In April 2016, Michelle McNamara, crime writer and wife of famed comedian Patton Oswalt, died in her sleep. McNamara was just 46 and, needless to say, her unexpected death devastated Oswalt. Their daughter was about to begin first grade, and Oswalt was facing the daunting task of raising her alone. Opening up about McNamara in an interview this past October, the comedian told People about one of his wife's favorite sayings:
My wife was a true crime writer and researcher and the phrase she hated the most was, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ She would say, ‘No it f—— doesn’t. It’s chaos. It’s all random, it’s horrifying and if you want to try and reduce the horror and reduce the chaos, be kind that’s all you can do.
In a touching turn of events, it seems McNamara's words inspired some fans so much that they tattooed them onto their bodies and sent photos to Oswalt.
This is so beautiful. I love that your wife is living on through her amazing words and still helping people.— Taya Hill | Conolulu (@tayahill) November 9, 2017
Your bit gave made me cry and smile and feel hopeful at the same time. You're the fucking best.— Navin Noronha (@No_Ronha) November 9, 2017
After learning the phrase from you, I've started using it to explain my philosophy in life. It's so concise and elegant.— Geets Potato Pie (@Funkster1970) November 9, 2017
I feel exactly the same. Those words are powerful. Imagine if everyone walked out the door in the morning with that mantra in their head. I do.— LuxTempo (@luxtempo) November 9, 2017
They're great words, a clear idea.— happybrainz (@happybrainz) November 9, 2017
And you made me laugh my butt off, and then cry, and then laugh some more, so I'll never forget them.
Dude, I watched this a few days after my mom died unexpectedly. It was clarity and comfort in the middle of a huge fog.— Pam Lyons (@pdxpamster) November 10, 2017
I cry a little every time I think of this. But I'm so happy that you shared this private moment with all of us. Big kisses.— Olwen Searles (@OlwenSearles) November 9, 2017