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The Judd Family Shows the Intricacies of Loving A Family Member through Mental Illness

The Judd Family Shows the Intricacies of Loving A Family Member through Mental Illness

By The Sunday Paper Team
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This past week, news surfaced of the passing of country music legend Naomi Judd. A longtime advocate for mental health disease who was open about her own struggles with depression and suicidal ideation, she ultimately lost her battle. Naomi's daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, spoke out to express their hurt, but ultimately their love, for their mother. In a shared statement, the pair said, “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.”

The Judd family lived an exciting life with their mother, one filled with decades of music and acting experiences and dozens of awards. Through it all, Wynonna and Ashley cherished their mother, even through the difficult moments that loving someone with mental illness might bring. Ashley penned an open letter in USA Today expressing her fierce passion for her mother's life and her journey, writing, "My mama was a legend. She was an artist and a storyteller, but she had to fight like hell to overcome the hand she was dealt, to earn her place in history."

The day after her death, Naomi (along with her daughter, Wynonna) was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Ashley and Wynonna were present and shared more about the love that permeated Naomi's life and work saying, “My mama loved you so much...Your esteem for her and your regard for her really penetrated her heart, and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in the last years."

At The Sunday Paper, we have much love and admiration for the Judd family and we're grateful that, during this Mental Health Awareness Month, they are reminding us of what it looks like to love through mental illness.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.