accomplishments in country music and celebrate her life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach a trained counselor at the Crisis Text Line. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.