Family

Grieving comedian’s ritual with daughter to keep her mum’s memory alive

Patton Oswalt’s wife died in her sleep at just 46 earlier this year. This is what he’s done with his daughter every night since.

Patton Oswalt
Patton Oswalt has one of those faces that makes you want to laugh – but this year, it’s been harder for him to see the funny side.
In March his wife, true crime author Michelle McNamara, died suddenly in her sleep at just 46 years old.
In the wake of her death, Patton had to pick himself up and continue to raise their beloved seven-year-old daughter, Alice.
Patton Oswalt and his late wife Michelle McNamara
Months on and the comedian is still understandably struggling to deal with her loss. But he and Alice have developed a nightly ritual so Michelle’s memory is always kept alive.
Since her death, Patton said he and Alice have begun writing down three things they remember about Michelle every night at bedtime — creating a sort of "living portrait" of their lost family member.
Speaking to The New York Times in an in depth interview, Patton revealed his secrets for getting through the hardest few months of his life.
The comedian, who is famous on the stand-up circuit, is also a well-known face from his roles on King of Queens and as the voice of Remy in Ratatouille.
In earlier interviews he has described the death of his wife as the “second worst” thing that’s happened to him. The worst was having to tell their daughter what had happened to her mum, he said.
Today (Halloween) he posted this tweet about his daughter Alice.