Naomi Judd's Husband Larry Strickland Shares What He Wishes He Had Done Before Her Death

The country star died by suicide in April.

Larry Strickland is opening up about his late wife's mental health struggles. In a new interview, Naomi Judd's widower reveals what he wishes he would've done differently before his wife's death by suicide in April. She was 76.

"I just feel like I might have overdone it," Strickland, who married Judd in 1989, tells People. "I was trying to get her to eat. I was trying to get her to exercise. I handled her medications and had to make sure she had what she needed. I was trying every way I could."

"If I had known where she was, I would've been much softer on her," he adds. "I would've been gentler and more understanding instead of tired and exhausted because it was wearing me out, too."

In retrospect, Strickland says, "I look back and just wish I had been holding her and comforting her instead of pushing her. I don't know if that would've helped, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt."

While Strickland may not have known that his wife was considering suicide, he recalls the days leading up to Judd's death as "a very chaotic, hectic, hectic time."

"It was extremely hard," he remembers. "She had several therapists that she was seeing, and her energy level had gotten really low. She was getting really weak."

Judd's mental health struggles weren't new; Strickland had been supporting his late wife for many years, to the detriment of his own well-being.

"For the past 13 years or more, I was with her 24/7. I never left the house without Naomi knowing where I was going and when I would be back," he says. "As far as taking care of myself, I'm not sure that fits my situation. When you have a mate that has a mental illness, you walk that path with them."

In the wake of Judd's death, Strickland tells the outlet that he's leaning on the two adult daughters she shared with former partners, Wynonna, 58, and Ashley, 54. "We need each other so much to cling to, and the comfort of our relationship, we have to have that," he says.

Strickland is also finding purpose in speaking out about mental health.

"I was used to staying in the background, but after going through what our family's gone through -- the tragedy, the trauma -- it changes you," he explains. "When you lose someone to suicide, you don't get a chance to say bye. [After losing Naomi], it was pain like I've never felt before. I was consumed by what happened, and I want to do anything I can to help relieve any kind of hurting or suffering for others. I'm willing to do whatever I can to hopefully help anyone not go through what our family has."

When ET spoke with Judd's eldest daughter, Wynonna, in November, she opened up about how she's coping since her mom's death.

"I think it's courage just to show up and watch it and see what happens. I see people and I smile, and they love me, and I love them," she said. "... Grief and gratitude happen simultaneously on most days. I'm just an example of life after death. You just show up in whatever shape you're in. And here I am... I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be anywhere."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.