Last April Patton Oswalt's wife, true crime writer Michelle McNamara, tragically passed away in her sleep due to a lethal combination of prescription drugs and an undiagnosed heart condition. Since her shocking death, the 48-year-old Emmy award-winning comedian has been candid about everything from what it's like to raise their 8-year-old daughter Alice as a single dad to how he's really coping with life as a widower. With April 21 marking exactly one year since Michelle's passing, Patton decided to pen a touching tribute to his late wife on Facebook that will resonate with anyone who's ever loved and lost.
"It's awful, but it's not fatal," he began, before describing the day his wife died. "I came back from dropping Alice off at school. I'd let Michelle sleep in. Got our daughter dressed and ready for school - lunch packed, class folder in her backpack. I stopped on the way home to buy Michelle an Americano and left it on her bedside table around 9:30 a.m. Went up to my office, did some writing, answered some emails, tweeted some thoughts on Prince dying. There was an art show at Alice's school in the afternoon and my wife and I were going to go, get dragged around the room by Alice as she chattered about her artwork and the work of her classmates. Except instead I came back down into the house and the life I knew was gone."
"I'm one year into this new life - one I never even imagined, and I can imagine some pretty pessimistic and dark contingencies, some stomach-freezing 'what ifs,'" he continued. "But not this one. This one had such a flat, un-poetic immediacy. The world gazes at you like a hungry but indifferent reptile when you're widowed. Last night I took off my wedding ring. I couldn't bear removing it since April 21st, 2016. But now it felt obscene . . . Removing the ring was removing the last symbol of denial of who I was now, and what my life is, and what my responsibilities are."
The Talking for Clapping star goes on to describe some of his and Michelle's earliest, happiest memories together, the mementos of which he put in a custom-made memory box. Although his wedding ring is now in the box alongside ticket stubs and photographs, he notes that "Michelle's gone but she wasn't the kind of soul that disappears or dies out." After talking about how he's trying to be the best dad for Alice, Patton also listed out the honest ups and downs of his life. "I plan things better. I'm more patient. I still sleep badly, and my weight and health need some work, but that's combat damage," he said. "There's got to be a way to fix those without being sh*tty to friends and strangers who are struggling with chaos. I'll try. One year in. Another year starting. It's awful, but it's not fatal. Message received? Over and out."
Read his post about Michelle in full below: