Ashley Judd Reveals Her Final Words To Her Mom Naomi

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Naomi Judd tragically passed away in April 2022.    

Made up of Wynonna Judd and her mother Naomi, The Judds were beloved in country music and earned 14 No. 1 songs, five Grammy Awards, nine CMA Awards, as well as countless other accolades in their nearly 40 years as a duo. 

On April 30, 2022, Wynonna and her sister Ashley Judd shared the heartbreaking news that  Naomi had died by suicide just one day before the duo was set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. They shared

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.” 


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Ashley Judd shares new details about losing her mother, Naomi Judd, including the last words she spoke to her. 

In the two years since, Ashley Judd has largely refrained from sharing in-depth details of Naomi’s passing publicly. She recently sat down for an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for his All There Is podcast where she discusses her mother’s tragic and expected death. Ashley shares: 

“My grief was in lockstep with trauma because of the manner of her death and the fact that I found her… I held my mother as she was dying.” 

Despite the traumatic experience, Ashley feels gratitude that she was able to be present for the last moments of her mother’s life. 

“I’m so glad I was there, because even when I walked in that room and I saw that she had harmed herself, the first thing out of my mouth was, ‘Mama, I see how much you’ve been suffering, and it is okay to go.’” 

Ashley reveals that she got into bed beside Naomi, held her, and said: 

“Let it all go, be free, all was forgiven long ago. Leave it all here, take nothing with you. Just be free.” 


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Ashley Judd and Anderson Copper have an emotional moment over the shared experience of losing a family member to suicide.   

Anderson Cooper gets emotional and shares that he still struggles with the manner of his brother Carter’s death, who died by suicide 35 years ago. Naomi reflects on their shared tragedy and concludes: 

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

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental-health crisis or contemplating suicide, call or text 988. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental-health provider.

Listen to the full conversation about mental illness, trauma, and grief with Ashley Judd and Anderson Cooper here, or watch a portion of the interview here

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