How He Found Love Again After Michelle McNamara

Patton Oswalt has discovered love once more after heartbreak.

On Saturday, the 48-year-old actor and comic wed Meredith Salenger. The nuptials came visiting a 12 months and a half after Oswalt’s first spouse, Michelle McNamara, died unexpectedly in her sleep.

Here’s a glance again at how Oswalt’s life has modified since final April.

A tragic loss

Oswalt wed crime author McNamara in 2005, and the 2 welcomed a daughter, Alice Rigney, in 2009.

On April 21, 2016, McNamara died in her sleep at age 46. In an prompt, Oswalt turned a widower — and single father or mother.

Patton Oswalt and Michelle McNamara in December 2011
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

In an October 2016 interview with The New York Times, Oswalt recounted the final night time he had together with his spouse, speculating that she might have unintentionally overdosed.

McNamara, who was writing a e book a few serial rapist and killer on the time, was working lengthy days and nights and unable to sleep on account of anxiousness and nightmares. Worried about her well being, Oswalt urged she take an evening to “sleep until you wake up.” McNamara took some Xanax and went to sleep — however by no means awoke.

The subsequent morning, Oswalt remembered waking up early to get Alice dressed, packed and off to high school. On the way in which house, he picked up an Americano espresso and left it on McNamara’s bedside desk — round 9:40 a.m., he recalled.

Hours later, he checked to see if his spouse was up but. She was nonetheless in mattress — not respiratory. The paramedics pronounced her useless on the scene. While a reason behind demise was not declared by the coroner’s workplace on the time, Oswalt mentioned he believed the Xanax was in charge.

In February, Oswalt revealed McNamara’s reason behind demise: “We learned today the combination of drugs in Michelle’s system, along with a condition we were unaware of, proved lethal,” he wrote in a press release to the Associated Press.

Oswalt additionally defined that the couple had “no idea” McNamara had a coronary heart situation that brought on blockages in her arteries. According to Oswalt, the blockages, mixed along with her taking the drugs Adderall, Xanax and the ache treatment fentanyl, had been accountable for her pbading.

Learning to manage

On the one-year anniversary of her demise, Oswalt remembered his late spouse in a prolonged Facebook submit — expressing a mixture of grief, gratitude and perseverance.

“It’s awful, but it’s not fatal,” Oswalt started. “That’s the dispatch I’m sending back from exactly one year into this shadow-slog.”

He went on to say that he had eliminated his wedding ceremony ring and positioned it in a field of keepsakes.

“I couldn’t bear removing it since April 21st, 2016,” he wrote. “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. But it’s not fatal.”

“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. 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.”

A brand new starting

In June, Oswalt stepped out for the premiere of Baby Driver with a really particular visitor by his aspect: his girlfriend Salenger. The couple held palms whereas posing for the cameras.

Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger on the Baby Driver premiere
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Salenger — a 47-year-old Harvard-educated actress with credit in TV and movies together with Lake Placid and Hollywood Heights, plus voiceover work for cartoons like Star Wars: The Clone Wars — additionally tweeted an cute selfie with Oswalt within the theater.

At the time, a supply near the couple advised PEOPLE the connection was “new” and the 2 had been “very happy.”

“They met through mutual friend Martha Plimpton,” mentioned the insider. “They started chatting as friends and it blossomed from there.”

A month later, PEOPLE solely confirmed that Oswalt and Salenger had been engaged.

“It’s official. I’m the luckiest happiest girl in the universe!!!!” she gushed on Instagram. “I love you @pattonoswalt I love you Alice Oswalt! #YesYesYes.”

“I put the ring in a marzipan [Star Wars] Slave I reproduction and mentioned, ‘Will you be my Padawan of Love?’ ” Oswalt quipped of the proposal on Twitter. “She maced me but said yes later.”

I put the ring in a marzipan Slave I reproduction and mentioned, “Will you be my Padawan of Love?” She maced me however mentioned sure later.

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 6, 2017

Hitting again at critics

After dealing with harsh blowback on social media for getting engaged 15 months after McNamara’s demise, Oswalt and Salenger defended their determination on social media.

On Facebook, Oswalt referred to his critics as “bitter grub worms,” thanking blogger Erica Roman for writing an article of their protection.

“This is so amazing. And SO well-written,” he wrote. “I expected some bitter grub worms to weigh in (anonymously, always always always) with their much-needed opinions when I announced my engagement last week. And I decided to ignore them. But yeah, I felt this rage. And Erica articulated it better than I could have ever hoped. So there you go. Thank you, Erica.”

Salenger additionally posted Roman’s article alongside her personal protection of the couple’s engagement.

“Everyone has been so lovely to us… ALL of Michelle’s siblings and friends and family… a few trolls have strong opinions,” she wrote. “But I think for Patton, having met and found love after over a year of intense therapy and openly grieving and dealing with his pain…I am grateful to be the one who helps him climb out of the depths of grief and find some joy again. And most of all… Alice is happy and feels loved.”

“I have waited 47 years to find true love,” she continued. “Creating our family unit while honoring the brilliant gift Michelle has given me will be my life’s goal and happiness. I am deeply in love with both Patton and Alice and very much looking forward to a beautiful happy life having adventures together.”

Staying sturdy for Alice

Since McNamara’s demise, Oswalt’s prime precedence is caring for their daughter.

“If I hadn’t had a daughter and my wife died, we wouldn’t be talking right now. I’m not saying I would be dead, but I would be a shut-in alcoholic,” he advised Playboy in August. “Everything would have shut down. I wouldn’t have been about anything. But with Alice, it was and is ‘You got to get up.’ ”

“There were times when I had to get her to play a game on her iPad or start a little project, and then I would say, ‘Oh, let me go upstairs,’ and I would go put my head in a pillow and just scream and cry because I didn’t want to break down in front of her,” he confessed.

Still, the father-daughter duo opted to remain of their household house, admitting transfer “would have been more painful,” and have felt like they had been “running away from Michelle’s ghost.”

And on the finish of the day, Oswalt says he selected to maneuver ahead together with his life for the sake of his daughter.

“I’m moving forward — clumsily, stupidly, blindly — because of the kind of person Alice is,” he wrote in a December 2016 first-person essay for GQ. “She’s received a lot of Michelle in her. And Michelle was dwelling her life shifting ahead. And she took me ahead along with her. Just like I do know Alice will. So I’m going to maintain shifting ahead. So I will be there with you in the event you want me, Alice. Because I’ll want you.

“I can do it,” he added. “I can do it. I can do it. Because of you, Alice.”

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