Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to connect with a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.
Ashley Judd and her family wanted the world to hear from them how Naomi Judd died.
The younger Judd appeared in an interview with Diane Sawyer, which aired on Thursday on “Good Morning America.” She said her family had agreed that she share the cause of death of her mother.
“She used a weapon,” Ashley Judd said. “A firearm. So that’s the piece of information we are very uncomfortable sharing.”
She and her sister Wynonna Judd announced on April 30 that they had lost their mother “to the disease of mental illness.” She was 76.
Ashley Judd said she and her family wanted to shed light on mental illness, explaining that it is “important to make the distinction between the loved one and the disease.”
Judd said the family reluctantly shared the cause of death before it became public in some other way. She also revealed that she was the one who discovered her mother, who had been outspoken about her battle with depression, after it happened.
“I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” said Judd, who began the interview by thanking everyone for the support she and her family have received in the wake of their grief.
The matriarch died the day before she and her daughter Wynonna, who made up the country music duo The Judds, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ashley Judd said her mother “couldn’t hang on” to be recognized by her peers.
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“That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her,” Judd said. “Because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart and the lie the disease told her was so convincing.”
The Judd sisters attended the ceremony and honored their mother.
CMT will air a televised memorial for Judd on Sunday.