The Judd siblings pay tribute to their mom on their first Mother's Day without the family matriarch.
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Wynonna and Ashley Judd paid tribute to their late mom, country legend Naomi Judd, on their first Mother's Day without her.

The sisters shared throwback photos with their mother on their respective Instagrams. Wynonna, who performed with Naomi in the Grammy-winning country duo The Judds, wrote that she missed her mother, while Ashley reflected on her legacy in an op-ed. The country star died by suicide on April 30 after a battle with mental illness. She was 76.

"Our mom and I visited every day I was home in Tennessee, and I FaceTimed her every other day or so when I traveled (except when I was in the bush in Congo)," Ashley captioned her post. "We shared widely especially on all social issues, especially gender, and how her life and walk was affected in every intimate way. She said #metoo to me about her childhood. She said #timesup about her restaurant workplaces when we were little. And she was livid about the shape of motherhood.

"Mom, thank you for hugging me and telling me I am an extraordinary woman and urging my voice," Ashley continued, directing followers to an op-ed she penned for USA TODAY about her late mother. "Perhaps it's indecorous to say, but my heart is filled with something else, too. Incandescent rage," she writes in the essay. "Because 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."

She continues, "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. But motherhood happened to her without her consent. She experienced an unintended pregnancy at age 17, and that led her down a road familiar to so many adolescent mothers, including poverty and gender-based violence. Forgive me if my grief isn't tidy. When I think about my mother, I am awash in the painful specifics."

Naomi Judd, Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd
Naomi Judd with daughters Ashley and Wynonna
| Credit: Louis Myrie/WireImage

"It's a little easier," the op-ed continues, "this Mother's Day, to think about mothers in the collective, to wonder whether we value them."

Wynonna and Ashley's homages come after the sisters attended a bittersweet celebration for The Judds' induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1, just one day after Naomi's passing. The previously planned ceremony forged ahead with the permission of the Judd family. "I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today," Ashley shared during a tearful speech. "Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing," Wynonna added.

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