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When Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger announced their engagement last week, the news was met with surprise from some outside observers, a number of whom took to social media to say they thought it was too soon for Oswalt, whose wife died 15 months ago, to get married again.
Over the weekend, though, Oswalt and Salenger defended their relationship, linking to a blog post from Erica Roman, who lost her spouse around the same time Oswalt did and expressed her happiness for him and Salenger and anger at those who judged their engagement.
“It makes my heart happy to see that his heart has continued to move forward, that it has healed and expanded to the place where he can now love another,” Roman wrote before addressing the “dear ignorant, judgmental, assholes” who expressed disdain in comments accompanying articles about Oswalt’s news.
“You aren’t entitled to an opinion. You don’t get to comment on the choices of a widower while you sit happily next to your own living spouse. You didn’t have to stand and watch your mundane morning turn into your absolute worst nightmare. You didn’t have to face the agony of despair and the only person who could possibly bring you comfort had been ripped from your life forever. You didn’t have to stand in the ashes of what was once your life, when the sun itself darkened and the very air you breathed felt toxic in your lungs. Go back to scrolling Facebook and keep your ignorance to yourself,” she wrote.
Oswalt praised the column in a Facebook post, saying, “I expected some bitter grub worms to weigh in (anonymously, always always always) with their much-needed opinions when I announced my engagement last week. And I decided to ignore them. But yeah, I felt this rage. And Erica articulated it better than I could have ever hoped.”
This is so amazing. And SO well-written. I expected some bitter grub worms to weigh in (anonymously, always always…
He posted something similar on Twitter.
WOW. Thank you for this, Erica. I’d chosen to ignore the grub worms but your writing is just SO good here. Thank you, seriously… https://t.co/XwHejT5Dkr
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 8, 2017
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who’s been public about grieving the unexpected death of her husband, Dave Goldberg, expressed support in a comment on Oswalt’s Facebook post. “Congratulations to you and Meredith on your engagement. Erica – I loved your post – every word. I laughed and cried a bit because what you are saying is so true,” Sandberg wrote. “No one should judge another’s path – and everyone deserves to find love again. I am cheering all three of you on and wishing that everyone who is in pain finds joy and happiness as soon as they can.”
Oswalt also retweeted a post from Salenger, which included a screengrab of her own Facebook post defending her relationship with the comedian and linking to Roman’s blog post.
“Everyone has been so lovely to us…all of Patton’s family…ALL of Michelle’s siblings and friends and family…a few trolls have strong opinions,” she wrote. “But I think for Patton, having met and found love after over a year of intense therapy and openly grieving and dealing with his pain…I am grateful to be the one who helps him climb out of the depths of grief and find some joy again. And most of all…[Patton’s daughter] Alice is happy and feels loved. I have waited 47 years to find true love. Creating our family unit while honoring the brilliant gift Michelle has given me will be my life’s goal and happiness. I am deeply in love with both Patton and Alice and very much looking forward to a beautiful happy life having adventures together.”
— Meredith Salenger (@MeredthSalenger) July 8, 2017
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