Last week, we reported that Patton Oswalt and actress Meredith Salenger had gotten engaged, more than a year after the death of Oswalt’s wife, Michelle McNamara. But while online response to the upcoming marriage has been largely positive, there’ll always be people ready and willing to police other people’s love, and the process/progress of their grief. Oswalt—who’s been open and raw about his life in the wake of McNamara’s death—quietly responded to those critics this weekend, posting a link to an essay by writer Erica Roman titled “A Widow’s Rage Defense of Patton Oswalt’s Engagement.” Roman, whose spouse also died last year, strikes out at those offering up their opinion on the engagement:
You aren’t entitled to an opinion. You don’t get to comment on the choices of a widower while you sit happily next to your own living spouse. You didn’t have to stand and watch your mundane morning turn into your absolute worst nightmare. You didn’t have to face the agony of despair and the only person who could possibly bring you comfort had been ripped from your life forever. You didn’t have to stand in the ashes of what was once your life, when the sun itself darkened and the very air you breathed felt toxic in your lungs. Go back to scrolling Facebook and keep your ignorance to yourself.
Oswalt shared the essay on Facebook, writing that he’d done his best to ignore “bitter grub worms” commenting on his recent news. “But yeah,” he writes, “I felt this rage. And Erica articulated it better than I could have ever hoped.”