Patton Oswalt bared his soul at the New York Comedy Festival Thursday night, opening up about his wife Michelle McNamara’s death. The respected crime writer and mother of their daughter, Alice, died in April.
“Six months and 12 days ago, my wife passed away,” the 47-year-old said halfway into an hourlong set, via People. “There’s no way to segue into that. It’s just my life and it’s kind of all-consuming. And it sucks. It sucks.”
Proving that he can find the humor in the most horrific of situations, Oswalt condemned the phraseology used to describe the grieving process after someone dies.
“A lot of the terminology that people use when you’re going through something like this is just ridiculous,” the comedian said. “If I hear the term ‘healing journey’ one more time. It is not a ‘healing journey.’ It’s a ‘numb slog.’ It’s just, ‘Well, it’s the end of another day, guess I’ll do that tomorrow.’ It’s just a numb slog until you start feeling s**t again.”
Oswalt added, “If they would call it a ‘numb slog’ instead of a ‘healing journey,’ it would make it a lot easier. Because if they call it a ‘healing journey’ and it’s just a day of you eating Wheat Thins in your underwear, you’re like, ‘I guess I’m on my healing journey.’ But if they say you’re going to have a ‘numb slog,’ you sit there going, ‘I’m nailing it!’”
In the months since his wife’s death, the comedian has spoken about the extreme pain of losing McNamara. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Oswalt said he’ll “never be at 100 percent again.” The comedian also said he believed his late wife was close to identifying a serial killer she had been tracking for years.
“If there is a supreme being — whatever it is, and this was part of his plan that she’s gone and I’m not?” Oswalt said during his set Thursday. “Then that’s a shitty fucking plan or there’s no plan. Because again, I’m very happy with what I do — I tell dick jokes. And she was trying to bring multiple killers to justice. And God looked down and said, ‘Let’s take her and keep him.’”