Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Patton Oswalt shares the heartbreaking story of the day his wife died

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The New York Times has published a fascinating and heartbreaking interview with Patton Oswalt about the unexpected loss of his wife earlier this year. In the piece, Oswalt talks about the circumstances surrounding Michelle McNamara’s shocking death, which he attributes to a possible Xanax overdose. In the piece, Oswalt says that the day he found his wife dead, in their bed, was the second worst day of his life. “The worst,” he said, “is when I told my daughter the next day.”

There are more gut-wrenching details in the piece, including when Oswalt talks about how he’s “found out the hard way these past few months that alcohol doesn’t really help,” and notes that he’s made of point of sitting down with his daughter, Alice, every single night and writing down three things they remember about her mom. “It keeps a living portrait of her,” Oswalt told the Times.


Oswalt, who says he’ll “never be at 100 percent again,” has found stand-up to be helpful, and will return to the stage November 3 in New York. He’s also working on finishing his wife’s book, which is about unmasking The Golden State Killer. He says before McNamara’s death, she was close to figuring out who the killer was, and that the case was giving her “bad nightmares.” “In comic-book terms,” Oswalt told the Times, “I was married to a great crime fighter.”

The entire piece, which is over on the Times site, is more than worth everyone’s time, though you might want to make sure you have some Kleenex handy.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter