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Patton Oswalt Tells Stephen Colbert How to Cope With Grief on ‘The Late Show’

The comedian and actor discusses being an "avatar of loss."

Patton Oswalt

Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

In the six months since his wife passed away, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt has taken on a new role: public mourner. Oswalt has been candid about his experiences, most recently during his appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “The more you talk openly about what it is and put more light onto it,” he told Colbert, “people can see all the angles and say, “Oh, okay, that is horrible, but there’s life on other side of it and it’s somehow manageable.”

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Oswalt added that he’s received many messages from people who’ve had similar experiences — and, in some cases, some whose loss he says dwarfs his own. “If you don’t talk about it, then grief really gets to set up and fortify its positions inside of you and begin to immobilize you. But the more you talk, the more you expose it to the air and to the light, then grief doesn’t get a chance to organize itself. And then maybe you can move on a little easier and a little better.”

READ MORE: Patton Oswalt Relives Bittersweet Emmys Win After the Loss of His Wife on ‘Conan’ — Watch

To that insight, Colbert added one of his own: “Grief cannot be fixed; it can only be experienced.” Watch the full video below.

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