Anderson Cooper and Ashley Judd Break Down Talking About Loss of Loved Ones

CNN / YouTube

In an emotional episode of CNN’s All There Is with Anderson Cooper podcast, Ashley Judd joined the renowned journalist to share her heartbreaking journey through the loss of her mother, country star Naomi Judd.

The episode, which aired on Wednesday, became a powerful platform for both Judd and Cooper to open up about the painful topic of suicide, as they discussed their personal experiences with the untimely death of their loved ones.

Sharing Their Experiences

Ashley Judd bravely recounted the traumatic and unexpected loss of her mother to suicide in 2022. With a heavy heart, she described the heartbreaking moment when she discovered her mother and the impact it had on her. Despite the intense pain, Judd expressed gratitude for being there in her final moments.


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“Even when I walked in that room and I saw that she had harmed herself, the first thing out of my mouth was, ‘Momma, I see how much you’ve been suffering and it is okay… I am here, and it is okay to let go,’” Judd told Cooper.

Anderson Cooper, who’s no stranger to the devastating effects of suicide, revealed his own painful history, recounting the loss of his brother, Carter, who took his own life at the young age of 23 in 1988. As Cooper spoke about his brother, the weight of the memories caused him to tear up, highlighting the deep emotional scars that remain.


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“One of the things I have found so hard about losing my brother to suicide was, I get stuck in how his life ended and the violence of it,” Cooper said.

Judd, serving as a source of support for Cooper, reminded him that the focus should not solely be on the tragic end but rather on the entirety of the lives they lived.

“I think we all deserve to be remembered for how we lived, and how we died is simply part of a bigger story.”

Judd also urged listeners to pay attention to their thoughts and consider them as nudges from their loved ones. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging mental health struggles and understanding that seeking help is a courageous act.

“If a thought crosses the mind, pay attention to it,” she said. “Consider it a nudge, perhaps from your loved one.”

The episode ended with a shared understanding that the pain and losing a loved one to suicide is a complex and ongoing process. Through their vulnerability and shared experiences, they provided a platform for healing and emphasized the importance of remembering and honoring the lives of those lost.

Watch Ashley Judd and Anderson Cooper’s conversation below:


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