Wynonna Judd Reflects on Friend Lisa Marie Presley’s Death: ‘Hard to Comprehend’
Lisa Marie Presley and Wynonna Judd have the shared experience of growing up in the spotlight, and of coming from a famous family — but that's not all the two have in common. Close in age, the women have been friends for many years, and Judd's stepfather, Larry Strickland, sang as part of Elvis Presley's backing band, the Elvis Presley Stamps Quartet.
In the wake of Presley's death (and while still mourning the loss of her mother, Naomi Judd) Judd reflected on the loss of her friend, an experience she describes as surreal.
"I was so shocked, and it kicked my butt, because she's 54 years old and I'm 58," Judd tells ET. "And when you go through something like this, it's just bizarre. It's hard to comprehend."
Presley died on Jan. 12 after going into cardiac arrest, and her fans, friends and family gathered at Memphis' Graceland for her public memorial service on Sunday (Jan. 22). The loss was so fresh, Judd says, that it was difficult to find the words to articulate the magnitude of the loss.
"I'm not one of those people that says, you know, 'I'm praying for you,' or, you know, 'My prayers and condolences,' because I've been going through it myself," she points out. "And it's so heavy. It's too heavy to talk about it right now. Maybe in some time, when we give it some time for things to settle. I just can't think, right now, I can't imagine what they're going through."
During her own experience with grief, common words of comfort didn't provide much for Judd's healing process.
"I know what I went through. And when people say stuff like, 'They're in a better place,' I don't want her to be in a better place. I want her to be here with me," Judd continues.
"That's selfish, but that's human response. So human response for me is just to love the ones you're with. Love the ones you're with. That and forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. That's on my list every single day."