That's why Oswalt touchingly referred to McNamara, as he accepted his Emmy award on Sunday for outstanding writing for a variety special,Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping.
McNamara died in her sleep in April at age 46.
"I am not trying to say this is meaningless," Oswalt said backstage, holding his award. "But it really does seem like the lights have been turned down 50% in everything. And it's going to be a long, long time before I can be the kind of person she knew."
During his onstage speech, Oswalt shared the award with two people, his daughter Alice and "the other one is waiting somewhere, I hope."
Oswalt said backstage it was fitting to bring up his wife after his big win.
"Every bit of growth I've had in my career came because I met Michelle McNamara," said Oswalt. "I met and married this woman who was so much wiser and self-actualized and aware in life than I was...I met the real deal."
Oswalt said he was comfortable not preparing a speech to pay tribute to his wife.
He said, "I was so OK with the idea that there are people in my life who helped inspire me and help me evolve to something better."