It’s been nearly eight months since Patton Oswalt became a single father. His wife, true-crime writer Michelle McNamara, died unexpectedly in her sleep at only 46 years old in April, leaving Oswalt to parent their young daughter Alice alone.
Before the clock wound down on 2016, the comedian wrote an an essay in the December issue of GQ magazine to reflect on his “Year of Magical Parenting,” in hopes that his experience might resonate with someone reeling from the death of a loved one.
“I was half of an amazing parenting team, except we weren’t equals. Michelle was the point person, researcher, planner, and expediter. I was the grunt, office assistant, instruction follower, and urban Sherpa,” he writes. “I was looking forward to spending my life with the single most original mind I’d ever encountered. And now? Gone. All gone.”
In the wake of this devastating loss, Oswalt admits his impulse was to “hide under the covers and never leave my house again.” At one point, he even considered sending his daughter to live with her cousins in Chicago to spare her from his self-proclaimed parenting deficiencies.
Oswalt’s story has already struck a chord with his fans, as he’s incorporated his grief into stand-up sets and has spoken candidly about his late wife on “Conan.” In the essay, he encourages all those who’ve found themselves in a similar situation to never lose hope, because if he can do it, so can we all.