Patton Oswalt Opens Up About Crippling Grief After His Wife’s Sudden Death

Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt penned a heart-wrenching Facebook post detailing the debilitating grief he is experiencing since his wife, Michelle McNamara, died suddenly in her sleep in April.

The emotional message was posted Monday, in which Oswalt called grief worse than depression.

“Depression is the tallest kid in the 4th grade, dinging rubber bands off the back of your head and feeling safe on the playground, knowing that no teacher is coming to help you,” he wrote. “But grief? Grief is Jason Statham holding that 4th grade bully’s head in a toilet and then f***ing the teacher you’ve got a crush on in front of the class.”

He added, “Grief makes depression cower behind you and apologize for being such a d**k.”

Oswalt’s post came 102 days after McNamara’s death. He explained, “I was face-down and frozen for weeks. It’s 102 days later and I can confidently say I have reached a point where I’m crawling. Which, objectively, is an improvement. Maybe 102 days later I’ll be walking.”

The Bojack Horseman actor said, however, that the kind words and sentiment from fans has really helped. “They will show up for you, physically and emotionally, in ways in which make you take careful note and say to yourself, ‘Make sure to try to do that for someone else someday.’ Complete strangers will send you genuinely touching messages on Facebook and Twitter, or will somehow figure out your address to send you letters which you’ll keep and re-read ’cause you can’t believe how helpful they are.”

Oswalt and McNamara were married in 2005 and have a 7-year-old daughter, Alice. “You’ll wish you were your kid’s age,” he explained, “because the way they embrace despair and joy are at a purer level that you’re going to have to reconnect with, to reach backwards through years of calcified cynicism and ironic detachment.”

McNamara was an accomplished crime writer who founded the website True Crime Diary, and Oswalt said a book she was working on at the time of her death will be released. “It will come out. I will let you know. It’s all her. We’re just taking what’s there and letting it tell us how to shape it. It’s amazing.”

Here’s the whole message: