Back in April, the music world was shaken by the death of country icon Naomi Judd.
The singer was 76 years old, but sadly her death was not a peaceful result of natural causes.
Rather, to the shock of millions, Judd took her own life via self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Daughter Ashley Judd confirmed the news, noting that her mother had struggled with mental illness for much of her life.
Ashley was the one who discovered Naomi’s body, and in the months since, she’s spoken candidly about the debilitating trauma she’s experienced as a result of that incident.
But while Ashley was willing to speak out in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of suicide prevention, there are certain aspects of her mother’s final hours that she understandably sought to keep private.
And one shocking detail of the events surrounding Naomi’s death has now been made public in a new report by Radar Online.
The site reports that images obtained from Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in Franklin, Tennessee show a Post-It note on which Naomi scrawled a suicide note before her death.
“Do not let Wy come to my funeral. She’s mentally ill,” Naomi appears to have written on a yellow Post-It note, underlining the word “not.”
“Wy” seems to refer to Wynonna, Naomi’s eldest daughter, with whom she made up the wildly successful musical duo the Judds.
It’s unclear why Naomi would be so upset with her daughter and musical partner in her final hours, but it’s obvious why the Judd family would seek to keep such a heartbreaking note private.
“There are some things that we would just like to retain as a family,” Ashley said in an interview with Diane Sawyer shortly after her mother’s death.
“Both sister and Pop [stepfather Larry Strickland] have sort of deputized me in certain ways to speak on behalf of the family at this early time before things about the 30th of April become public without our control.”
At that point, Ashley disclosed the means by which her mother took her own life.
“Once I say it, it cannot be unsaid,” she told Sawyer.
“She used a weapon … my mother used a firearm. 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.”
The Judd family previously took legal action to prevent the details of Naomi’s death from going public, but it seems they were unable to suppress the contents of the note.
“I don’t know that we’ll be able to get the privacy we deserve … I do know that we’re not alone,” Ashley said in an essay published shortly after her mother’s death.
She went on to express solidarity with the family of Kobe Bryant, whose privacy was also violated by a law enforcement leak in the wake of their loved one’s death.
“We feel deep compassion for Vanessa Bryant and all families that have had to endure the anguish of a leaked or legal public release of the most intimate, raw details surrounding a death.”
Our thoughts go out to the Judd family during this enormously difficult time.