The Single Wish Ashley Judd Had After Mother Naomi's Tragic Death

The following article contains details about suicide.

In a devastating announcement, Ashley and Wynonna Judd revealed in an April 30 Instagram statement that their mother, country legend Naomi Judd, had died. Initially announcing that they "lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," Ashley confirmed on a May 12 "Good Morning America" appearance that Naomi died by suicide. "My mother used a firearm," Ashley told Diane Sawyer, acknowledging that the family wanted to be the first to disclose the highly sensitive information. Also first to find her mother's body, the "Double Jeopardy" star told Sawyer the tragic discovery had inflicted lasting "grief and trauma" upon her. 

Ashley and Wynonna did get a chance to publicly commemorate their mother at her May induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although Naomi just missed the opportunity to be there in person, Ashley told her fans on stage, "My mama loved you so much — and I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today." 

Months later, Ashley is opening up on mental health, grief and forgiveness after death as she accepts that her late mother Naomi Judd "was doing absolutely doing the best she could."

Ashley Judd hopes that Naomi Judd forgave herself

On a July 26 episode of grief expert David Kessler's podcast, "Healing with David Kessler" (via People), Ashley voiced her hope for her late mother, saying "My most ardent wish for my mother is that when she transitioned, she was hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame that she carried for any shortcomings she may have had in her parenting of my sister and me," Ashley added, "because certainly on my end, all was forgiven long ago."

Growing up with a mom harboring "an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness," Ashley told Kessler, taught her to accept that Naomi's "behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy... were an expression of the disease." 

The late country star was an advocate for mental health awareness during her life and, via People, penned an open letter for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2018. The letter echoed Ashley's recent sentiments about the mystery of mental illness. "We still don't understand how these circuits go haywire in the brains of suicide victims," Naomi wrote. "Nobody can understand it unless you've been there ... You can take all [the tragedies of your life] at once and put them together and that's what depression feels like."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 988.