Patton Oswalt has paid an emotional tribute to his wife, on the first anniversary of her death.
Michelle McNamara, 46, died on April 21, 2016, from a combination of prescription medications and an undiagnosed heart condition and to mark the anniversary, her husband Patton, 48, took to Facebook to share a heartfelt essay.
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 21st, 2016. 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 also insisted he wasn't planning any "rituals" to mark the anniversary of his wife's death as he feels she is still with him and their daughter Alice.
He wrote: "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 ballon launching. We think of her every day -- she's still so tied into our worlds, in a way that's encouraging, and energizing. 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.
"I'm gonna pick Alice up at school later. She wants to go to a pet store and buy "worms that will grow into beetles." She's becoming a cool bug girl and Michelle would have thought that was hilarious (Michelle HATED insects). Then we'll go get ice cream. Or go home and play a game. I'm her dad. I want to make her days fun (sic)."
Since Michelle's sudden death Patton has turned to other people who are dealing with similar situations.
He explained: "I've become friends with a lot of other people who share my tragedy. We're an informal, subtle little club. No rankings or initiation ceremonies or secret handshakes. And no, we don't "see it each other's eyes" or "sense it without saying it." We went through something that transformed us but, for the most part, we keep it together. We lost someone who made us live better in the world. It would be an insult to them not suddenly live badly in this world.
"One year in. Another year starting. It's awful, but it's not fatal. Message received? Over and out (sic)."