"That's the challenge with mental illness: it's really, really mysterious."

Wynonna Judd is remembering her emotional last goodbye to late mom Naomi Judd after her death in April

The singer, who performed with Naomi as part of the Grammy award-winning musical duo The Judds, recalled receiving a phone call about her late mother and rushing to the hospital to see her one last time in an excerpt from an upcoming interview with CBS Sunday Morning

"I said goodbye to her in the hospital, and I closed her eyes, and I kissed her forehead and that was that," she told Lee Cowan. "And the next thing I know, I'm sitting here on the front porch, on the side porch… you know, and I'm just tryin' to figure out what's next."

Naomi died by suicide in her Tennessee home on April 30, just one day before the Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The singer had been open about her mental health struggles throughout her life and, at the time of her death, had prescription drugs in her system used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, an autopsy revealed

While she was aware of her mother's battle, Wynonna explained that she had no clue it had gotten worse. "I did not know that she was at the place she was at when she ended it because she had had episodes before and she got better," she said. "That's the challenge with mental illness: it's really, really mysterious."

It's also the hardest part for Wynonna to come to terms with following Naomi's death. "That's what I live in, is like, 'Was there anything I should have looked for, or should I have known?'" the musician asked. "I didn't. That's why it's such a shock." 

Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd attend the 2022 CMT Music Awards at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on April 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wynonna Judd recalls final moments with late mother Naomi Judd
| Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

She described her mother's medical condition as "this incredibly dark and light experience," adding, "She had incredibly great days in the middle of the dark days, that's why it's so confusing."

Although she might be gone, Wynonna maintained that she continues to feel her mother's presence within her life. "I feel her nudging me. And sometimes, I laugh," she said. "And sometimes, I say, 'I really miss you. Why aren't you here so we can argue?'"

Judd's full interview will be broadcast on CBS Sunday Morning at 9 a.m. ET on Sept. 25. 

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Related content: