Naomi Judd’s Cause of Death Confirmed by Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd
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Heartbreaking details. Naomi Judd’s daughter was found dead less than one month later at the age 76. Ashley Judd is opening up about her mother’s death by suicide.

“She used a weapon … my mother used a firearm,” Ashley, 54, said on Good Morning AmericaThursday, May 12, 2012. “So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it someone else is going to.”

Open up to Diane SawyerThe Double Jeopardy actress spoke about her mom’s battle with mental health.

“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish. She was walked home,” Ashley said through tears. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real. It lies, it’s savage. My mother, our mother, couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Country Hall of Fame by her peers. That is the extent of the chaos that was going on within her. … The lie that the disease told her was so convincing. … [The lie] that you’re not enough, the lie that you’re not loved, that you’re not worthy. Her brain hurt. It physically hurt.”

Ashley Wynonna Judd, who sang with her mother as part of the award-winning country duo The Judds, announced Naomi’s passing via Twitter on April 30.

Naomi Judd’s Cause of Death Confirmed by Ashley Judd 3

Naomi Judd
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“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” they wrote in a joint statement. “We are shattered. We are in deep grief. We know that her public loved us just as much as we did. We are in unknown territory.”

The Judds were later inducted into Country Hall of Fame.

“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most,” Wynonna said on stage with her sister. “I’m gonna make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed. … Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.”

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255 if you or someone you care about is in emotional distress or contemplating suicide.