Patton Oswalt Writes Heartbreaking Confession About Being a Single Dad to His 7-Yr-Old Daughter

I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. 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 cant.

Patton Oswalds year has been rough to say the least. In April, the funny-man and authors wife, Michelle McNamara, died in her sleep. She was 46 years old.

Oswalt said that was the second-worst day of his life, the first one being the day he had to tell his daughter that her mother died.

In an instant, his world came crashing down, and with no warning or handbook, Oswalt became a widower and a single parent to the couples 7-year-old daughter.

The comedian has penned multiple open letters this year expressing his inexplicable grief and heartache. He hasnt been one to shy away from his grief, and now Patton Oswalt is opening up about becoming a single-father.

Five months and 10days after becoming a single dad, he penned this honest letter about fatherhood in anarticle for GQ:

Remembering Michelle he writes,

I was half of an amazing parenting team, except we weren’t equals. Michelle was the point person, researcher, planner and expediter. I was the grunt, office assistant, instruction follower and urban Sherpa. I did idiot sweeps before we left hotel rooms and ran checklists before we attended school functions and boarded planes. But Michelle put those lists together.

He recalls her uncanny ability to take a challenge and develop a solution.

She knew how to use my OCD to our little family’s advantage. And her super-mom skills were one brilliant facet of the dark jewel she wastrue-crime journalist, online sleuth, tireless finder of half-remembered facts and crafter of devastating murder prose.

You can almost feel his heart ripping down the middle when he talks about the future:

I was looking forward to spending my life with the single most original mind I’d ever encountered. And now? Gone. All gone.

And his doubts about being a good father open the floodgates of tears:

I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. 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 cant.

He continues,

But then I think back to when I became a fatherto when Michelle and I became parents together. I felt the same terror. I longed for the same retreat. And somehow I sort of half breathed in and clumsily took steps forward and I screwed up a lot of stuffwe screwed up a lot of stuff, Michelle and Ibut eventually we got the hang of it. We had it. Or our version of ‘it.’

He sums it all up into what hes learned, and what he wants everyone to know about grief, pain, life and parenthood:

You will never be prepared for anything you do, ever. Not the first time. Training and practice are out the window the second they meet experience. But you’ll get better. I have subjective yet ironclad knowledge of this.

This is my first time being a single father. 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. I asked two parents at her school to help me with forms and scheduling. I’m getting good at sniffing out weekend activities and scheduling playdates and navigating time and the city to get her and myself where we need to go every day. I work a creative job, but I live a practical life. 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.

Oswalts drive and motivation to be the best father he can beis inspiring, and admirable:

I’m moving forwardclumsily, stupidly, blindlybecause of the kind of person Alice is. 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.

It’s not easy, and as Oswalt is learning, it truly takes a village to raise a child. One thing is for certain, he may not feel like he knows what he’s doing, but Patton Oswalt is doing the best he can. That’s all you really can do when things don’t go as planned.

Read more:

What do you think?

0 points

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply