Ashley’s op-ed in the New York Times calls for improvements to policing and court systems that “wreak havoc on mourning families” who are attempting to deal with the deaths of loved ones who committed suicide.
In her column titled “The Right To Keep Private Pain Private.” Ashley says that the late singer believed her mental illness would only continue to worsen,never get better. This belief eventually led to the singers suicide.
According to Ashley, her mother “felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me while the last of my mother’s life was fading.” On April 30, Naomi Judd – who sang in a country music duet with her eldest daughter, Wynonna, for many years – passed away.
She continued, “I wanted to be comforting her, telling her how she was about to see her daddy and younger brother as she ‘went away home,’ as we say in Appalachia. Instead, without it being indicated I had any choices about when, where and how to participate, I began a series of interviews that felt mandatory and imposed on me that drew me away from the precious end of my mother’s life. And at a time when we ourselves were trying desperately to decode what might have prompted her to take her life on that day, we each shared everything we could think of about Mom, her mental illness and its agonizing history.”
Instead, without me having a choice about when, where, or how to participate, I was compelled to do so in a series of interviews that stole me from the final years of my mother’s life.
At a time when we were each desperately grasping for answers as to why she took her life that day, we shared every memory and scrap of information we had on Mom and her mental illness.
Following the death of Naomi, Wynonna and Ashley issued a joint statement in which they stated, “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”On the same day (August 27), Naomi and Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ashley and Wynonna took the stage during Sunday night’s induction ceremony to speak about their late mother. “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,” Ashley said through tears. “My heart’s broken and I feel so blessed,”
Wynonna added, “At 2:20, I kissed her on the forehead and I walked away and this is the first place I’ve been. The last thing we did together as a family was with her, we all gathered around her and we said, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.'”
Timothy is a senior writer based in Atlanta, specializing in celebrity-related news. She is always ready to cover trending TV stories with an unbiased perspective and a pinch of gossip.