Oh how I loved Naomi Judd! So reading confirmation of what so many of us had feared, that she died by suicide over the weekend, was gut wrenching. I had never met Judd, but this little Black boy from Indiana fell in love with her music.
I first became aware of the Judds when I watched their t.v. movie in
the mid 1990s. I then went to research their music and although some of their biggest hits were recorded before I was born, I fell in love with classics like: Mama He's Crazy, Have Mercy (my favorite), Change of Heart, One Man Woman, One Hundred and Two, Strong Love, Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues, Turn it Loose and many others.
In addition over the years I watched Naomi in many a Hallmark/Lifetime movie, I saw her as a judge on the updated Star Search in the early 2000s, watched her talk show and even remember her cameo in Joey and Rory's Cheater, Cheater music video. Naomi always seemed so bubbly, happy and sweet. You saw no signs of the crippling depression that would led the superstar to take her own life right before she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Just last month she looked beautiful performing alongside daughter Wynonna at the CMT Music Awards. It reminds us, all may look good on the outside but the inside may be a mess.
In many ways Naomi Judd seemed to have it all: wealth, beauty, success, two beautiful daughters, a loving husband and millions of fans across the world. Yet, it wasn't enough to defeat the demons waging war inside her mind. Oh, how I wish it were. Let Naomi's tragic death serve as a lesson to you, if you are struggling with mental health issues please seek help. If you have a loved one who you suspect may be having mental health issues, reach out to them and do whatever it takes to get them help. You never know how you can impact someone because I do believe Love Can Build a Bridge.
Rest in peace Naomi Judd, January 11, 1946-April 20, 2022.