Larry Strickland was Naomi Judd’s husband for 33 years. So, when she committed suicide at age 76, he was more shocked than anyone. Now, for the first time since his wife’s suicide, Strickland is breaking his silence to share the unspeakable tragedy with others. At the CMT’s tribute show for Naomi Judd, Strickland spoke about his wife’s passing.
“Namoi never met a stranger,” Larry said while on stage with Naomi Judd’s daughters Ashley and Wynonna.
He continued, “Much to my displeasure, she would start a conversation with anyone who made eye contact with her, and we would end up standing 10, 20, 30 minutes on a sidewalk while she talked to a complete stranger about their passions and their dog.”
Larry and Naomi got married in 1989. He talked about how, during his meeting at the CMT memorial, Judd had flown solo- something she hardly ever did. However, by taking a flight from Vienna, Austria to Nashville, she was able to make it back home in time for the County Music Hall of Fame ceremony. Unfortunately, the day following the ceremony she committed suicide on April 30th, 2022.
“I was really scared to death about her flying alone all the way from Vienna back to Nashville because I knew how fragile she was,” Larry stated. “Well, she made the flight home back to Nashville without any problem.”
After she passed away, Strickland received an email from a man who had sat next to Naomi Judd on the plane. The email Strickland received was “a relief and comfort,” to say the least. He felt relief and comfort before even reading it, and when he finally did, he found heartfelt statements from a stranger who had been on the same plane.
The man did not find out that Naomi was a famous singer until much later. Even so, they had an intriguing conversation and bonded over their shared love of music, and for the “next 90 minutes we spent in each other’s company was not only entertaining, fascinating and enlightening but for me at least, thoroughly enjoyable.”
Larry read, “It’s a small comfort, I’m sure, but my life seems a lot richer after meeting your wife, however briefly.”
This was when Strickland became emotional. The stranger’s note, however, showed just how much his wife loved him up to her last day.
“Obviously, I didn’t know Naomi at all, but I can tell you she spoke highly and warmly of you and the life you shared together,” Larry cried as he read. “Rest assured, she loved you and had no qualms about telling me, a stranger on a plane, that was so.”
During his eulogy, Larry Strickland became visibly emotional. He was extremely thankful to the man for writing the letter and said that it brought him “great, great pleasure and comfort to me.”
What are your thoughts on the comments made by Naomi Judd’s husband?