Patton Oswalt has been candid about the his late wife Michelle McNamara, who died in her sleep April 21 at age 46. But nearly four months later, the 47-year-old actor and comedian is still struggling to pick up the pieces in the wake of his sudden loss.
In an emotional message on his Facebook page posted Monday, Oswalt detailed how he’s managed his grief – calling it 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 said. “But grief? Grief is Jason Statham holding that 4th grade bully’s head in a toilet and then f—— the teacher you’ve got a crush on in front of the class.”
“Grief makes depression cower behind you and apologize for being such a d—,” he added.
Oswalt’s post came 102 days after McNamara’s death – and it appears Oswalt has felt every one of them.
He explained: “102 days at the mercy of grief and loss feels like 102 years and you have s— 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.”
“I was face-down and frozen for weeks,” he wrote. “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.”
Despite the pain, Oswalt said he’s been shown “new levels of humanity and grace and intelligence” by his family, friends – and even fans.
“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,’ ” he wrote. “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.”
RELATED VIDEO: Michelle McNamara, Writer and Wife of Patton Oswalt, Dies At 46
Oswalt and McNamara were married in 2005. The two share a 7-year-old daughter, Alice – whom Oswalt said McNamara put “the best parts” of herself into before her death. He also detailed how he’s learned to let go by watching his daughter.
“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.”
Before her death, McNamara – an accomplished crime writer who founded the website True Crime Diary – was working on a book about a serial killer she dubbed The Golden State Killer, whom she wrote a series of pieces about in Los Angeles Magazine. Oswalt said he has put any spare energy he’s managed to summon into finishing her book.
“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,” he wrote.
He also promised his fans he’s going to get back into comedy, acting and writing. “I like and working with friends on projects and do all the stuff I was always so privileged to get to do before the air caught fire around me and the sun died,” he said. “It’s all I knew how to do before I met Michelle. I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do now without her.”
And when Oswalt will get back to work, it won’t be because it’s what his late wife would have wanted him to do.
“For me to even presume to know what Michelle would have wanted me to do is the height of arrogance on my part,” he said. “That was one of the many reasons I so looked forward to growing old with her. Because she was always surprising me. Because I never knew what she’d think or what direction she’d go.”