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It's said that those who've left us are the lucky ones, as they don't have to live with the pain of trying to go on without them. This is one of the reasons why we express condolences when someone dies: as a means of telling the people who loved them that we're sorry for the anguish they must be going through, the heartbreaking vacuum left in their lives where someone so vital to them once was. And tonight, those feelings of sympathy from so many of us belong to Patton Oswalt -- brilliant comic, uncommon thinker, genuinely wonderful person, and loving husband of Michelle McNamara, who died of unknown causes in her sleep last night. She was 46.

Patton mentioned Michelle on more than one occasion both in his comedy and in interviews, painting her as someone who could easily respond in kind to his legendary quick wit. She was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, had a masters degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota, and was an accomplished writer who founded True Crime Diary, a website and podcast which cover breaking crime stories and examine cold cases from across the country. She says she started the site on a whim in order to dig deeply into cases that fueled her curiosity and that she wanted to write about crimes that the regular media tended to overlook. She was reportedly writing a book on the notorious Golden State Killer.

Michelle was also a mother, to her and Patton's 7-year-old daughter, Alice. She leaves behind the two of them, which is simply crushing to imagine, given that no child should have to grow up without her mom and no husband should have to bury his wife. And so, again, we all extend our most profound sympathies to the two of them: to Patton, who feels like a friend to so many of his fans and who has been a legitimate friend to this site over the past few years, and to Alice, as well as the rest of their family. Keep them in your thoughts now and in the coming days. Wish for them strength and peace. And hold those you love tightly tonight.