Ashley Judd pens heartfelt essay about first Mother's Day without Naomi Judd

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Ashley Judd has written an emotional op-ed about her first Mother's Day without her late mum Naomi Judd.

Singer/actress Naomi, who formed the country music duo The Judds with her eldest daughter Wynonna Judd, died at the age of 76 on 30 April.

In a letter posted to the USA Today website on Friday, Ashley revealed she was still in shock over her mother's passing.

"It wasn't supposed to be this way," she began. "I was supposed to visit her on Sunday, to give her a box of old-fashioned candy, our family tradition. We were supposed to have sweet delight in each others' easy presence."

Ashley went on to describe how she is now "unmoored" by grief yet feels that her heart is "replete with gratitude" because of her mother's "nurture and tenderness, her music and memory".

In addition, the actress - who serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund - noted that she is filled with "incandescent rage" over the struggles Naomi encountered in her lifetime, including sexual and physical abuse, as well as her battle with depression and anxiety.

Elsewhere, Ashley tied in the themes of mental health and motherhood by referring to the leaked draft of the majority opinion related to abortion rights in the United States last week.

Written by Justice Samuel Alito, the document indicated that U.S. Supreme Court justices are considering overturning Roe v. Wade - the landmark 1973 decision - and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a pending final judgment on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

"My mother was stolen from me by the disease of mental illness, by the wounds she carried from a lifetime of injustices that started when she was a girl. Because she was a girl," the 54-year-old continued. "My mama was an extraordinary parent under duress: She showed my sister and me the power of having a voice and using it, and there has been no greater lesson."

To conclude the essay, Ashley not only celebrated her own mother but mums everywhere.

"Honour her for more than her labour and sacrifice. Honour her for her talents and dreams. Honour her by demanding a world where motherhood, everywhere, is safe, healthy - and chosen," she added.