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Patton Oswalt Discusses Mourning His Wife Michelle McNamara: ‘Grief is an Attack On Life’

Host Patton Oswalt speaks onstage during the 2016 Writers Guild Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez— Writers Guild of America, West/Getty Images Host Patton Oswalt speaks onstage during the 2016 Writers Guild Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

"Depression is more seductive"

Patton Oswalt knows depression, and now, after his wife, Michelle McNamara, died in April at age 46, he knows grief, too. “Depression is more seductive,” the comedian told The New York Times in a profile published Wednesday. “Its tool is: ‘Wouldn’t it be way more comfortable to stay inside and not deal with people?’ Grief is an attack on life. It’s not a seducer. It’s an ambush or worse. It stands right out there and says: ‘The minute you try something, I’m waiting for you.’”

Since her death, Oswalt’s tried to keep busy by returning to standup — he’ll debut a new hour Nov. 3 at the New York Comedy Festival — and working on McNamara’s unfinished book about the Golden State Killer. Of returning to the stage, he says it feels like “a rebuke to grief, an acceptance of the messiness of life. I’ll never be at 100 percent again, but that won’t stop me from living this.”

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