Ashley Judd mourned the death of her mother Naomi Judd in a sweet tribute post to her Instagram. “In beloved community with my big sister, gazing at the new bronze plaque inducting @thejuddsofficial @wynonnajudd into the @officialcmhof.” she captioned a post of photos of herself with her sister Wynonna Judd at the Country Music Hall of Fame, plus other videos with family.
“[L]istening to #grandpa, my altar to mama, with her silhouette from when she was 11, my bereft Pop @larrystrickland7 singing How Great Thou Art for me on my sleeping Porch (we are singing hymns this evening),” she continued. “Sister, mom, and me on Little Cat Creek in Lawerence County, Ky.”
“Your outpouring is reaching me. Thank you for every thought, prayer, message, text, email, post, expression. We each are alone and we are in fellowship, broken and held, protected from nothing and sustained in everything. It’s the beginning of an old story, life and death, loss and life,” she continued, “Be free, my beautiful mother. Be free.”
The country music singer passed away on Saturday, April 30 at the age of 76 as a result of suicide, after a longtime battle with mental illness, multiple sources told PEOPLE.
The shocking news of her death was confirmed by daughter Wynonna, who was one half of country music duo The Judds with her mother, as well as younger daughter Ashley. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the emotional statement read. “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,” they also said.
An additional statement from Naomi’s husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland, was given to PEOPLE, and it states: “Naomi Judd’s family request privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time.”
The death came just a day before the GRAMMY winning icon — who dominated country music charts through the 1980s — was set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1. Both Ashley and Wynonna were present at the ceremony where they paid tribute to their mother through tears. Hugging Wynonna, Ashley said she was “sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today.”