Patton Oswalt Shares A Hopeful Message With Fans One Year After His Wife's Death

"It's awful, but it's not fatal."

"It's awful, but it's not fatal."

Those are the words comedian Patton Oswalt shared with fans on Facebook this past Friday, on the one-year anniversary of his wife Michelle McNamara's death. In the intervening months, Oswalt has been incredibly open about his experience as a widower and a single father, penning social media posts and essays updating fans about his journey, and sharing messages of comfort and hope to others who are struggling.

"I'm one year into this new life — one I never even imagined, and I can imagine some pretty pessimistic and dark contingencies, some stomach-freezing 'what ifs,' " he wrote in his latest post. "But not this one. This one had such a flat, un-poetic immediacy. The world gazes at you like a hungry but indifferent reptile when you're widowed."

Oswalt goes to share that he chose to take off his wedding ring the night before, explaining that he was "inviting more darkness" by continuing to leave it on. "Removing the ring was removing the last symbol of denial of who I was now, and what my life is, and what my responsibilities are," he wrote.

He put the ring "with the happy stuff" in a box filled with "trinkets and scraps of our life leading up to marriage." He shared photos of the custom-made box in the post, as well as an old photo of him and McNamara shortly after they began dating.

"Michelle brought me nothing but happiness," he wrote. "You see it in our faces, that picture between the two pics of the box. That was taken literally a month after we started going out. Look at us. We knew this was it."

Oswalt then shared how he planned to mark the anniversary — not with any "dark ritual or painful memorial." Not even with a visit to McNamara's grave, which he says is reserved for when he and his 8-year-old daughter Alice "have something exciting to say to her."

"We think of her every day — she's still so tied into our worlds, in a way that's encouraging, and energizing," he wrote. "So why light a flame that will die, or release a balloon that will disappear? Michelle's gone but she wasn't the kind of soul that disappears or dies out."

Instead, he shared that he would spend time with his daughter, taking her to the pet store and out for ice cream. "I'm her dad. I want to make her days fun."

While he admitted there has been "combat damage" — to his health and his sleeping habits, for example — Oswalt ended the post on a hopeful note, looking toward the future: "One year in. Another year starting. It's awful, but it's not fatal. Message received? Over and out."

(H/T: Today)

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