Patton Oswalt Says His Wife’s Death Made Him See the World for ‘What it Really Is’

“In really awful science fiction terms, it is like putting on the sunglasses in ‘They Live,'” comedian says

Patton Oswalt says the death of his wife, Michelle McNamara, last year was a bit like a science fiction movie.

In an interview with NPR published Friday, Oswalt said that McNamara’s death has helped him more fully understand what other people go through in the grieving process.

“One thing that I’ve learned since what happened to me happened is: You don’t know the kind of pain and loss other people may have gone through — even close friends and acquaintances … In really awful science fiction terms, it is like putting on the sunglasses in ‘They Live’ and then seeing the world for what it really is,” Oswalt said. “Obviously, I knew there was loss and death and depression, but you can only sympathize so far until it directly happens to you.”

While he was making pop-culture comparisons to his wife’s death, Oswalt opined that the back story for “Batman” — a young boy witnesses his parents’ murder and grows up to be the Caped Crusader — doesn’t strike him as realistic.

“Bruce Wayne saw his parents gunned down in front of him when he was nine and he travels the world and becomes this amazing [crime fighter],” Oswalt summarized. “That’s ridiculous — he would have grown up to have been Gotham City’s most annoying slam poet. That’s what Bruce Wayne would have been. He would have been up there reading his horrible poems.”

McNamara, a true-crime writer, died in the couple’s Los Angeles home in April 2016. She was 46.

In February, Oswalt shed light on the circumstances of McNamara’s death, saying that the coroner’s office told him that McNamara died from a combination of prescription medications and a heart condition that had not been diagnosed.

According to Oswalt, McNamara suffered from a condition that caused blockages in her arteries, a condition that he and McNamara didn’t know of.

“We learned today the combination of drugs in Michelle’s system, along with a condition we were unaware of, proved lethal,” Oswalt said.

McNamara had taken Aderall, Xanax and fentanyl, which combined with the blockages caused her death.

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