Comedian Patton Oswalt paid tribute to his late first wife, true crime author Michelle McNamara, on the five-year anniversary of her death on Wednesday.
In an emotional post, Oswalt said that "of course" he thought of McNamara on that "dark day." He added that he also thought of their daughter, Alice, now 12, and "how the loss shaped her and continues to shape her."
"This dark day gets a little less dark every year when I see how Alice... keeps walking in light," he wrote. "I’m there to catch the shadows that try to creep in at the edges, or from behind."
"I’m good at spotting them, and then Alice helps me laugh them away. And what’s left is this beautiful, living memory."
Oswalt also took a moment to appreciate his current wife, Meredith Salenger, who he married in 2017.
"Meredith swooped into our lonely, broken lives and helped put the pieces back together, stronger and sleeker than they were before," he said.
McNamara died unexpectedly in her sleep on April 21, 2016, at age 46, while she was working on a true crime book about the Golden State Killer. After her passing, Oswalt dedicated himself to finishing the book she had been working on since 2013.
The book, titled “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark," was posthumously published on Feb. 27, 2018, and inspired the eponymous HBO documentary, which features interviews with survivors of the attacks and follows McNamara's investigation.
Oswalt delivered a copy of the book to her gravesite after it was published and shared a photo on Twitter.
"You did it, baby. The book is excellent, the writing brilliant. You tried to bring kindness to chaos, which was your way," he wrote at the time.
Police arrested the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, 75, in 2018 and he was sentenced on Aug. 21, 2020 to life without the possibility of parole.
After DeAngelo's sentencing, Oswalt paid tribute to McNamara and the end of DeAngelo's era of terror.
"The insect gets none of my headspace today," he wrote. "I’m thinking of the victims, and the survivors, and the witnesses and crusaders and investigators. And of course Michelle. Go forward in peace, all of you."