Wynonna Judd is speaking out about her grief following the death of her mother Naomi Judd.
Naomi took her own life on April 30 at 76, the day before the Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. At the time, Wynonna and her sister Ashley Judd shared, “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”
Wynonna opened up to People in a new interview, in addition to her upcoming sit down with “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Lee Cowan for a segment set to air September 25.
The singer told People, “I’ll tell you what I know about death. In death, there is life. I feel both at the same time simultaneously. I feel joy and sorrow. I’m walking in paradox. I’m literally a walking contradiction. I feel joy. I feel pain. I feel light. I feel dark.”
Wynonna said the “wicked sense of humor” she shared with her mom is helping her through this tough time.
Reflecting on how she’s managing, she said, “How am I coping? It depends on the [situation]. I’m on the phone talking and all of a sudden I’ll just begin to weep. Then 10 minutes later, I’m making a dinner and I’m talking to my husband about our date night. Then my granddaughter comes and I cry some more. I cry a lot. That’s okay… It doesn’t mean it’s a sign of weakness.”
Judd said it is difficult to process, “When you lose someone you love, it’s like, ‘Holy crap, this is really happening. Is this really happening?’ Your brain goes, ‘No, this isn’t really happening.’ Then you go home and I realize, yeah, my mom’s not here anymore.”
Wynonna will be setting out on her tour The Judds: The Final Tour on September 30, which was meant to feature her and her mom. Wynonna will continue alone — with the help of some famous friends.
Judd explained, “This is my opportunity to step into a situation that I don’t know that I am ready to do what I’m about to do, but I think it’s going to heal me. I’m teaching what I want to learn, which is how to have peace and joy in a really negative [space]. I want people to know that they’re loved. I want people to know that there is hope.”
Helping her along the way will be stars like Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Brandi Carlile, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde and Trisha Yearwood.
Judd opens up further in her “CBS Sunday Mornings” interview. In a preview, she says, “I did not know she was at the place she was at when she ended it, because she had had episodes before, but she got better. That is the challenge with mental illness, it is really, really mysterious. That is what I live in, is there anything I should have looked for or should have known I didn’t? That is why it is such a shock.”
Cowan called it a “cruel disease,” and Judd replied, “It is, and people think it is a character flaw and they don’t know it is this incredibly dark and light experience. She had incredibly great days in the middle of the dark days. That is why it is so confusing.”