His Grief Know No Bounds

by admin on September 6, 2010

Reading through some of the recent submissions, I was reminded of my own brush with an uncouth character at a funeral. This is somewhat long, but the faux pas really doesn’t take it’s full effect unless the back story is included.

During my first year of college, I shared a room with a girl (Trudie, let’s say for the sake of privacy). Trudie and I were opposites in most ways, so we never became best friends, but we were both bookworms who studied hard so I respected her. She was very involved in her church and various related activities. It was at one of these that she met her first boyfriend. (Ron, let’s just say.) Ron seemed nice enough at first, though I privately thought he was a little strange when I found out he was well into his twenties and in his sixth or seventh year of college. (Trudie and I were both still just teenagers.) She really adored him and took him on trips to meet her family, her extended family, her friends. And things went well for a month or so, until he began to write her letters about her need to become more domestic, more docile and so on. He just shifted and shifted in personality until he demanded that she drop out of college (and the highly competitive program to which she had been accepted) as a university was no place for a woman. That highly competitive program was an issue, too–it leads to a career that is traditionally male-dominated, and he was not at all happy about that. He told her people in the church would think badly of her, had already started to think badly of her. Now, I was never involved in this church, but I know for a fact that Trudie was well regarded as an ambitious and caring youth leader who organized group studies, volunteer opportunities and the like. Trudie was spoken highly of by our mutual acquaintances. She was a well-loved person. And luckily, Trudie was secure enough in herself to recognize Ron’s weird transformation and she broke up with him.

At this point, summer had begun and we were not in contact so much. There was some drama in which Ron denounced the church (for accepting Trudie’s educational and career choices, I suppose) and left. He also went to her family’s home and tried to convince them of Trudie’s folly. As you can imagine, this did not fly. Her family stood by her and cast Ron off of their property. Trudie went on to graduate, meet a wonderful boyfriend and start her career.

She died, suddenly, in an accident on her way home from work. Everyone was stunned. Her family planned a beautiful service and also held receptions in the days before. The receptions were standing room only, as so many came to share stories of Trudie’s impact in their lives and to share their condolences. People were mostly informal in dress at the request of the family (Trudie hadn’t been fond of somber formal events) but still took care to wear clothes that were in good condition and that were church-appropriate. Except for Ron.

I was standing towards the back of the room when he showed up in ripped jeans, soggy shoes (it was a dry day–I have no explanation for the shoes) and a dirty tee-shirt. He brought his brand-new girlfriend, who was in even worse condition: club make-up in the extreme sense, ratty short-shorts, uncombed hair and a shirt cut down to there. She chewed gum, loudly. Every time a speaker would step up and say something nice about Trudie, Ron’s new girlfriend would roll her eyes, cross her arms and say, “Yeah, right.” Ron would loudly sob.

When the reception came to an end, Ron approached me and said, “Don’t I know you?”

I said, “Yes. I was Trudie’s roommate when you were dating.” This may have been rude of me, but my eyes flickered over to Ron’ girlfriend. She huffed, put her hand in the air and walked away. When I looked back to Ron, he was glaring at me. We didn’t speak much after that.

A receiving line was forming–Trudie’s family was thanking everyone for coming as they left and people of course were taking a moment with the bereaved. Ron got in line directly in front of me. As we moved along, I noticed people staring at Ron and exchanging meaningful looks. Finally, Trudie’s father turned from the person directly in front of Ron to Ron and his face just froze. He stuttered for moment, and then said, “Hi, Ron. How are you?” Trudie’s mother walked away.

Ron said, “She shouldn’t have been out there.”

Trudie’s father said, “Well. She was.”

They went on to have a few more moments of awkward conversation and every step of the way, Ron was either insinuating that Trudie was a disobedient hell-monster or talking about how great his new girlfriend was. Trudie’s father looked strained the entire time. Then Ron finally went on his way, but not before he stopped in front of Trudie’s boyfriend, literally puffed up his chest and tried to stare him down. (To the credit of Trudie’s boyfriend, he just shook his head and went to retrieve some tissues for Trudie’s weeping mother.)

I shared my condolences with Trudie’s family and boyfriend. By the time I was done and had gone out to my car, I would have thought that Ron and company would have left. Not so. They were parked beside me, and they were in the car–making out in the back seat.

I could not make it to the funeral itself–I had to be on the other side of the country and had already delayed my departure to go to the final reception. But I was told that Ron and his girlfriend showed up the next day in the same clothes and began to wail during the service. As Ron wailed, he grabbed his girlfriend, pushed her against the pew and began to kiss her. Wholly inappropriate. The pastor had to stop the sermon and Trudie’s family stood up, turned around and stared at Ron. So did the others in attendance. I guess Ron finally got the message, because he grabbed his girlfriend by the hand and left early. They still hung around outside, though, making out against the church wall as people exited the funeral.    0730-10

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave September 6, 2010 at 6:41 am

Wow. Hopefully Ron grew a brain and empathy later in life, realized what a horribly vindictive imbecile he had been and joined a monastery.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the deceased.


Typo Tat September 6, 2010 at 7:10 am

This is so horrible, I have no words.


Quesselin September 6, 2010 at 7:14 am

I don’t say this often, but that story blows my mind. It’s one of those stories where I sincerely *hope* the story teller is lying/exaggerating, but I know that’s just wishful thinking. How horrible for the family to have to put up with this person’s behavior in such trying times.


The Big Gripe September 6, 2010 at 8:12 am

My condolences on the untimely loss of your roommate, and what appeared to have been such a sweet girl at that. I wonder if this is less a case of rudeness than of plain ol’ mental illness. Or possible drug use. Ron and his new “girlfriend” were obviously very messed up. More importantly, though, if anyone behaves like that at a funeral or memorial service, the family should feel free to tell them to leave as soon as the inappropriate behavior begins. There’s no reason for them to endure any more grief than they are already going through.


Daisy September 6, 2010 at 8:45 am

Oh My Word. I would have been tempted to turn a hose on them.


Caitlin September 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

Eww. In what world is ANY of this remotely appropriate?


Hanna September 6, 2010 at 9:04 am

Wow! This story is crazy. His new girlfriend *definitely* seemed very domestic and docile… And why was he trying to make scenes with his new girlfriend, in front of his deceased ex-girlfriend’s family? What a weirdo.


gramma dishes September 6, 2010 at 9:04 am

It is most unfortunate that the funeral director, the pastor, or some slightly removed family member (a huge enormous uncle or something) did not escort Ron and his new girlfriend out of the venue immediately. There is no excuse for someone who clearly should NOT be there to have been permitted to stay. This is not a matter of etiquette. It is a matter of decency.


lkb September 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

Wow! Totally out of bounds. My condolences to Trudie’s loved ones for their loss and for having the memorial of their dear one so taken over by these two. I have to believe, based one what’s given here, that he (and possibly the new girlfriend too) are possessed or mentally/emotionally ill and desperately need prayers.


Patty September 6, 2010 at 9:49 am

Yikes! Guess he felt the need to be the center of attention.


Shayna September 6, 2010 at 9:56 am

Ugh. Clearly Mr. Ron here has some major issues he hasn’t dealt with. Let me guess? One of those male chauvinistic types who reads the Bible to *here*, you know, the part that says women are to be submissive and obedient, but *forgets* to continue reading the part about how it commands men to love their wives as Christ loved his church. And Christ gave his life for his church. Bet Mr. Ron wouldn’t be willing to do that. No man who tries to force submission from his wife ever is.


Louise September 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

Wow, that is really inappropriate and really weird behaviour, from both Ron and his new girlfriend.


Jolie_kitten September 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

Let’s sum it up: by Ron’s standards showing up in shorty-shorts at a church and making out against the pew is perfectly alright, disrespecting people is alright, not showing a minimum of courtesy for people’s grief is fine, blattant disrespect for someone who lived a worthy and meaningful life is fine- but a woman having a career isn’t. Hard for me to imagine the way he conceives the Divine…….


Cady September 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

Wow. There are no words.


Mel the Redcap September 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

Wow. I’ve heard of people wanting to, er, “reaffirm life” as a reaction to death or other traumas, but not at the SERVICE!


Vrinda September 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I wonder why Ron even bothered to go to the funeral, except to show off his equally-worthless girlfriend. For someone who sounded so religious when he was dating Trudie, he became a hypocrite afterwards.


Twik September 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Oh, dear. That creeps me out just *reading* it.


Nan September 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Wow. Just wow. This is awful on so many levels! How heartbreaking and awkward for Trudie’s family, who had to deal with an awful situation made even worse by such an idiot, as well as for the mourners there to grieve the loss of someone who meant so much to them. I am honestly surprised that someone did not physically pitch Ron out on both occasions. But, good for everyone involved for handling the situation with grace. As for the OP, I don’t necessarily see any wrong done on your part. Looking at someone isn’t a faux pas that I’m aware of.


Psyche September 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Trudie made a very wise decision to break up with this guy. He would’ve made her life a living hell.

My guess about the girlfriend is that she was dragged to the memorial against her will. One question: if this guy was making such a fuss at the memorial, why wasn’t he kicked out?


Fox September 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm

That is just absolutely sick. Unless he went with the intention of trying to patch things up with her family (which he obviously didn’t), he had absolutely no reason to be there. Funerals and other death services (receptions, memorials) are for SUPPORTING each other in a time of grief, especially offering your support to those closest to the departed. Funerals are NOT about loud public displays or trying to prove how broken up you personally are over the death.

If Ron was really mourning and thought the services might offer him some “closure,” he should have gone silently, somberly dressed, BY HIMSELF, sat in the back and not made a peep. Especially if he could think of only negative things to say to the family.

Totally crass, disgusting behavior. I have no idea why his new girlfriend would have agreed to go at all, unless he has as tight control over her as he wanted to have over Trudie. I would be inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, since she could have been a less-than-willing participant (although it’s hard for me to believe that a normal person wouldn’t be completely mortified by their partner trying to make out with them at a funeral). In any case, I hope Ron leaves the family alone, and if he doesn’t, they do not owe him their time or effort to be polite. I would just completely ignore him and walk away/repeatedly ask him to leave until he gets the point.


Threepenny September 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Let me be the first to say I call shenanigans on this story.


Princesssimmi September 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

This bloke sounds like my ex. They need a mother replacement and when she realizes what’s going on and stops seeing him, he feels he’s being abandoned all over again and becomes obsessed with getting her back.

I remember my ex sending a me text message about how he still loved me and missed me and wanted me back. I very politely told him to F off, and he told me “because you’re answering my texts it means you still love me.” I solved that problem by changing my number.

He found me on Facebook (6 years later!) and requested to be ‘in a relationship’ with me. I turned him down.

Back to your story- Ron was still feeling abandoned and I suppose like a ‘man scorned’ so he is trying to convince everyone he has done well for himself and that he’s over Trudie by making out with this new girlfriend but in reality he’s just admitting that he never got over her. It wouldn’t suprise me if he’s broken up with the new girlfriend and is still pining for Trudie.


Simone September 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I’m wondering if Ron was there to make a point – i.e. “Trudie wouldn’t have died if she hadn’t had that awful career thing, if she’d been at home raising (presumably his) children etc etc. Look at my *new* girlfriend – she does as she’s told and is alive.”

I’m certainly not saying it’s a good point. I’m just wondering if that’s how he saw his own actions.

@ Threepenny – ‘shenanigans’? What does that mean? If you are saying that you don’t think this is a true post don’t you think you should show the courtesy to the original poster of taking more than one sentence to call them a liar?


Toni September 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I smell a rat, too Threepenny. But if something like this happens to you, just inform the funeral director. They will have a word with the annoyance and get rid of him, usually by threatening to call the police.


Yellow Rose September 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Threepenny, can’t believe any woman would dress and behave at a funeral like the female ‘guest’ did unless she was ‘commercial company’.


Kriss September 6, 2010 at 8:18 pm

This sounds like something a guy I know would do. His name really is Ron too!


Ally September 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm

After I read this I was filled with disgust and the only words that could come out of my mouth were “eww”. That is just downright disgusting, abhorrant behaviour. I would never dream of doing anything like that, nor allowing anything like that to happen at a funeral I was attending.

I hope her family were able to look past this mongrel and concentrate on her funeral and saying their goodbyes. Good lord, I imagine me and how much of a basket case I would be at my best friends/boyfriends/moms/brothers funeral, and I am not the type for confrontation, but that is behaviour I could never just sit meekly and let slide. They would have been told to show some respect, or leave.


LilyG September 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I don’t think it’s shenanigans. I go to a LOT of funerals and I have seen behavior just as appalling as this. This is well within the realm of possibility, sad to say.
My condolences to the family. Ick.


joye September 7, 2010 at 12:52 am

From what the writer said about the guy denouncing the church and leaving it, I’m guessing this is one of those guys who tries on a religion so that he can use it to control a woman. When that didn’t fly, he dumped the religion altogether and found a new tactic.

To a guy like that, it doesn’t matter, a woman who wears ankle-length skirts and high collars and stays at home, or a woman who wears ratty clothes slit down to there, ultimately he’ll take either: as long as she lets him control her. He was all about control and possession, and when the church didn’t back him up, he was done with the church.

Thank God Trudie knew enough not to put up with him.

I was once at an extremely formal wedding for a very, very traditional couple and one of the male guests showed up in ratty, dirty torn jeans and jean jacket and a mohawk. Some people think of their own style as law, and won’t change it even for one hour. So the way they were dressed doesn’t surprise me.


Me September 7, 2010 at 1:25 am

Simone, I think you’re one hundred per cent correct. That was what I took from his comment about, “She shouldn’t have been there,” i.e. she shouldn’t have been driving home from work because look what happens to naughty career girls.

Ugh. I’d like to call shenanigans, just because I hate to think that men like this actually exist, but I don’t think so. I’ve seen some pretty disgusting behaviour at funerals.


admin September 7, 2010 at 8:52 am

Regarding the implausibility of this situation prompting some to call “shenanigans” (question the veracity of the letter writer), I have just this to say…

Death, funerals, and probate are fabulous crucibles that reveal the character of all involved. Nothing surprises me anymore.


sbtier September 7, 2010 at 9:16 am

I usually am not an advocate of making scenes at funerals, but that was a case where male relatives and/or funeral director should have ousted the couple.


Ruth September 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

Like sbtier I’m wondering why someone didn’t eject them from the funeral. I don’t know if a director would’ve done so on their own initiative, but if a family member had asked them to… On the other hand, I assume the family was suffering a lot over such an unexpected death and may not have had the energy to address it.

At least they can be glad that Trudie had the good sense not to commit any further to him and had moved on to better people and things.


Michelle P September 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

I believe that every word of it is true; I’ve seen worse. Someone should have thrown them out, but I can understand how they were more focused on grieving an obviously lovely young woman. Shame on Ron and the girlfriend.


AS September 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

First of all, my condolences to LW for the untimely loss of her former room mate who seems like a wonderful lady.

I agree with many of the posters who said that Ron is probably just not over Trudie yet, and brought his equally good-for-nothing girl friend to prove to her parents that they were wrong in letting Trudie be a career woman. I am sure Trudie had been, and still is from somewhere up there, counting her blessing at how lucky she was to have dumped him early in the relationship, and follow her dreams. She is probably laughing at how stupid he is.


Amazed September 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I’d like to bet that Ron is, actually, mentally ill. Sane people don’t act like that.

Furthermore, the slutty girlfriend might have been a hooker or actress hired for the part.


RP September 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

This is awful but it is not so awful as to be outside of the realm of possibility. Unfortunately.

@Simone: The “She shouldn’t have been out there” line makes me think that you’re right. In the mind of a man that selfish the only thing that mattered was how this affected him.

His behavior also makes me wonder if he was on some kind of drugs.


Brenda September 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I know that when at events, polite, well-mannered people prefer that a scene not be made by stopping the appalling behavior by attendees, as we are taught that it is rude to inform someone that they are being rude. However, this type of behavior ruins the event for all the welcome attendees and should be not tolerated. Ron should have been approached when he first entered and informed that he was not invited and would have to leave. It’s a private event on private property, and Ron had no legal right to be there. The same thing should have been done at the funeral.

Too many people take advantage of the polite members of society to behave in unacceptable and horrendous ways. They should not be tolerated.


NotCinderell September 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I don’t think it’s shenanigans. I can imagine a person with a sociopathic personality totally arriving at the conclusions that Ron arrived at, namely that he had a problem with the fact that Trudy broke up with him and he couldn’t control her anymore and therefore held her up to his new girlfriend as the “one that got away.” Then he proceeds to show up to the funeral both to show his boundless grief and prove to the family that he’s soooooo toooooootally moved on, while his new (doubtless insecure) girlfriend is all too happy to show everyone how much he really loves *her* and not the dead chick.

If you think like a sicko, it makes sense.


Xtina September 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Ron sounds like a classic misogynist jerk. Trudie was smart to get rid of him way back then. I suspect that Ron has mental or drug problems on top of his woman-hating problems, or he was so jealous of Trudie’s moving on and having a great life without him that he was low enough to hold a grudge for that long and create such a scene at her funeral. At the very *best*, he had absolutely zero class.

I don’t doubt this story is true. And I wonder how in the world Ron managed to find a woman so like himself in all the world–they are quite a horrifyingly matched pair!


Bee September 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I attended my stepfather’s mother’s funeral last year with a police presence! I was told by my aunt that the police were just paying their respects, as they knew my stepfather’s father, however my mother assured me after we went home that it was to keep one of my stepfather’s sisters in check!

I was unable to attend my stepfather’s father’s funeral the year before, but my mother told that the family had hired security guards to stay at the house during the funeral to stop this sister stealing things from the house.

The “girlfriend” seemed rather sullen, so I’m surprised she agreed to go to the funeral of Ron’s ex-girlfriend, or that Ron even wanted to go, especially given the circumstances under which they broke up. But there possibly was some self-serving reason that he felt he needed to go. But I’m pleased to hear that Trudie’s family turfed him out rather than believe the horrible things he was saying about her.


catvickie September 9, 2010 at 7:40 am

Actually I would not be surprised if this is a true story–my daughter has dated a ton of classless jerks like this Ron character. She seems to be a magnet for bottom feeders like him–the last one tops it all off. Wish she was smarter like Trudy and dumped them earlier on. . . . .


phoenix September 12, 2010 at 3:38 am

Add me to the category of “i’ve seen worse, so I’m not surprised.” I’ve been to funerals where a relative told us how the dearly departed was going to, um, not heaven…before kidnapping a child to teach us a lesson.


Mrs ST September 13, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Just my humble 2 cents….

This story sounds unbelievable, I know, but I have seen so many odd things at funerals (and weddings too!!), I do not doubt anything anymore. There is something about the mix of religion, arrogance, and flat out mental illness that makes for interesting situations in these cases…

My Husband and I attended a little Pentecostal church for years when one of the members died, KS – a man who was fairly young (mid 40’s) with a young wife and 7 children. The official word in the congregation was that KS had a sudden heart attack, and died quickly.

Fast forward to the day of the funeral. When the Pastor asked if anyone had any words of comfort for the family, another church member, TT stands up, and proceeds to tell this funeral full of people that KS did die of a heart attack, but the heart attack was -drug induced (crack!)- and that -he was the one who sold the crack to KS a few hours before he died-

Hardly words of comfort… and I am sure that you all in the reading audience can imagine the chaos that ensued after that confession…the angry shouts, the denials…all of this going on in what was supposed to be a tight laced Pentecostal church….

My whole point in relating the condensed version of the weirdest funeral I ever attended is this:

– Yes, the above story is WEIRD, but no WEIRDER that the one I witnessed with my own two eyes! I believe every word above.

Two more observations:

– KS acted the same way that Ron is described as acting in above toward the unfortunate young lady who married him. A commentor above mused that Ron was possibly insane / possibly on drugs, and they are probably right, based off my own experience.

– Who does stuff like that? By stuff I mean go to a funeral and basically confess to manslaughter / murder? I guess I can answer my own question there…people who go to church and pretend to be a Christian, but are really into illegal activities…then, when a death is the result of the illegal activities, they go to confess and clear their conscience, adding insult to injury, b/c God knows it did not help poor TS, KS’s widow and her poor sweet children. So yes, there are some strange folks in church, like Ron above. (And yes, in case you all were wondering, TT wound up in prison.)


DocCAC September 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

As for those who thnk this story is made, you can’t make up anything stranger than the truth. As for the nastiness that can go on, one of my patients died while in home hospice of metastatic lung cancer. I had never met his first family, but the next thing I hear (both as the med director of the hospice, but also as his personal physician) from the funeral director (who is also the county coroner–in IN you don’t have to be a doc to be a coroner) that family #1 has gone to the DA, convinced wife #2 has killed by an OD of pain meds. He was having horrible pain because of dozens of small mets to his brain, and we had to keep upping his meds to try and control it. Now wife #2 certainly is not of the social status of family #1, and I don’t know the backstory of how wife #2 met and married my patient, but although not the sharpest tack in the wall, she certainly was a good soul and loved him to distraction. IF he died of a OD, it certainly was accidental. She was also my patient and I don’t think she would have done even assisted suicide. At any rate, by the time the DA contacted the funeral director, the deceased was embalmed and bodily fluid gone. The DA decided not to persue anything, but while there was viewing, family #1 had certain times to be there and wife #2 and her family had different times and the police were at the funeral to prevent nastiness. I’m sure if he had known what was going on, he would’ve sat up in the coffin with some choice words. In case you are wondering, there was no big amounts of money involved or other reason for her to have killed him, except perhaps mercy for him.


Emm September 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I understand everyone was trying to keep it together (and were busy) but I don’t understand why he wasn’t shown out. I’m very sorry.


Chou October 3, 2010 at 12:37 am

Er, I’m the original submitter. Sorry to respond so late–it’s been a while since I’ve checked in.

First of all, thank you for your condolences. Trudie was a good person doing good things in the world and she’s missed.

Second, I know that this sounds like the strangest and most unbelievable of stories. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. I don’t really know why no one showed him out either–I suppose because most of us in the back who saw him and had to deal with him the longest were fresh out of college and not really sure of how to deal with behavior like that. I’m a little ashamed–the idea that he could just be asked to go (if not by me then by one of the people at the funeral home) didn’t even enter my mind until I saw it here. I suppose, too, that he didn’t confront the family until the very end of things, and Trudie’s father might have thought it better to just deal with him then for a few moments, not at all knowing what would happen the next day. I don’t really know, though–it was a shocking and difficult time. I wish I knew then what I know now.


Heather November 3, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Dear God. I’ve never been best friends with any of my school roommates either, but if that were to happen at one of their funerals, I have to wonder if I’d be able to restrain myself from hitting him (outside and away from the family, of course). I can understand that there’s vitriol there when a relationship goes sour, but there’s a difference between bitterness and just plain indecency.

My condolences. Trudie sounds like a great woman and it’s always upsetting when someone like that with so much promise gets snuffed out. With any luck, Ron will learn how hateful his chauvinistic and downright insensitive attitude is.

Rest in peace.


justme June 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Wow, that is disgusting. It sounds like Ron and his “girlfriend” were deliberately trying to offend and/or provoke a fight. It may be that Trudie’s parents felt that it was better to ignore him, and not respond to his attempted provocation, but when the priest had to stop his service to stare at them, someone should have forcibly removed them. Sounds like the employees at the funeral home were asleep on the job.


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