There are goldfish who have been buried with more apparent solemnity than poor Ivana Trump received, some critics are saying.
The first wife of one-term president Donald Trump, she was laid to rest in an obscure plot near the first hole of his golf course at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey on July 20.
To some observers, it looked worse than sending her last remains to a potter’s field. To them, it amounted to the final insult in the last act that had already known a surfeit of them.
Ivana last made the headlines for famously enraging Trump’s third wife, Melania by referring to herself in a broadcast interview in 2017 as Trump’s original First Lady, receiving a sharp rebuke from Melania’s furious White House team.
The former twice impeached, disgraced president announced her passing on his much-maligned Truth Social platform, stating: “I am very saddened to inform all of those that loved her, of which there are many, that Ivana Trump has passed away at her home in New York City,” he wrote.
The distancing language was unmistakable, as Trump conspicuously left himself off the list of the “people that loved her.” But the final resting place he chose for her said even more.
I’m not sure why this story isn’t being discussed more. It seems to say so much about Trump’s opinion for the people closest to him, so attention should be paid.
Some reports have tried to sweeten the sour taste by insisting the former president has ambitious plans for a family plot at the New Jersey golf course, a favorite of his, but the lone grave of his estranged first wife gives the lie to that claim.
There she lies, looking like a cruel afterthought, in a stark grave that it turns out supplies her second husband with a handy trifecta of tax breaks. Reportedly, the resort’s property, income, and sales tax are now eliminated because of her odd placement.
Under the New Jersey state tax code, any land that is dedicated to cemetery purposes is exempt from all taxes, rates, and assessments. In other words, the presence of human remains on the site reportedly allows a series of handy tax breaks to kick in, with a corpse onsite sufficing to make at least three tax forms disappear.
So never let it be said that he could not put his ex-wife to some use, I guess? But in this way? To this effect?
How on earth can her three children, who she apparently loved and who loved her back, allow their father to treat their mother like this? Burying her in little more than a pauper’s grave disgraces them all.
Since Trump himself has not been her next of kin for decades, he could not have himself alone decide her final resting place. This would have involved her children and the executor of her estate. They would all clearly have had to agree to this.
Trump famously believes taxes, like military service, are for suckers. But to reportedly put your estranged first wife to work – in death – to solve a problem in life looks horrendous.
And what chilling thing does it say to his famous and powerful guests that his first wife is buried at the first hole of his favorite resort? As they put on their golf gloves, will they coldly reflect that “this too could be you?” Is that the kind of pound shop mafia play being enacted her? And will Trump start to place a different wife at different holes as their times come?
Additionally, in this strange saga, there are disconcerting notes. Ivana was reportedly cremated, so the why – other than for tax breaks – place her ashes in a coffin and then bury them on the course?
Ask yourself also, would you do this? Bury your spouse – albeit your first one – in a golf resort? In a grave that has less apparent dignity than the average pet cemetery?
Life for all of us can be a hard business and heavens know a good round of golf can provide a respite for many. But to turn our pastimes into our final resting places is inexplicable at best and crass at worst – I’m just going to tee off -and- visit mom? So, two birds with the one stone?
Poor Ivana probably deserved better, critics contend. But she married who she married.