Patton Oswalt penned a moving obituary for his late wife Michelle McNamara, who died suddenly in her sleep last month.

Patton Oswalt Obituary

McNamara died on April 14 at age 46. Oswalt, who had been married to her since 2005, remembered her in an obituary that touched on her career as well as her legacy as a friend and mother.

Oswalt detailed McNamara’s career as a true crime writer, which saw her go from a blogger, to a feature writer in Los Angeles Magazine to a novelist. McNamara’s big, breakout story was a speculative piece about how the Manson murders would have been affected by social media.

“This drew the attention of Los Angeles Magazine, who hired Michelle to write an article about “The Golden State Killer” (a name she coined)—the worst unsolved string of homicides in California history,” wrote Oswalt in the obituary published in Time magazine. “The article drew the attention of Harper Collins, who hired her to write a massive book about The Golden State Killer. This was the project she was 2½ years into when her story stopped, sometime on the morning of April 21.”


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McNamara was also a screenwriter, involved in social work, a teacher, a mother and wife, who had a number of notable experiences during her illustrious, but too-short life. “She also worked for a young Michelle Obama. One day Michelle Obama’s husband came into the office to speak to the staff,” Oswalt revealed. “He was impressive and funny. Another encounter, another memory in a life spent fascinated with people and relationships and the unknown.”

As for those people and relationships that McNamara has left behind, Oswalt writes, “She hasn’t left a void. She’s left a blast crater.”

“I loved her. This is the first time I’ve been able to use ‘I’ writing this,” Oswalt added. “Probably because there hasn’t been much of an ‘I’ since the morning of April 21. There probably won’t be for a while. Whatever there is belongs to my daughter—to our daughter. Alice.”

Alice, 7,  five days after her mother’s death, shared his wisdom with Oswalt: “When your mom dies you’re the best memory of her. Everything you do and say is a memory of her.'”

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