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Entertainment Weekly


Patton Oswalt explains what it was like to find new love after wife's death

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

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Patton Oswalt has faced the highest highs and lowest lows in the past couple years. After the death of his late wife, true-crime writer Michelle McNamara, the comedian found love again with actress Meredith Salenger — an experience he describes as “getting hit by lightning twice.”

“I was lucky enough to meet and fall in love and have someone as extraordinary as Michelle McNamara fall in love with me,” Oswalt told NPR in an interview. “And then — it’s almost like getting hit by lightning twice, that the statistical odds are so insane — I met someone just as, if not even more, extraordinary in this woman Meredith Salenger and fell in love with her and got her to fall in love with me and to fall in love with [daughter] Alice.”

Oswalt and Salenger were engaged in July and shared photos from their marriage ceremony earlier this month.

“This is going to sound so facile, but she’s Mary Poppins,” Oswalt said of his new wife. “There’s that line in the movie Saving Mr. Banks: ‘She’s not there to save the children. She’s there to save the husband.’ That’s what Mary Poppins is there to do. That is what Meredith has done for me and for Alice. Because she is such a life force, it almost feels like she was put here to see if her level of life force could revive this death vibe that I was living in and pull me out of it. And she did. She did, seemingly effortlessly.”

Oswalt has dealt with his grief through a return to stand-up comedy and publicly discussing the loss of McNamara.

“It’s awful, but it’s not fatal,” he wrote in a post to Facebook that marked the one-year anniversary of her death. “That’s the dispatch I’m sending back from exactly one year into this shadow-slog.”