Naomi Judd’s daughter Ashley opened up about finding her mom after she died by suicide at age 76 on Saturday, April 30. Ashley spoke about the experience of finding her mom in a new interview with Good Morning America on Thursday, May 12. “She used a weapon. My mother used a firearm,” she said. “So that’s the piece of information we are very uncomfortable sharing.”
Naomi’s cause of death was revealed to be suicide in days following her passing by multiple sources to People. After the singer’s death, Ashley and her sister Wynonna released an emotional statement mourning the loss of their mother. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” they said. “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.”
Through the interview, Ashley spoke candidly about her mother’s struggles with mental health, but also spoke about how kind she was. “Mom was a brilliant conversationalist. She was a star. She was an underrated songwriter, and she was someone who suffered from mental illness and had trouble getting off the sofa,” she said. “She was very isolated in many ways because of the disease, and yet there were a lot of people who showed up for her over the years. Not just me.”
During the interview, Ashley also described her mother spending time bonding with various people in town, including staff at the local Cheesecake Factory and Walgreens. Towards the end of the interview, Ashley read an emotional letter from her sister Wynonna, where she said that she was taking time to process their mother’s death before speaking publicly. Even though she wasn’t ready for the interview, Wynonna said that she was still there for her sister.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.