Last week, People Magazine reported that Naomi had died of suicide, and numerous other outlets picked up on the news. However, neither local authorities, nor the family or representatives would confirm the information at that time, and it came from unnamed sources.
Ashley Judd went on to say of discovering her mother, “It was a mixed day. I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day. Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will.’…I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”
Naomi Judd was open about her struggles with mental illness, and that she harbored thoughts of suicide. By revealing her cause of death, the Judd family is not only hoping to stay in control of the narrative about their mother, but to raise awareness about the nature of the suffering mental illness can cause.
“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home,” Ashley told Diane Sawyer. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”