Wynonna Judd Shares the Questions She Has After Mom Naomi's Death

·2 min read

Wynonna Judd is reflecting on the days leading up to the devastating death of her mother, Naomi Judd.

Wynonna opened up about her mother in her first interview since Naomi took her own life in April 2022, and the challenges that come with mental illness.

"I did not know that she was at the place she was at when she ended it," she revealed during a preview clip for CBS Sunday Morning. "Because she had had episodes before and she had gotten better and that's the challenge with mental illness, it's really, really mysterious."

Wynonna said that during her grieving process, she's looked back to see if there were signs she missed.

"That's what I live in-was there anything I should have looked for or should have known? I didn't," she added. "That's why it's such a shock."

But the singer wants people to know the depths of mental illness and not judge a book by its cover when it comes to people who struggle with these issues.

"People think it's a character flaw and they don't know it's this incredibly dark and light experience," Wynonna said. Sharing a part of her late mother's experience, she explained, "She had incredibly great days in the middle of the dark days, that's why it's so confusing."

Naomi Judd Dead at 76: Country Stars Pay Tribute

The day after the "Love Can Build a Bridge" singer's death, her daughters honored their mom's legacy at the Country Music Hall of Fame, as Wynonna and Naomi, who made up the country duo The Judds, were inducted into the Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, held in Nashville on May 1, Wynonna's sister, Ashley Judd, shared, "My momma loved you so much, and she appreciated your love for her and I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today."

Wynonna Judd, CBS Sunday Morning
CBS

Meanwhile, in the months following Naomi's death, Ashley has been vocal on behalf of her family's grief and their need for privacy during this difficult time. In a Aug. 31 essay for New York Times, Ashley wrote, "My beloved mother, Naomi Judd, who had come to believe that her mental illness would only get worse, never better, took her own life that day. The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights."

The High Crimes actress also revealed that she had to fight to keep police records private from the day her mother died. "We have asked the court to not release these documents not because we have secret," she said. "We ask because privacy in death is a death with more dignity. And for those left behind, privacy avoids heaping further harm upon a family that is already permanently and painfully altered."

Wynonna's full interview airs Sept. 25 on CBS.

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