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Patton Oswalt Writes Heartbreaking Letter About Being a Single Dad After the Death of his Wife

”It feels like a walk-on character is being asked to carry an epic film after the star has been wiped from the screen,“ he writes for GQ

Patton Oswalt has penned a heartbreaking letter about his life as a single dad after his wife’s sudden death in April at the age of 46.

“I was looking forward to spending my life with the single most original mind I’d ever encountered. And now? Gone. All gone,” he wrote in a letter for GQ. “It feels like a walk-on character is being asked to carry an epic film after the star has been wiped from the screen.”

When his wife, Michelle McNamara, died suddenly in her sleep, he was left to parent their 7-year-old daughter Alice alone.

“I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it,” he added. “I want to tune out the world and hide under the covers and never leave my house again and send our daughter, Alice, off to live with her cousins in Chicago, because they won’t screw her up the way I know I will. Somebody help me! I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”

However, Oswalt thought back to when he first became a father, when that overwhelming fear made him long “for the same retreat.” Yet, he and his wife figured it out and “eventually got the hang of it.” And even before then, he wrote, he felt “the same terror” when he found Michelle, writing that he had “somehow landed a woman far above my pay grade, my looks and intelligence and personality.”

“This is my first time being a single father,” he wrote. “I’ve missed forms for school. I’ve forgotten to stock the fridge with food she likes. I’ve run out of socks for her. I’ve run out of socks for me. It sucked and it was a hassle every time, but the world kept turning. I said, ‘Whoops, my bad,’ and fixed it and kept stumbling forward. Now I know where to buy the socks she likes … If I can persuade a comedy club full of indifferent drunks to like me, I can have my daughter ready for soccer on a Saturday morning.”

And seeing a lot of his wife in his daughter, Alice, Oswalt promised to continue moving forward and trying his best to be a great single dad to Alice.

“I’m moving forward — clumsily, stupidly, blindly — because of the kind of person Alice is,” he wrote. “She’s got so much of Michelle in her. And Michelle was living her life moving forward. And she took me forward with her. Just like I know Alice will. So I’m going to keep moving forward. So I can be there with you if you need me, Alice. Because I’ll need you. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. Because of you, Alice.”