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Naomi Judd’s Husband Larry Strickland Recalls Her “Fragile” Final Days

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Larry Strickland is sharing some insight into the life of his late wife Naomi Judd.

In late April, it was confirmed that the country superstar died by suicide at the age of 76. During CMT's Naomi Judd: A River of Time memorial special aired May 15, Strickland opened up about his wife's lasting legacy.

"Naomi never met a stranger," he shared, while standing onstage alongside daughters Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd. "Much to my displeasure, she would start a conversation with anyone who made eye contact with her, and we would end up standing 10, 20, 30 minutes on a sidewalk while she talked to a complete stranger about their passions and their dog."

Sharing that Naomi flew home to Nashville from Vienna, Austria for the Country Music Hall of Fame ceremony, Strickland, 76, noted that her flying solo was out of the ordinary. The country singer traveled back home ahead of her induction, which took place just one day after her death.

Inside Naomi Judd's Candid Battle With Mental Health

"I was really scared to death about her flying alone all the way from Vienna back to Nashville ‘cause I knew how fragile she was," he recalled. "Well, she made the flight home without any problem."

Naomi Judd, Larry Strickland
Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Strickland then shared that he received a touching letter from a passenger who had a lasting impression of Naomi.

"It's a small comfort, I'm sure, but my life seems a lot richer after meeting your wife, however briefly," the email read. "Obviously, I didn't know Naomi at all, but I can tell you she spoke highly and warmly of you, and the life you shared together. Rest assured she loved you and had no qualms about telling me, a stranger on a plane, that was so."

A tearful Strickland explained the stranger's note gave him "great, great pleasure and comfort."

Naomi Judd, Ashley Judd, Wynonna Judd
Evan Agostini/Getty Images For YouthAIDS

During the memorial ceremony, daughters Wynonna, 57, and Ashley, 54, each shared personal anecdotes and memories of their late mom. Wynonna, who, alongside her mother, was part of the musical duo The Judds, confirmed she would embark on their tour this upcoming fall as planned.

"I've made a decision, and I thought I'd share it on national television that, after a lot of thought, I'm gonna have to honor her and do this tour," Wynonna shared. "The show must go on, as hard as it may be, and we will show up together."

Just days before the memorial, Ashley disclosed how Naomi took her own life at home in Tennessee in an interview on Good Morning America.

"Mother used a firearm," Ashley told Diane Sawyer on May 12. "So that's the information we're very uncomfortable sharing but understand that we're in a position that if we don't share it someone else is going to."

Naomi Judd, Ashley Judd
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

During the sit-down interview, Ashley also opened up about her mom's mental health.

"When we're talking about mental illness, it's very important to be clear and make the distinction between our loved one and the disease," she shared. "It's very real…it lies, its savage, and you know, our mother, couldn't hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. I mean, that is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her because the barrier between—the regard in which they held her couldn't penetrate her heart and the lie the disease told her was so convincing."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).