Grappling with "the randomness and horror of the universe," Oswalt grieved deeply and publicly. He penned an obituary for Time about the "blast crater" she left behind, wrote about the panic of suddenly becoming a single father for GQ and addressed the personal tragedy in his Netflix comedy standup special, Patton Oswalt: Somewhere in the meantime, Oswalt met another woman.
A year after his first wife died, Oswalt was engaged; the couple married last November. Observers were appalled that Oswalt had remarried so quickly. One particularly cruel person accused the comedian of having "publicly dined out on his grief. Mourning a spouse while simultaneously falling in love again is fraught territory. There's a sense that certain time frames qualify as "too soon" — as if an appropriate grieving period has been universally demarcated.
It is criticism the widowed are particularly attuned to: Carolyn Klassen and Jim Klassen of Winnipeg married on April 26, , 13 months after his wife, also named Carolyn, died of cancer. Denley Thiessen But Klassen and others believe these stages aren't perfectly linear. Instead, they often overlap: Story continues below advertisement In a fascinating recent case, after two authors who wrote bestselling memoirs about their final months ailing with cancer passed away, their widowed spouses fell in love with each other.
Lucy Kalanithi is a doctor and widow of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who wrote the memoir When Breath Becomes Air and died of lung cancer at As Riggs was dying, she urged her husband to reach out to Lucy Kalanithi for help. The two began e-mailing as Duberstein struggled "not to go insane" grieving.
And so their unconventional union was sparked. Both of the terminally ill spouses had given their partners "radical permission" to forge new relationships, Kalanithi told The Washington Post earlier this month. But the re-configuration was bittersweet: Despite the self-awareness many of these couples exhibit, the outside world often sees one thing: It comes from fear. McInerny remorsefully recalls one incident when she herself was judgmental. While Purmort was very sick, a widowed friend of hers called and said she was going on a date.
McInerny's reaction was a visceral "ugh. Purmort slammed her for it. The small talk was killing her. Six months after that, she met Matthew Hart at a mutual friend's backyard party.
Story continues below advertisement Even so, on one of their early dates at a restaurant, McInerny withered in shame when an acquaintance spotted them. I ignored him for the remainder until we left the restaurant. McInerny and Hart married and had a baby, all within two years of her first husband's death. Today, she feels like she's in love with two people — one dead, one alive. They are emotionally open, understand that time is finite and value good partners , fiercely.