Patton Oswalt Pens Heartfelt Post About His Late Wife That Makes Us Feel His Grief

Patton Oswalt and late wife

Every loss is different and everyone responds to the grief that comes along with it differently. But, if ever there were a guide to coping with death (aside from generic jargon), it would be Patton Oswalt's heartbreaking Facebook message about holding up after the loss of his late wife, Michelle McNamara.


McNamara unexpectedly died in her sleep from unknown causes nearly 102 days (or a little over three months) ago. But one thing that Oswalt makes clear is that 102 days without "closure" or "perspective" feels more like 102 years -- which would seemingly be the case when there's no explanation for your perfectly healthy wife's passing.

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His words on Facebook echoed a sentiment that we've all felt at one point or another -- they read:

But 102 days at the mercy of grief and loss feels like 102 years and you have shit to show for it. You will not be physically healthier. You will not feel 'wiser.' You will not have 'closure.' You will not have 'perspective' or 'resilience' or 'a new sense of self.' You WILL have solid knowledge of fear, exhaustion and a new appreciation for the randomness and horror of the universe. And you'll also realize that 102 days is nothing but a warm-up for things to come.

In an attempt to express where he is and the emotional toll that has plagued him since losing his wife, he perfectly illustrates anyone during the grieving process after an extraordinary loss and basically provides a primer to anyone wanting to comfort another through grief. He writes:

You will have been shown new levels of humanity and grace and intelligence by your family and friends. They will show up for you, physically and emotionally, in ways 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.

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As we read through his Facebook post our hearts broke for the loss of his great love, for the all-too-real depiction of grief, for his recently only beginning to crawl after being "face-down and frozen for weeks" -- but it especially hit us when he writes of their daughter, Alice:

She left Alice, her 7-year-old daughter. But not before putting the best parts of her into Alice, like beautiful music burned onto a CD and sent out into the void on a spaceship.

We are sure it is her pure sadness and unabashed feeling that is helping Oswalt heal, as he admits:

...if you're a parent? You'll wish you were your kid's age, 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.

We can only imagine how much Oswalt loved his wife as he paints a painful picture for us with his beautiful words. We're surely wishing him better days, ones in which his crawl becomes a walk, ones filled with plenty of jokes and laughter.


 Image via Gregg DeGuire/Film Magic/Getty Images

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