Ashley Judd is taking a bittersweet trip down memory lane.
The actress commemorated her 55th birthday on Wednesday with a lengthy Instagram tribute to her late mom, Naomi. Ashley noted in her post that it was her first birthday since the country music legend died at age 77 last April.
The actress shared a photo of her handwritten birth announcement from 1968 and reflected in her caption what it means to her to mark this year’s milestone after such a painful tragedy.
“My birthday. Everyone who loves me is making it as soft (cake in bed) and precious as they can, as my mind can’t help but calculate that on my last birthday, Mom was a scant 11 days from her death by crushing suicide. So it is my first without her,” she wrote in part, adding that she thinks of Naomi “constantly.”
Ashley accompanied her post with a selfie in which she holds up what looks like a homemade birthday cake and recalled her favorite memories of Naomi from her childhood.
“Thank you, Mom, for all my birthdays so far, and for celebrating me: for holding me at bedtime and whispering in my ear, ‘Ashley, you are an extraordinary woman,’ and letting me be your Sweetpea. What more does a birthday girl need, than memories of a mother like that?” she continued. “And this is how she saw and loved me, first awake, hair never brushed, ready to share our dreams. For you, Mom. For you.”
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Ashley received loving support from fans and famous friends in the comment section, with Debra Messing, Rosie O’Donnell, Lindsey Vonn and more all weighing in with heartfelt well wishes.
The “Berlin Station” star also shared what Naomi’s last birthday was like and seemingly referenced the singer’s longtime battle with depression.
“We had cake and in spite of being weak and preoccupied with the disease that was eating at her, she had a gorgeous card for me and I knew, as ever, how much she loved me,” Ashley wrote. “I know that today, too, even as she breathes in the infinite mercy of God.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
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