Comedian Patton Oswalt has described the year since his wife died unexpectedly at the age of 46 as “awful but not fatal”.
The actor paid tribute Michelle McNamara in a lengthy Facebook post on the anniversary of her death, saying the past 12 months have been a “shadow-slog”, and admitting he has finally taken off his wedding ring.
Alongside photographs of a wooden box containing the ring and a photograph of the couple kissing, he wrote: “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”.
“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.
“Last night I took off my wedding ring. I couldn’t bear removing it since April 21 2016.
A beautiful friend
She opened up her heart and let me in… pic.twitter.com/YdqevJ2UiS
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 21, 2017
“But now it felt obscene. That anonymous poem about the man mourning his dead lover for a year and a day, for craving a kiss from her “clay cold lips”.
“I was inviting more darkness. 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.”
Patton, who is father to their daughter Alice, continued: “Michelle brought me nothing but happiness. You see it in our faces, that picture between the two pics of the box.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) November 8, 2016
“That was taken literally a month after we started going out. Look at us. We knew this was it.
“So the ring goes with the happy stuff.
“And no, I’m not making today any sort of dark ritual or painful memorial. No graveside visit. Those are for when Alice and I have something exciting to say to her. No candle lighting or balloon launching.
Funerals are final but there's no closure. Memorials are hopeful but they don't bring back the dead. pic.twitter.com/K8Ss7DejEj
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 23, 2016
“We think of her every day – she’s still so tied into our worlds, in a way that’s encouraging, and energising.
“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.”
Earlier this year, Patton said his wife’s death was caused by a combination of previously undiscovered blockages with the medications Adderall, Xanax and Fentanyl.