By now everyone has heard of Naomi Judd’s passing. At 76 years old, after years of struggling with mental illness, she passed away. Her family indicated no further details would be revealed, but in a case such as this, rumors will fly no matter how much the family begs the public for privacy while their hearts have been shattered.
My family knows all too well how this feels having lost my sister to suicide in 2001.
I feel as if I “grew up” listening to The Judds, but upon seeing the years on some of their greatest hits, I realize I was listening to their music in high school instead. The Judds’ hits include: “Mama He’s Crazy” in 1984, “Why Not Me” in 1984, “Girls Night Out” in 1985, “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” in 1986, “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days)” in 1986, “Turn It Loose” in 1988, and “Love Can Build a Bridge” in 1990.
Naomi brought awareness to mental illness, depression, and suicidal ideation through the years as she opened up in a book she wrote on the subject in 2016. She also was frank on the Today Show in 2017 that she became severely depressed after a tour with Wynonna ended. She was honest about not taking care of herself, staying in her pajamas, and not leaving the couch for two years after the tour ended.
It’s hard to think of a “star” in such a light. They seem to “have it all.” Truth be told, they are struggling, too, just like you and I do at times. No one has the perfect life without troubles. No one! Not even a “star.” We have found this to be true when the world was shocked by Robin Williams’ suicide years ago. The man that made everyone laugh was hurting so deeply inside. Who truly knows what someone is thinking, feeling, or going through? We don’t! This is proof yet again with Naomi taking her own life!
There are so many people that speculate on “why” and then those that want to know “how” she did it. Why? How will you benefit from knowing either one? It’s normal curiosity, I’m sure, because we are human. We want to “know” all there is to know. But it won’t bring them back. I had people ask the same when my sister died. “WHY would she do this, Shirley?” “How did she die …” “Do you know how she killed herself?” “What would lead her to do such a thing?” “Wow, she must have really wanted to die.”
HOW does any of that help those that are grieving such an intense loss?
Consider yourself blessed that you DON’T understand a horrific loss such as this and the profound grief that follows! I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy!
When a life is snuffed out, it is hard to put one foot in front of the other. It’s hard to breathe, honestly. Every part of us feels shattered, and we are crippled emotionally. We don’t know how we will go on another day without our precious loved ones by our side.
Of COURSE we have questions. There are a billion questions swirling around in our heads, yet the only two that hold these answers are in Heaven: our loved ones and God!
Why did He allow this to happen? That is another question we ask ourselves. When God could have reached down His great and mighty hand and stopped them, why didn’t HE???? Because He gave us all free will.
I believe God wept right along with us as He saw this unfolding. And I believe He reached out His arms, wrapped them around our loved ones, and welcomed them home. I do NOT believe that a person dying by suicide sentences them to further torture in the pits of hell. They were suffering so much, so tremendously in this life, I believe God will have mercy on their soul. Just as Jesus said on the cross, “Forgive them Father. They know not what they do …” I believe the same can be said here as well. Oh Father, Forgive them!!! Please, forgive them for taking their own lives. I truly, with all my heart and soul, believe they did not know what they were doing. If they were truly in their “right mind” they would never have done this. Their pain was gripping them, and they felt no way out from its clutch than to take their own lives to “escape” whatever turmoil they were enduring.
I will never bring myself to believe they would intentionally inflict pain upon those that love them, though. They often times believe their families would be “better off” without them, but this could not be further from the truth. The day we lost our loved ones, our hearts shattered. We were instantly filled with such intense grief and sorrow. IF our love alone could have saved them, they never would have died!
At a time like this, instead of seeking answers from the family, please pray for them! Trust me, they need it and will need to draw strength from you in the days, weeks, months, and even years to come!
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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.