Patton Oswalt’s heartache over the sudden death of his wife, Michelle McNamara, left him utterly ‘devastated.’ In a loving tribute, Patton fondly remembered Michelle’s ‘joyous, wicked curiosity’ while mourning the ‘blast crater’ inside his soul.
It may have been the hardest thing Patton Oswalt, 46, ever had to write, but the stand-up comedian penned an eulogy to Michelle McNamara, 46, opening up about the pain of losing his wife. Though he is rocked with sadness over Michelle’s death, he’s focusing on being a good father in memory of her.
“I loved her. This is the first time I’ve been able to use ‘I’ writing this,” Patton said in his sorrowful tribute to Michelle in TIME magazine, posted on May 3. “Probably because there hasn’t been much of an ‘I’ since the morning of April 21. There probably won’t be for a while. Whatever there is belongs to my daughter—to our daughter. Alice.”
The shock of discovering Michelle had died in her sleep on may have shaken Patton to his core, but their 7-year-old daughter, Alice, has been an inspiration to him during this tragedy. “Five days after Michelle was gone,” Patton wrote, “Alice and I were half-awake at dawn, after a night of half-sleeping.
“Alice sat up in bed. Her face was silhouetted in the dawn light of the bedroom windows. I couldn’t see her expression. I just heard her voice: ‘When your mom dies you’re the best memory of her. Everything you do and say is a memory of her.'”
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 29, 2016
"When your mom dies you're the best memory of her. Everything you do is a memory of her." — Alice Oswalt, 7
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 1, 2016
How completely heartbreaking! Patton’s eulogy also said “the reaction to her passing, the people who are shocked at her senseless absence, is a testament to how she steered her life with joyous, wicked curiosity.” That public mourning included memories from Margaret Cho, 47, Elijah Wood, 35, and more. “Her family is devastated,” Patton added, “but can’t help remember all of the times she made them laugh or comforted them, and they smile and laugh themselves. She hasn’t left a void. She’s left a blast crater.”
Michelle and Patton were married for ten years before her unexpected death. She was best known for founding the True Crime Diary website, which led her to coin the term “The Golden State Killer” over a critically-acclaimed article for the Los Angeles Magazine. She was in the middle of writing a book about the murderer when her life was sadly cut short.
Our thoughts continue to go out to Michelle’s friends and family throughout this time of loss.