Patton Oswalt Discusses Wife’s Death: ‘It Might Have Been an Overdose’

“I was literally blinking trying to get out of this,” comedian says of tragic day

Patton Oswalt has opened up about his wife Michelle McNamara’s death at age 46 in April, telling the New York Times he suspects the anti-anxiety medication Xanax might have played a part in her passing.

“I have a feeling it might have been an overdose,” Oswalt told the paper, noting that McNamara had taken Xanax before going to bed. “That’s what the paramedics there were saying while I was screaming and throwing up.”

The coroner has not yet declared the cause of McNamara’s death, the Times reported.

According to Oswalt, he had become concerned about his wife’s health and encouraged her to “sleep until you wake up,” at which point McNamara, a true-crime writer, took Xanax and went to bed.

The comedian recalled that, when he left a cup of coffee for her on a bedside table at 9:40 a.m., McNamara was snoring, but when he returned to their bedroom shortly before 1 p.m., she was no longer breathing. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

“I was literally blinking trying to get out of this,” Oswalt said of her death.

The comedian added that he turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism after McNamara’s death, to no avail.

“I found out the hard way these past few months that alcohol really doesn’t help,” he told the paper.

A week after McNamara’s death, the comedian paid tribute to his wife on Twitter, saying their 13 years together were “happily humbling” for him.

The couple married in 2005 and had a daughter, Alice, together.


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