Wynonna Judd Credits Husband With Her Being Able To Tour After Mom’s Death: ‘I Had Anxiety’
Wynonna Judd gave fans a glimpse inside her life in the months following her mom, Naomi Judd's, April 2022 death in the new documentary Wynonna Judd: Between Hell & Hallelujah on Paramount+. The doc followed Wynonna as she prepared to go on the fall 2022 tour that was originally planned for The Judds before Naomi died by suicide. Wynonna made the decision to go through with the tour, having special guests sub in for each show in place of her mom. However, getting on stage each night was not easy.
"I came really close to cancelling this tour," Wynonna admitted. "I'm absolutely exhausted and I'm emotional and I'm really fragile. I really don't want to do this. However, this is life after death." With the tour, Wynonna wanted to tell the story of her family, which included her mother at the centerpiece. "I hope that I can walk away from this experience feeling better, not bitter, for what has happened with my mother dying."
After much contemplation, Wynonna said that it was her husband, Cactus Moser, who pushed her to go through with the tour. "I just lay there and I weep of the sorry of not having her there to argue with. How am I going to do this?" Wynonna wondered. "My husband said to me, 'You deserve to celebrate this legacy.' And that's the moment I was like...this could work."
Wynonna and Cactus married in 2012, and she credited him with being her rock throughout the tour. "I've had anxiety about doing this tour," she admitted. "Cactus has been there every step of the way on this tour and I could not have done this without him. Cactus has been there for me in ways I didn't even know I needed. He's not only helped me conquer my fears on this tour, he's been there to help me heal on this tour. We love each other deeply and show up for each other. I can't do it without him."
Wynonna completed all of the original tour dates, and then went on to add 15 more shows in 2023. At one point, she got extremely mentally exhausted while trying to deal with her grief, and made sure to get help from a therapist. However, it was Naomi's memory that kept Wynonna going. "I feel her nudging me when I'm really weary," Wynonna shared. "My mother has a really good work ethic. All throughout The Judds, she had a very strong sense of purpose and was driven. I'm not as driven and ambitious as she was, so I feel her saying to me, 'Rub some dirt on it and get back in the game.'"
In April 2022, Wynonna and Naomi made an epic return to the CMT Awards stage for a performance after announcing that they would be touring later that year. Naomi would go on to die by suicide just weeks later. "I have many questions about the suicide and I think I always will," Wynonna said in the doc. "There's no way they will ever be answered. You just have to accept it and make peace with it at this point."
Being able to help others by being open about suicide and mental health has been instrumental for Wynonna, too. "I am here to help somebody not do what my mother did," Wynonna revealed. "I'm talking about this because I want someone to say, 'If Wynonna can do it, I can do it, because she's a hot mess and she's still showing up.' This isn't performing. This is living. I think the tour was a great distraction and I know it helped people." In turn, it helped Wynonna, as well. "Singing The Judds music was so healing," she concluded. "Even more than I anticipated. Fans helped me to heal through a very deep and dark time. It was both hell and hallelujah."