Patton Oswalt marked the one-year anniversary of his wife Michelle McNamara with an emotional tribute yesterday. The actor and comedian wrote a lengthy Facebook post about what life has been like for himself and the couple’s eight-year-old daughter Alice, writing that “it’s awful, but it’s not fatal” and describing how he took off his wedding ring for the first time because “it felt obscene” to continue wearing it.
“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.’ 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,” writes Oswalt. McNamara, a respected true-crime writer, died in her sleep on April 21, 2016 due to a combination of prescription drugs and an undiagnosed heart condition.
Osalt goes on to explain that finally removing his wedding band was also “removing the last symbol of denial of who I was now, and what my life is, and what my responsibilities are’; keeping it on for so long was “inviting more darkness.”
Oswalt has been exceptionally open about his mourning process over the last year, frequently writing and speaking with rare candor and eloquence about his experiences.
“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 continues. “There’s got to be a way to fix those without being shitty to friends and strangers who are struggling with chaos. I’ll try.” Read the rest of his tribute here.