Shortly after the death of his wife Michelle McNamara in April, Patton Oswalt memorialized her in an essay for Time, writing: “She hasn’t left a void. She’s left a blast crater.” In that piece, Oswalt rarely mentioned himself. Now, the comedian is sharing how he has been coping with his loss. In a wrenching Facebook post, Oswalt opens up about the overwhelming, nearly paralyzing experience. He begins with an ingenious, darkly comic metaphor.
Thanks for making depression look like the buzzing little bully it always was. 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.
But grief? Grief is Jason Statham holding that 4th grade bully’s head in a toilet and then fucking 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 dick.
While Oswalt is explicit and blunt about the pain he has endured, he also describes how he has been affected by the support from friends, family, and even strangers who have reached out. He explains that while he is only just “crawling,” he has spent time working to finish McNamara’s book about The Golden State Killer. “It’s all her,” he writes. “We’re just taking what’s there and letting it tell us how to shape it. It’s amazing.” He concludes by promising that he’ll “start being funny again soon.”
What other choice do I have? Reality is in a death spiral and we seem to be living in a cackling, looming nightmare-swamp. We’re all being dragged into a shadow-realm of doom by hateful lunatics who are determined to send our planet careening into oblivion.
Hey, there’s that smile I was missing!
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